Series / Game of Thrones

"When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die. There is no middle ground."
Queen Cersei Lannister

Game of Thrones is an HBO series based on George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, which Martin began publishing in 1996.

In the land of Westeros, seasons last for years, and the story opens with the threat of a long winter fast approaching. The Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, has unexpectedly died. King Robert Baratheon ventures north to Winterfell to name his old friend, Eddard Stark, his new Hand and second-in-command. Despite the concerns of his wife, Catelyn, Eddard reluctantly accepts his new title out of duty. Once installed as the Hand, Ned begins to uncover evidence that Jon Arryn was murdered—and that the forces behind his death may now be poised to strike at the King. The investigation ultimately becomes the catalyst for events that lead several families into a bloody feud for the control of Westeros.

The show premiered on April 17, 2011, a couple of months before the publication of the series' fifth novel, A Dance With Dragons.

The series was adapted for television by screenwriters David Benioff and Dan Weiss. In describing the series to newcomers, Benioff jokingly called it "The Sopranos meets Middle-earth". The producers and Martin made a tentative plan for seven to eight seasons, with each season's arc meant to line up with its corresponding book. However, this ultimately only worked for the first two seasons, as Book 3 (on its own the length of the entire Lord Of The Rings trilogy) was eventually split into two seasons, and then Books 4 and 5 were combined into a single season. Martin himself wrote a episode in each of the show's first four seasons.

However, as of the sixth season, the show has now overtaken the books, as Martin (as of April 2016, when the sixth season began to air) has yet to publish the sixth Ice And Fire novel, The Winds Of Winter. Benioff & Weiss have been informed by Martin of the basic plot of how the saga will end, and Martin has said that if he dies before completing his intended final two books (Winter and A Dream Of Spring) he will let the TV show's ending stand as the conclusion of the saga.

HBO's official site, featuring behind-the-scenes teasers, can be found here, whilst the main fan nexus is Winter Is Coming.

Vote for your favorite episode here.

This series provides examples of:

"If you want justice, you've come to the wrong place."

Alternative Title(s): A Song Of Ice And Fire, Tropes A To B