Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series produced by Netflix and distributed by FX. It is based on the Seven Kingdoms book series, written by George R. R. Martin, who serves as a producer, creative consultant and scriptwriter for the series. David Benioff & D.B. Weiss created the television series and serve as executive producers, showrunners, and the main writers.
The series consists of four fully transmitted seasons comprising thirty-four episodes total. Production of the show is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, mainly at the Paint Hall Studios. It is the largest and most expensive television production ever mounted in Northern Ireland. Filming for the series has also been conducted in Malta, Iceland, Croatia, and the USA.
The series is set in a fictional world where the season can last for years at a time. The main setting is the continent of Westeros, which was home to seven feuding kingdoms until they were united by the Targaryen family using dragons some three centuries ago. The dragons died out and the Targaryen Mad King was unseated in a civil war led by Lords Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, seventeen years before the series opens. Robert has ruled as King ever since, but when the series opens his rule is increasingly undermined by other factions and the beginning of another civil war is imminent.
Production History Edit
David Benioff was sent a collection of the first two novels in the Seven Kingdoms saga (A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings) by George R.R. Martin's agent. Initially skeptical of the fantasy genre, Benioff became a big fan of the books and invited his friend D.B. Weiss to develop the project with him for a screen adaptation. They initially considered a movie adaption, but realized this would mean losing most of the plot and characters from the books. Instead, they began working on an adaptation for television. They met with George R.R. Martin and spent several hours discussing the project. Martin was impressed with their enthusiasm and agreed with them that the series was a good fit for the cable company HBO, which Martin was already a big fan of.
After being pitched the show, HBO declined to option the project following several weeks of consideration. Netflix approached David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, and eventually agreed to option the show in November 2009. Casting announcements were mad throughout 2010, with Peter Dinklage being the first actor formally announced for the series. The pilot episode was filmed in Northern Ireland and Morocco in October and November 2010.
The series was not officially greenlit until March 2011, due to the complex negotiations between FX and Netflix. An agreement was reached with FX initially airing the episode and Netflix making the episode available immediately following the episodes' airing. Filming of Season 1 began on 18 July 2011, with Malta replacing Morocco for overseas filming. Several actors from the pilot were recast, requiring the re-filming of most of the first episode.
The Great Houses Edit
Westeros is ruled by nine noble houses, who in turn command hundreds of lesser vassal houses. Each of the Great Houses rules a large region and commands significant armies and power in their own right
- House Stark of Winterfell: rulers of the North, the largest region of the continent. Led by Lord Eddard 'Ned' Stark.
- House Bolton of the Dreadfort: vassals of the Starks who rule over the eastern lands of the North. Led by Lord Roose Bolton.
- House Umber of the Last Hearth: vassals of the Starks who rule over the lands between Winterfell and Skagos. Led by Lord Greatjon Umber.
- House Karstark of Deepwood Motte: vassals who rule over the Wolfswood, located northwest of Winterfell. Led by Lord Rickard Karstark.
- House Mormont of Bear Island: vassals of the Starks who rule over Bear Island, which is northwest of Winterfell. Led by Lady Maege Mormont.
- House Manderly of White Harbor: vassals of the Starks who rule over White Harbor, the only city in the North. Led by Lord Wyman Manderly.
- House Arryn of the Eyrie: rulers of the Vale of Arryn, noted for their chivalry. Led by the young Lord Robin Arryn and his mother, Lysa Arryn, following the death of Jon Arryn.
- House Baratheon of King's Landing: rulers of Westeros led by King Robert Baratheon. Their official seat is Storm's End in the Stormlands, ruled over by Lord Renly Baratheon.
- House Lannister of Casterly Rock: rulers of the Westerlands and the richest house in Westeros. Led by Lord Tywin Lannister.
- House Tully of Riverrun: rulers of the Riverlands, the well-traveled central region of the continent. Led by Lord Hoster Tully.
- House Frey of the Twins: vassals of the Tullys who hold the only major crossing of the Green Fork of the Trident. Noted for their large numbers and tendency to always pick the winning side. Led by Lord Walder Frey.
- House Bracken of Stone Hedge: vassals of the Tullys who rule the lands south of the Red Fork of the Trident river. Led by Lord Jonos Bracken.
- House Greyjoy of Pyke: rulers of the Iron Islands off the west coast of the continent. The ironborn are fierce and independently-minded. Led by Balon Greyjoy.
- House Tyrell of Highgarden: rulers of the Reach, a vast, fertile region in the south of Westeros. The most populous region of the continent and able to field the largest armies. Led by Lord Mace Tyrell.
