'Game of Thrones' is afoot at HBO

game-of-thrones.jpgThere is joy in the realm of fantasy fans, for HBO has picked up its highly buzzed-about pilot "Game of Thrones" to series.

The cable channel has ordered 10 episodes (including the already-shot pilot) of the series, which is based on George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" novels. Production on the series is scheduled to begin in Northern Ireland in June. It's likely to premiere in early 2011; for now all we have to show is a still from the opening scene of the pilot.

The show will use one book in Martin's series as the template for each season (four have been published, and three more are planned) in telling the story of several families fighting for power on the fictional continent of Westeros. The cast includes "Lord of the Rings" veteran Sean Bean, Lena Headey ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jennifer Ehle and Mark Addy.

David Benioff ("Wolverine," "Brothers") and D.B. Weiss wrote the pilot script and will executive produce. Martin, former HBO exec Carolyn Strauss, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and Ralph Vicinanza are all co-exec producers. Tom McCarthy ("The Visitor," "The Station Agent") directed the pilot.

"Game of Thrones" is HBO's first foray into swords-and-sorcery-style fantasy -- though "A Song of Ice and Fire" has a lot more of the swords than the sorcery. Its depiction of the complex relationships between characters vying for power has drawn comparisons to "The Sopranos."

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Photo credit: HBO
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