While fans of Martin’s epic medieval fantasy patiently (and in many cases not-so-patiently) await the fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, they can instead shift their focus to the upcoming HBO adaption of the first book, Game of Thrones.
If you read the series, the name “Game of Thrones” should instantly stand out. To everyone else, HBO is producing a 10-episode season encompassing the first book of Martin’s series. If it is a success, a second series based on the book A Clash of Kings, should follow.
A Song of Ice and Fire is Martin’s take on a Tolkien-like universe that features magic, but more as a background than as a useable element. The first three books are said to loosely follow medieval European history, especially the War of the Roses- a tumultuous time marked by a series of civil wars between ruling houses in England.
A Game of Thrones focuses primarily on the Seven Kingdoms, a feudal-style region of the world Westeros, split between ruling monarchies and bordered to the North by the “Wall”, which is guarded from the “others” by a military organization called the Night Watch. In the Seven Kingdoms, political and military machinations are stirring, and assassinations, murders, alliances, and shadowy maneuvers threaten to destabilize the region, while in the East, an exiled princess may hold the key to the future.
The full series is listed as seven books, which would potentially make seven seasons of the TV show, although Martin originally claimed it would be six, before splitting the fourth novel into two books, 2005’s A Feast for Crows, and the unreleased A Dance with Dragons, so more books might follow. Martin has claimed that the remaining books, which are tentatively titled The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, will conclude the series.
If the HBO series is a hit, it may present an unusual problem. Martin has somewhat polarized his fans recently, as the fifth book that he claims is almost finished, has remained in a state of “almost finished” since even before the release of the fourth book in 2005. The fifth book, A Dance With Dragons, is tentatively set to be released early next year, just as it has been scheduled for release several times over the last five years.
Regardless, the recently released trailer below shows off the HBO series that stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey is due out in spring of 2011, although a firm release date has not been announced.
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