Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for HBO, and part of the Game of Thrones franchise.
It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones (1996).
The show was both produced and filmed in Belfast (Northern Ireland) and elsewhere in the UK. Filming locations also included Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, and Spain. The series premiered on HBO in the US on 17 April 2011, and concluded on 19 May 2019, with 73 episodes broadcast over eight seasons.
Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, Game of Thrones has a large ensemble cast and follows several story arcs. One arc is about the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the noble dynasties, either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from it. Another focuses on the last descendant of the realm’s deposed ruling dynasty, who has been exiled to Essos and is plotting a return to the throne. A third story arc follows the Night’s Watch, a brotherhood defending the realm against the fierce peoples and legendary creatures of the North.
Season 01 (2011)
In the continent of Westeros, Warden of the North Eddard “Ned” Stark becomes “Hand of the King” (chief adviser) to King Robert Baratheon. When Ned’s son Bran stumbles upon Queen Cersei having sex with her twin brother Jaime Lannister, Jaime attempts to kill Bran but only succeeds in crippling him. Ned moves to King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, and discovers that Robert Baratheon’s heir Prince Joffrey and his siblings were in fact incestuously fathered by Jaime. When King Robert dies, Ned does not recognize Joffrey as the rightful heir and is executed. Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow joins the Night’s Watch, an ancient brotherhood sworn to watch over the massive Wall in the North, which separates the Seven Kingdoms from hostile tribes known as “Wildlings” and mythological humanoid creatures known as “White Walkers”. In the continent of Essos, the exiled Viserys Targaryen, son of King Aerys who was deposed by King Robert, marries off his sister Daenerys to the Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo, in exchange for an army to return to and take over Westeros. Eventually Drogo kills Viserys and Drogo later dies himself. After Drogo dies, Daenerys manages to hatch three dragons.
Season 02 (2012)
Ned’s oldest son Robb has declared war on the Lannisters and holds Jaime prisoner. However, his mother Catelyn secretly frees Jaime to ransom her daughters, Sansa and Arya, believed to be captives in King’s Landing. Sansa is being regularly abused by her betrothed King Joffrey, while a disguised Arya escapes Lannister forces in Harrenhal. Ned’s ward, Theon Greyjoy sides with his father and seizes Winterfell, the Starks’ ancestral home, though Bran and his brother Rickon escape. Meanwhile, Stannis and Renly Baratheon, brothers of the deceased King Robert, claim the throne for themselves. Stannis has the support of Melisandre, a Red Priestess of the Lord of Light. Stannis kills Renly and attacks King’s Landing, whose defense is successfully led by Tyrion Lannister, the acting Hand of the King and Queen Cersei’s younger brother. On a foray beyond the Wall, Jon Snow manages to gain the trust of Wildlings, while other members of the Watch come under attack by an army of White Walkers and their reanimated corpses. In Essos, Daenerys and her khalasar find refuge in Qarth. After foiling an attempt to steal her dragons, Daenerys leaves the city.
Season 03 (2013)
After Robb breaks his vow to marry one of Lord Walder Frey’s daughters, Frey arranges the massacre of Robb, his mother, his wife, his unborn child and his bannermen, during a wedding feast. The northern House Bolton, which had liberated Winterfell from Theon at Robb’s request, also betrays the Starks. After Robb’s death, Lord Roose Bolton is appointed the new Warden of the North by Lord Tywin Lannister, the head of House Lannister and new Hand of the King. In Dreadfort, the Boltons’ ancestral castle, Theon is tortured by Roose Bolton’s bastard son Ramsay Snow. Further north, Jon Snow climbs the Wall with a Wildling party and ends up on its south side, but then betrays them. In the capital, King Joffrey has decided to marry Margaery of House Tyrell, setting Sansa aside. Lord Tywin, however, arranges Sansa’s marriage with his son Tyrion. Jaime reaches King’s Landing, having had his dominant hand cut off. In Essos, Daenerys acquires “The Unsullied”, an army of eunuch slave soldiers. She also joins forces with the “Second Sons”, a company of mercenaries, and takes over two cities.
Season 04 (2014)
In King’s Landing, Lady Olenna secretly poisons King Joffrey at his wedding with her granddaughter Margaery, but Tyrion is falsely accused of the murder by his family, and is found guilty. However, Jaime and Varys conspire to smuggle Tyrion to Essos. Tyrion kills his father Tywin before leaving. Petyr Baelish smuggles Sansa into the Vale, ruled by her aunt and his lover, the widowed Lysa Arryn. Baelish marries Lysa but later kills her. After attempting to reunite with her family, Arya takes a ship bound for Braavos, in Essos. Having returned to the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow defends Castle Black against an army of Wildlings, who are superior in strength. The Watch is rescued by the arrival of Stannis Baratheon and his forces. A crippled Bran with newfound powers travels north beyond the Wall with a few companions. Beneath a weirwood tree, he finds the Three-eyed Raven, an old man with the ability to perceive future and past. In Essos, Daenerys takes control of Meereen and abolishes slavery. When she discovers that her trusted advisor, Ser Jorah Mormont, had spied on her for Robert Baratheon, she exiles him.
