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Nerd Alert: Game of Thrones

March 22, 2011

As you can probably tell from the header above, I’m starting a new series called “Nerd Alert”, which will be dedicated to drooling over upcoming games, films and other assorted projects I am looking forward to in the near future.

Sean Bean as Eddard (Ned) Stark

First up is HBO’s new series Game of Thrones, which is based on the massively AWESOME (and also just plain massive) fantasy epic novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.  Thrones takes place in the world known as Westeros (and its eastern counterpart Essos), a land of feuding families, ancient mysteries and epic battles.  Each chapter in the novels is narrated in first person by a variety of protagonists and antagonists alike, and Martin brings some of the most unusual characters in literature  to life in an unforgettable saga.

HBO’s new series is based on the first novel (titled A Game of Thrones), and as the title suggests, is primarily centered around hero Ned Stark and his family, who try to stay afloat in a treacherous land of courtly intrigue.

Martin’s fanbase is fairly rabid in their devotion to these precious novels, and it will be interesting to see how HBO portrays these notable characters on the small screen.

Emilia Clarke as Daenaerys Targaryen and Iain Glen as Sir Jorah Mormont

Casting wise, HBO has done an incredible job on at least two fronts.  First, they cast Sean Bean as the steadfast patriarch Ned Stark.  Second, they have Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, who is perhaps the most complex and interesting character in the entire series of novels.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

HBO’s clever marketing has included an appropriate tag line (“Winter Is Coming” – a nod to the Stark’s native home of Winterfell, which can be shrouded in snow and ice for years at a time) and fan access to a fascinating producer’s blog (see the link at the end of this entry) where you can learn all about the intense work involved in producing and prepping the epic series – everything from production stills to costuming.  The site has proved so popular that HBO has decided to do a similar blog for the upcoming season of True Blood.

pride and politics

The internet is abuzz with the reaction to advanced screenings of the series, and the scuttlebutt is overwhelmingly positive.  Let’s hope HBO commits to Thrones whole-heartedly, giving it time to develop and grow with an audience.  I’m still furious about the untimely and illogical ends to both Rome and Deadwood, series which both met their fate due to the bloody axe of budget constraints.

Game of Thrones premieres April 17th, 2011 on HBO.  Until then, here are a few links to tide you over…

Official HBO site:

Preview Clips:

Production Blog:

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