HBO picks up Game of Thrones for Series

First official photo from HBO's Game of Thrones - Click to Enlarge
First official photo from HBO's Game of Thrones - Click to Enlarge

The Hollywood Reporter and several other outlets are reporting that HBO has given the greenlight for a ten episode order of Game of Thrones. The TV series, which is based on George R.R. Martin’s extremely popular A Song of Ice and Fire novels, shot its pilot in the UK and Morocco late last year. Thrones stars Sean Bean (Goldeneye, Lord of the Rings) and Lena Headey (300, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as well as a whole host of recognizable actors, including Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) and Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis), who was recently cast as Conan in the new Conan the Barbarian film. The series is being produced by novelist and screenwriter David Benioff, the man behind 25th Hour, Troy and more recently Brothers.

Game of Thrones is set in the medieval world of Westeros, where rival houses vie for control of the Iron Throne that controls the seven kingdoms. The fictional medieval setting doesn’t necessarily mean high fantasy; there are no elves or orcs in Game of Thrones. The focus is less on the fantastical or magical and more on political machinations and brutal battles. Game of Thrones was pitched to HBO as “The Sopranos meets Lord of the Rings” and that’s not far off from what Thrones is.

I’m not a big fantasy guy, but I count the Song of Ice and Fire series amongst my favourite books. Television critics have been amazed by the unprecedented amount of hype that the pilot for Thrones has generated; based on that fact alone HBO was wise to pick up the series. Great writing combined with the wonderful cast they’ve assembled for the show and HBO production values makes Game of Thrones the must watch show of next year.

Game of Thrones is set to begin filming in June on track for a television debut in Winter 2011.

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