HBO is pushing hard to lure the widest audience possible to its premiere of "Game of Thrones," an ambitious and gritty fantasy series set to debut Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
Based on author George R.R. Martin's acclaimed "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, the series will receive encores for its pilot episode, "Winter is Coming," Sunday at 10:05 and 11:15 p.m.
During the week, HBO is giving its audience additional opportunities to catch the series. On Monday, the pilot will air again at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, HBO2, HBO Signature, HBO Comedy, HBO Zone and HBO Latino. HBO2 will also encore it Monday at 10:05 and 11:15 p.m. ET.
Featuring a strong adult tone reminiscent of "Deadwood" and "The Sopranos," "Game of Thrones" chronicles a treacherous clash among royal families to secure ultimate power of Westeros, a vast kingdom where life is often fraught with peril and shockingly short.
Unlike most fantasy sagas, magic takes a backseat in Martin's world; tragedy, deadly political intrigues and engaging character studies are the core of his tale.
Some of the key members of the show's large ensemble cast include Sean Bean ("The Lord of the Rings") as Eddard "Ned" Stark; Lena Headey ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," "300"), as queen Cersei Lannister; Peter Dinklage ("Threshold") as her cunning dwarf brother Tyrion; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ("New Amsterdam") as Cersei's twin, Jaime; Emilia Clarke as the exiled queen Daenerys Targaryen; Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark; Jason Momoa ("Stargate: Atlantis") as Khal Drogo.
The series is executive produced by David Benioff ("Troy," "The Kite Runner") and D.B. Weiss. They also co-wrote the pilot.
The novel "A Game of Thrones" quickly won readers over when it hit the shelves in 1996. It captured the 1997 Locus Award and received nominations for both the 1997 World Fantasy Award and the 1998 Nebula Award. More awards followed for subsequent books in the series. Seven novels are planned, with the fourth volume, "A Feast For Crows," being the latest. "A Dance With Dragons," Martin's highly anticipated fifth book in the saga, is poised to hit stores July 12.
View a trailer for "Game of Thrones" here.
View the latest behind-the-scenes peak here.
Watch for our reviews of the series, starting Monday.
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