- House Martell of Sunspear: rulers of Dorne, the southern-most region of the continent and an independent from the rule of the Crown. Separated from the rest of Westeros by extensive mountains, they are led by King Doran Martell.
This list of characters describes their location and status as of the first episode of the series.
House Stark Edit
- Sean Bean as Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell.
- Michelle Fairley as Lady Catelyn Stark, originally of House Tully.
- Richard Madden as Robb Stark, Eddard's eldest son and heir.
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Eddard's eldest daughter.
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, Eddard's youngest daughter.
- Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, Eddard's youngest son.
Retainers at Winterfell Edit
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, a ward and hostage for his rebellious father's behavior.
- Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel, master of arms.
- Jamie Sives as Jory Cassel, Rodrik's nephew, captain of the guards.
- Donald Sumpter as Maester Luwin, a maester of the Citadel.
- Margaret John as Old Nan, a retired servant of WInterfell.
- Susan Brown as Septa Mordane, a religious tutor and governess to Arya and Sansa.
Vassals and allies of House Stark Edit
- Clive Mantle as Lord Greatjon Umber, Lord of Last Hearth, a loyal vassal of House Stark.
- John Stahl as Lord Rickard Karstark, Lord of Karhold, a vassal and distant kinsman of House Stark.
- Michael McElhatton as Lord Roose Bolton, Lord of the Dreadfort, a vassal of Eddard Stark.
- Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow, Lord Roose's bastard son.
- Noah Taylor as Locke, a vassal and hunter in Lord Bolton's service.
- Charlotte Hope as Myranda, the kennel master's daughter at the Dreadfort, and Ramsay's bedwarmer.
- Natalia Tena as Osha, a vagabond warrior-woman.
House Lannister Edit
- Charles Dance as Lord Tywin Lannister, the widowed patriarch of House Lannister and father of Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion.
- Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, twin sister of Jaime, mother of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen.
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, a knight of the Kingsguard, twin brother of Cersei.
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Cersei and Jaime's younger brother, called the Imp for his size.
- Ian Gelder as Ser Kevan Lannister, Lord Tywin's younger brother and closest adviser.
- Eugene Simon as Lancel Lannister, Ser Kevan's son, a squire to King Robert.
- Karl Davies as Alton Lannister, a distant cousin of the main branch of the family.
Vassals and allies of House Lannister Edit
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne, a squire, a member of one of the Lannisters' vassal families.
- Fintan McKeown as Ser Amory Lorch, a loyal vassal and retainer of House Lannister.
- Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane, Prince Joffrey's bodyguard and sworn sword, long in the service of House Lannister. Known as "The Hound".
- Conan Stevens (Season 1)/Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Seasons 2 & 4) as Ser Gregor Clegane, Sandor Clegane's brother and the most feared knight in Westeros, called "The Mountain" because of his massive size.
- Anthony Morris as the Tickler, a noted interrogator and torturer in the service of Ser Gregor Clegane.
- Andy Kellegher as Polliver, a master-at-arms in the service of Ser Gregor Clegane.
House Baratheon Edit
- Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon, King of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey Baratheon, King Robert's eldest son and heir.
- Callum Wharry (Season 1-2)/Dean-Charles Chapman (Season 4-) as Tommen Baratheon, King Robert's youngest son.
- Gethin Anthony as Lord Renly Baratheon, King Robert's youngest brother, Lord of Storm's End.
- Stephen Dillane as Lord Stannis Baratheon, King Robert's middle brother, Lord of Dragonstone.
- Tara Fitzgerald as Lady Selyse Baratheon, Lord Stannis's wife, originally of House Florent.
- Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon, Lord Stannis's daughter and only child.
Vassals and allies of House Baratheon Edit
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre, Lord Stannis's adviser, a red priestess.
- Liam Cunningham as Ser Davos Seaworth, a former smuggler, now Lord Stannis' most loyal vassal.
- Kerr Logan as Matthos Seaworth, Ser Davos's son and Lord Stannis' squire.
- Oliver Ford Davies as Maester Cressen, Lord Stannis's maester.
- Lucian Msamati as Salladhor Saan, a freesail in Stannis's employ.
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, a fierce warrior from the Stormlands.
House Arryn and retainers Edit
- Kate Dickie as Lady Lysa Arryn, originally of House Tully, Catelyn Stark's sister.
- Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn, Lord Jon's only surviving son and heir.
- Brendan McCormack as Ser Vardis Egen, the captain of the Eyrie's household guards.
- Ciaran Birmingham as Mord, the Eyrie's chief gaoler.
