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[03/16/11 - 12:00 PM]
New HBO Series "Game of Thrones," Based on the Bestselling Books by George R.R. Martin, Debuts April 17
The pay channel details the first two installments of the upcoming fantasy series.

[via press release from HBO]

NEW HBO SERIES "GAME OF THRONES," BASED ON THE BESTSELLING BOOKS BY GEORGE R.R. MARTIN, DEBUTS APRIL 17

In a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, trouble is brewing. From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and the ancient Wall that protects the realm from the darkness beyond, two powerful families are engaged in a deadly cat-and-mouse game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

As betrayal, lust, intrigue and supernatural forces shake the four corners of the Kingdoms, their bloody struggle for the Iron Throne will have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences.

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series "A Song of Ice and Fire," by George R.R. Martin, the new series GAME OF THRONES launches its ten-episode season SUNDAY, APRIL 17 (9:00-10:05 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are executive producers and writers of the show, which was shot at the Paint Hall Studio in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as at various locations in Northern Ireland and Malta. The production received funding from Northern Ireland Screen and the Malta Film Commission.

GAME OF THRONES follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power. As the series opens, King Robert Baratheon, who is married to Cersei Lannister of the wealthy and corrupt Lannisters, asks Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark to come south and help run his kingdom after the questionable death of his right-hand man. Meanwhile, there is a threat to the throne from the east by the exiled teenage Princess Daenerys and her brother Viserys, whose family ruled the Kingdoms for many years before their bloody ouster. And there are rumors of strange things happening at the edge of the Kingdoms, north of the Wall, where Jon Snow, Ned's bastard son, goes to be part of the brotherhood of the Night's Watch, which is sworn to protect the Kingdoms.

Series regulars on GAME OF THRONES include (in alphabetical order): Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon, Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Sean Bean as Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Michelle Fairley as Lady Catelyn Stark, Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish ("Littlefinger"), Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey Baratheon, Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister, Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen, Richard Madden as Robb Stark, Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane ("The Hound"), Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.

Also featured in the ensemble cast are: John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, James Cosmo as Lord Commander Mormont, Charles Dance as Lord Tywin Lannister, Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel, Jerome Flynn as Bronn, Conleth Hill as Varys, Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo and Donald Sumpter as Maester Luwin.

April's episodes:

Episode #1: "Winter Is Coming"

Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 17 (9:00-10:05 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: April 17 (10:05 p.m., 11:15 p.m.), 18 (9:00 p.m.), 19 (11:00 p.m.), 20 (10:00 p.m.) and 23 (10:45 p.m.), and May 4 (8:00 p.m.) and 7 (1:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: April 18 (9:00 p.m., 10:05 p.m., 11:15 p.m.), 21 (8:00 p.m.), 22 (12:40 a.m.) and 24 (1:30 p.m.)

A Night's Watch deserter is tracked down outside of Winterfell, prompting swift justice by Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark and raising concerns about the dangers in the lawless lands north of the Wall. Returning home, Ned learns from his wife Catelyn that his mentor, Jon Arryn, has died in the Westeros capital of King's Landing, and that King Robert is on his way north to offer Ned Arryn's position as the King's Hand. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea in Pentos, Viserys Targaryen hatches a plan to win back the throne, which entails forging an allegiance with the nomadic Dothraki warriors by giving its leader, Khal Drogo, his lovely sister Daenerys' hand in marriage. Robert arrives at Winterfell with his wife, Queen Cersei, and other members of the Lannister family: her twin brother Jaime, dwarf brother Tyrion and Cersei's son and heir to the throne, 12-year-old Joffrey. Unable to refuse his old friend and king, Ned prepares to leave for King's Landing, as Jon Snow decides to travel north to Castle Black to join the Night's Watch, accompanied by a curious Tyrion. But a startling act of treachery directed at young Bran may postpone their departures.

Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; directed by Tim Van Patten.

Episode #2: "The Kingsroad"

Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates: April 24 (11:00 p.m.), 26 (11:00 p.m.), 27 (10:00 p.m.) and 30 (9:45 p.m.), and May 4 (9:00 p.m.) and 7 (2:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: April 25 (9:00 p.m.), 28 (8:00 p.m.) and 29 (midnight)

Bran's fate remains in doubt. Having agreed to become the King's Hand, Ned leaves Westeros with daughters Sansa and Arya, while Catelyn stays behind to tend to Bran. Jon Snow heads north to join the brotherhood of the Night's Watch. Tyrion decides to forego the trip south with his family, instead joining Jon in the entourage heading to the Wall. Viserys bides his time in hopes of winning back the throne, while Daenerys focuses her attention on learning how to please her new husband, Drogo.

Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; directed by Tim Van Patten.

GAME OF THRONES is executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; co-executive producers, Carolyn Strauss, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, Ralph Vicinanza and George R.R. Martin; producers, Mark Huffam and Frank Doelger; directors of photography, Marco Pontecorvo, Alik Sakharov and Matt Jensen; production designer, Gemma Jackson; costume designer, Michele Clapton.

Directors include Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Alan Taylor and Tim Van Patten; writers include David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson and George R.R. Martin.





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· GAME OF THRONES (HBO)





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