Game of Thrones

World of Warcraft meets Middle Earth with a little sex thrown in. HBO’s new adventure series Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire, already has a large cult following. Between blood-spattered battlefields and carnal sex scenes, the new series capitalizes a trend for constant action that reigns over today’s TV watching market.

The series is based closely on the books. The audience is first dropped into the story when they enter Westeros, where war seems imminent as the land’s seven regions struggle to unite. The hero of our story, Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, played by Sean Bean, relocates his family when he accepts a position with King Robert Baratheon, played by Mark Addy. As the series progresses, Ned learns what a treacherous place the King’s court really is and may not be quite the hero we expected him to be.

Jon Snow, Stark’s illegitimate son, is assigned to The Wall. A Great Wall of China-like structure, The Wall functions to protect Westeros from a growing terrorist group—The White Walkers. In the city of Pentos lives Daenerys Targaryen (Emily Clarke). An outsider, Targaryen lost most of her family during the civil war that allowed Baratheon to begin his reign in the first place. She is a complex part of the plot to overtake the throne.

The cast is impressive, to say the least. Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister who prefers to talk his way out of situations rather than fight. Lena Headey (of 300) stars as the manipulative wife of King Baratheon who pursues an affair with her brother played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Game of Thrones regenerated a cult following that already existed with the books. Originally proposed as a seven book series, only five have been completed. The fan base has repeatedly called for the final installments and the new HBO series encourages this demand. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the show’s creators, say they received Martin’s permission and encouraged him to provide scripts. Martin has a past with screenwriting as he worked on the eighties series Beauty and the Beast staring Ron Perlman.

The show has decided not to film everything in a studio lot in Hollywood, but instead chose the scenery of Northern Ireland. Mainly based out of The Paint Hall studios, the effects of a bigger studio like HBO in Ireland rebirthed an interest in the film and television industry within the country.

They rely on local talent for both actors and directors, like Brian Kirk who has been rumored to possibly make Thor 2. Chair of the Belfast Film Festival Brian Henry Martin said the local industry has definitely seen a change since HBO came to town, not only within the film industry but in regards to the local economy as well.

With a new season coming up, and trailer footage released, the next set of episodes seems to be as action-filled as the first with new characters and plot twists introduced. Books sales have also risen. It seems as though the hype for Game of Thrones didn’t die with the first season.