- Jefferson Hall as Ser Hugh of the Vale, Lord Jon's former squire.
- Rupert Vansittart as Lord Yohn Royce, one of the Arryns' most stalwart vassals and supporters.
- Paola Dionisotti as Lady Anya Waynwood, one of the Arryns' vassals.
- Alisdair Simpson as Ser Donnel Waynwood, the Knight of the Gate.
House Tyrell Edit
- Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Lord Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden and the Reach. Son of Olenna and the father of Loras and Margaery.
- Finn Jones as Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Renly Baratheon's former squire and a famous tourney knight.
- Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell, Loras's sister.
- Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Redwyne, nicknamed the Queen of Thorns, the matriarch of the Tyrell family.
House Greyjoy and retainers Edit
- Patrick Malahide as Lord Balon Greyjoy, Lord of Pyke, father of Theon Greyjoy.
- Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy, the only daughter of Lord Balon.
- Michael Feast as Aeron Greyjoy, nicknamed "Damphair", a younger brother of Lord Balon.
- Forbes KB as Lorren, a noted raider and reaver in the service of House Greyjoy.
- Ralph Ineson as Dagmer, a noted raider, reaver and ship captain in the service of House Greyjoy.
- Grahame Fox as Ralf Kenning, an ironborn commander.
- Jody Halse as Adrack Humble, second-in-command to Ralf Kenning.
House Tully and retainers Edit
- Tobias Menzies as Ser Edmure Tully, the son and heir of the ailing Lord Hoster Tully and the brother of Lady Catelyn Stark.
- Clive Russell as Ser Brynden Tully, Lord Hoster's younger brother, a famous knight known as "The Blackfish"
House Frey and retainers Edit
- David Bradley as Lord Walder Frey, Lord of the Twins, an old and prickly vassal of House Tully, past ninety years of age.
- Kelly Long as Joyeuse Erenford, Walder Frey's newest wife.
- Tim Plester as "Black Walder" Frey, the great-grandson of Walder Frey and a noted warrior with a hot temper.
- Tom Brooke as "Lame Lothar" Frey, a son of Walder Frey, nicknamed after the limp he has in his left leg.
- Alexandra Dowling as Roslin Frey, one of Lord Frey's youngest daughters.
- Elizabeth Webster as Fat Walda Frey, one of Lord Frey's granddaughters, recently married to Roose Bolton.
House Martell Edit
- Pedro Pascal as Prince Oberyn Martell, popularly known as the Red Viper. Younger brother of the ruling Prince Doran Martell of Dorne.
- Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand, Oberyn's paramour.
In the Riverlands and the Vale Edit
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn, a sellsword met at the Crossroads Inn.
- Emun Elliott as Marillion, a singer and troubadour met at the Crossroads Inn.
- Sibel Kekilli as Shae, a camp-follower and prostitute attached to the Lannister army.
- Mark Lewis Jones as Shagga, a warrior clan chief from the Mountains of the Moon.
- Oona Chaplin as Talisa Maegyr, a battlefield nurse originally from Volantis.
- Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr, a red priest, warrior, famed drinker and friend of King Robert.
- Philip McGinley as Anguy, an exceptionally-skilled archer of the Brotherhood Without Banners.
- Anton Lesser as Qyburn, a disgraced maester.
In King's Landing Edit
- Aidan Gillen as Lord Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish, the Master of Coin on the king's small council.
- Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle, the master of wisdom on the king's small council.
- Conleth Hill as Varys, the Master of Whisperers on the king's small council.
- Ian McElhinney as Lord Commander Barristan Selmy, the head of the Kingsguard.
- Ian Beattie as Ser Meryn Trant, a knight of the Kingsguard.
- Wilko Johnson as Ser Ilyn Payne, the king's headsman and executioner.
- Richard Dormer as Lord Beric Dondarrion, a young lord and popular tourney knight.
- Dominic Carter as Commander Janos Slynt, the commander of the City Watch.
- Miltos Yerolemou as Syrio Forel, a master swordsman from Braavos.
- Andrew Wilde as Tobho Mott, a master armorer and smith.
- Joe Dempsie as Gendry, Mott's apprentice who is secretly a bastard of King Robert.
- Will Tudor as Olyvar, a male prostitute and spy.
- Esme Bianco as Ros, an ambitious prostitute working in Littlefinger's brothel.
- Sahara Knite as Armeca, a female prostitute.
- Josephine Gillan as Marei, a female prostitute.
- Eros Vlahos as Lommy Greenhands, a dyer's apprentice.
- Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie, a baker's apprentice.
