Overview

It’s safe to say that Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon. Stemming from the best-selling series of books from George R R Martin, titled A Song of Ice and Fire, fans can watch scenes brought to life with this HBO show.

This TV show was created by DB Weiss and David Benioff for airing on the HBO Network, and there are a whopping eight seasons available to stream – with 73 episodes in total. For more popular drama, check out Russian Doll, or read our review of AT&T WatchTV. This platform offers even more top content to stream.

Premise

George R R Martin produced a series of books set in Westeros, which are part of the continent of Essos. Often labelled as a medieval fantasy epic, fans can watch the two powerful families from the books fight in a dangerous contest in order to gain control of the Iron Throne – and the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

There are also a number of noble families who wish to be independent from it, so a number of power dynamics unfold over the course of the show. Another story arc concerns how a scion who has been exiled aims to return for the throne, and a classic storyline is about the fact ‘Winter is coming’.

Cast and characters

  • Sean Bean – Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark
  • Michelle Fairley – Catelyn Tully
  • Richard Madden – Robb Stark
  • Sophie Turner – Sansa Stark
  • Isaac Hempstead-Wright – Bran Stark
  • Art Parkinson – Rickon Stark
  • Kit Harington – Jon Snow
  • John Bradley – Samwell Tarley
  • James Cosmo – Jeor Mormont
  • Hannah Murray – Gilly
  • Kristofer Hivju – Tormund Giantsbane
  • Rose Leslie – Ygritte
  • Alfie Allen – Theon Greyjoy
  • Michael McElhatton – Roose Bolton
  • Iwan Rheon – Ramsay Snow
  • Oona Chaplin – Talisa Maegyr
  • Joe Dempsie – Gendry
  • Tom Wlaschiha – Jaqen H’ghar
  • Gwendoline Christie – Brienne of Tarth
  • Gethin Anthony – Renly Baratheon
  • Mark Addy – King Robert Baratheon
  • Lena Headey – Cersei Lannister
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Jaime Lannister
  • Peter Dinklage – Tyrion Lannister
  • Sibel Kekilli – Shae
  • Jerome Flynn – Bronn
  • Charles Dance – Tywin Lannister
  • Jack Gleeson – Joffrey
  • Dean-Charles Chapman – Tommen
  • Rory McCann – Sandor ‘the Hound’ Clegane
  • Aidan Gillen – Peter ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish
  • Conleth Hill – Lord Varys
  • Stephen Dillane – Stannis Baratheon
  • Carice van Houten – Melisandre
  • Liam Cunningham – Davos Seaworth
  • Natalie Dormer – Margaery Tryell
  • Jonathan Pryce – The High Sparrow
  • Indira Varma – Ellaria Sand
  • Harry Lloyd – Viserys
  • Emilie Clarke – Daenerys Targaryen
  • Jason Momoa – Khal Drogo
  • Iain Glen – Jorah Mormont
  • Nathalie Emmanuel – Missandei
  • Michiel Huisman – Daario Naharis
  • Jacob Anderson – Grey Worm

Filming locations

There have been a number of filming locations used in Game of Thrones. These include:

  • Paint Hall Studios – Belfast, Northern Island (Primary filming location)
  • Sandy Brae, Morne Mountains (Exterior scenes, Vaes Dothrak)
  • Castle Ward (Winterfell)
  • Saintfield Estates (Winterfell godswood)
  • Tollymore Forest (Outdoor scenes)
  • Cairncastle (Execution site)
  • Magheramorne quarry (Castle Black)
  • Shane’s Castle (Tourney grounds)

Production

The idea behind Game of Thrones as a TV series began taking shape way back in 2006. This is when Benioff had a phone call with George R R Martin’s literary agent. He became aware of A Song of Ice and Fire, and shared his praise of the work with Weiss.

At this point, the pair pitched the series to HBO alongside Martin on Santa Monica Boulevard in a restaurant. In the past, Martin had spoken with other scriptwriters, but they had wanted to adapt the series into a film – which he believed wasn’t the format meant for his work.

Episodes and reception

It probably comes as no surprise to those who have enjoyed this show already, but Game of Thrones managed to bag HBO a record viewership. The fan base for the title spans the globe, with the storylines and characters becoming a regular part of pop culture.

While fans praise elements such as the complexity of the characters, the quality of acting, high levels of production and the breadth of story arcs, it has been criticised for showcasing various nudity scenes on a regular basis – along with violence and sexual violence.

That said, the show has won a staggering number of awards; notably 58 Primetime Emmy Awards. Furthermore, it has received three Hugo Awards and five nominations in the Golden Globes, plus a Peabody Award.

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