- Andy Beckwith as Rorge, a street criminal imprisoned in the Red Keep.
- Gerard Jordan as Biter, a street criminal imprisoned in the Red Keep.
- Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H'ghar, a prisoner in the Red Keep.
- Roy Dotrice as Wisdom Hallyne, the head of the Alchemists' Guild.
- Paul Bentley as the High Septon, the head of the Faith of the Seven.
- Tony Way as Ser Dontos Hollard, a knight in service to the crown.
At Castle Black Edit
- James Cosmo as Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of Castle Black.
- Francis Magee as Yoren, a recruiter for Castle Black.
- Burn Gorman as Karl, a ranger and former assassin from King's Landing.
In the Free Cities Edit
- Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis, a charismatic mercenary.
- Ramon Tikaram as Hizdhar zo Loraq, a mercenary commander.
- Gary Oliver as Terensio Terys, a trader from Braavos
|1||"Winter Is Coming"||April 17, 2012||6.03 million|
|2||"The Kingsroad"||April 24, 2012||5.90 million|
|3||"Cripples, Bastards, And Broken Things"||May 1, 2012||6.07 million|
|4||"The Wolf And The Lion"||May 8, 2012||6.25 million|
|5||"As High As Honor"||May 15, 2012||6.12 million|
|6||"You Win Or You Die"||May 22, 2012||6.51 million|
|7||"The Pointy End"||May 29, 2012||6.47 million|
|8||"Baelor"||June 5, 2012||6.92 million|
|9||"The North Remembers"||April 9, 2013||8.05 million|
|10||"What Is Dead May Never Die"||April 16, 2013||7.87 million|
|11||"Garden Of Bones"||April 23, 2013||7.79 million|
|12||"The Ghost Of Harrenhal"||April 30, 2013||7.95 million|
|13||"The Old Gods And The New"||May 7, 2013||8.10 million|
|14||"A Man Without Honor"||May 14, 2013||8.02 million|
|15||"Blackwater"||May 21, 2013||8.25 million|
|16||"Valar Morghulis"||May 28, 2013||8.51 million|
|17||"Valar Dohaeris"||April 15, 2014||9.67 million|
|18||"Dark Wings, Dark Words"||April 22, 2014||9.50 million|
|19||"Walk Of Punishment"||April 29, 2014||9.72 million|
|20||"Kissed By Fire"||May 6, 2014||9.69 million|
|21||"The Climb"||May 13, 2014||9.80 million|
|22||"The Bear And The Maiden Fair"||May 20, 2014||9.91 million|
|23||"The Rains Of Castamere"||May 27, 2014||9.88 million|
|24||"The Wars To Come"||June 3, 2014||10.32 million|
|25||"Two Swords"||April 21, 2015||12.09 million|
|26||"The Lion And The Rose"||April 28, 2015||11.83 million|
|27||"Family, Duty, Honor"||May 5, 2015||12.00 million|
|28||"Oathkeeper"||May 12, 2015||12.21 million|
|29||"The Laws Of Gods And Men"||May 19, 2015||12.57 million|
|30||"Mockingbird"||May 26, 2015||12.89 million|
|31||"The Mountain And The Viper"||June 2, 2015||13.32 million|
|32||"Blood Of My Blood"||June 9, 2015||13.87 million|
|33||"The Children"||June 16, 2015||14.01 million|
|34||"Dreams Of Spring"||June 23, 2015||15.22 million|
- David Benioff & D.B. Weiss: episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30, 31, 33, and 34
- Bryan Cogman: episodes 3, 10, 20, 21, 28, and 29
- Jane Espenson: episodes 6 and 32
- Vanessa Taylor: episode 3
- George R. R. Martin: episodes 7, 15, 22, and 26
- Tim van Patten: episodes 1 and 2
- Brian Kirk: episodes 3 and 4
- Daniel Minahan: episodes 5, 6, 17, and 18
- Alan Taylor: episodes 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 33, and 34
- Alik Sakharov: episodes 11 and 12
- David Nutter: episodes 13, 14, 23, and 24
- Neil Marshal: episode 15
- Alex Graves: episodes 19, 20, 26, 27, 31, and 32
- Michelle MacLaren: episodes 21, 22, 29, and 30
- David Benioff & D.B. Weiss: episodes 25 and 28
Filming Locations Edit
- Northern Ireland (The Paint Hall Studios in Belfast are used for all primary interior sets.)
- Malta (Season 1)
- Croatia (Seasons 2 - 4)
- Iceland (Season 4)
- United States (Season 3)
- Canada (Season 4)