Season 05 (2015)
In King’s Landing, Margaery marries the new King Tommen Baratheon, Joffrey’s younger brother. The Sparrows, a group of religious fanatics, impose their views upon the city, imprisoning Margaery, her brother Loras, and Cersei for committing various sins. Jaime travels to Dorne to take back Myrcella Baratheon. However, Oberyn Martell’s lover, Ellaria and his bastard daughters kill Myrcella as revenge for Oberyn’s death. In Winterfell, the new seat of House Bolton, Baelish arranges Sansa’s marriage with the now-legitimized son of Roose Bolton, the sadist Ramsay. Stannis’s unsuccessful march on Winterfell, which leads to his death, allows Sansa the opportunity to escape with Theon. At the Wall, as the newly elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow forms an alliance with the Wildlings to save them from the White Walkers and their army of reanimated corpses. However, Jon is stabbed to death by some brothers who see him as a traitor. Arya arrives in Braavos, where she finds Jaqen H’ghar whom she had previously helped escape, and begins training with the Faceless Men, a guild of assassins. In Essos, Tyrion becomes an advisor to Daenerys. Ser Jorah saves the life of Daenerys against a revolt of slavers, who flees Meereen on Drogon’s back.
Season 06 (2016)
At the Wall, Melisandre resurrects Jon. Jon reunites with Sansa and leaves the Night’s Watch. Aided by the Wildlings, loyalists and the Knights of the Vale, they defeat the Boltons and Jon is proclaimed the King in the North. Beyond the Wall, Bran trains with the Three-eyed Raven but they come under attack by the White Walkers. The Three-eyed Raven is killed and succeeded by Bran, who escapes with the help of Hodor, who dies in the process. Bran realizes Jon is in fact the son of his deceased aunt Lyanna Stark and an unknown father. In Braavos, Arya continues her training with the Faceless Men, but eventually leaves them and returns to Westeros to take revenge on Walder Frey. In King’s Landing, Cersei demolishes the Great Sept with wildfire. Many die, including the High Sparrow, Margaery, and Loras. Tommen kills himself after witnessing the events, and Cersei is crowned Queen. In the Iron Islands, Euron Greyjoy usurps leadership by killing his brother and Theon’s father, Balon. Daenerys gets captured by the Dothraki but gains their devotion by burning their leaders alive. She forgives Ser Jorah. She returns to Mereen, in time to save the city from a naval siege by slavers, then sails for Westeros, joined by Theon and his sister Yara. Ellaria seizes control of Dorne, and joins Olenna Tyrell in an alliance with Daenerys.
Season 07 (2017)
Daenerys arrives in Westeros and takes over Dragonstone. She plans to overthrow Cersei, but Jon arrives to instead save Westeros from the White Walkers. The Night King, leader of the White Walkers, kills and reanimates Daenerys’ dragon Viserion. Jon and Daenerys attempt to persuade Cersei to join their cause by showing the existence of a wight they had captured, but she has her own plans to increase control over the continent. At Winterfell, Sansa is reunited with her siblings, Arya and Bran. When Lord Protector of the Vale Petyr Baelish begins to turn the Stark children against one another, they manage to have him executed. In a vision, Bran sees that his aunt, Lyanna, was, in fact, married to Prince Rhaegar, and that Jon’s real name is Aegon Targaryen, making him the true heir to the Iron Throne. After his sister Yara is kidnapped by his uncle Euron, Theon sets out to save her. The Night King demolishes a section of The Wall with the help of the reanimated Viserion, allowing the White Walkers and Army of the Dead to pass into the Seven Kingdoms.
Season 08 (2019)
Jon and Daenerys learn the Army of the Dead has breached the Wall. Theon rescues Yara, then returns to Winterfell. Sam reveals to Jon that he is actually Aegon Targaryen. Jaime arrives at Winterfell, revealing Cersei won’t help defeat the Army of the Dead. Jon reveals his Targaryen lineage to Daenerys, who wants it kept a secret. After a battle, Arya kills the Night King, destroying the Army of the Dead. Euron’s navy kills Rhaegal and captures Missandei, who is later executed by Cersei, enraging Daenerys, who, after her army takes King’s Landing, destroys much of the city indiscriminately. Cersei and Jaime are killed. Tyrion denounces Daenerys and is imprisoned for treason to await execution. Jon, unable to stop her, kills Daenerys. Bran Stark is proclaimed king, allowing the North to secede as an independent kingdom. Bran appoints Tyrion as his Hand. Sansa is crowned Queen in the North, and Arya sets sail to explore west of Westeros. Jon is sentenced to the Night’s Watch, but departs to lead the Wildlings back north of the Wall.
Game of Thrones Series
- Series 01 (2011).
- Series 02 (2012).
- Series 03 (2013).
- Series 04 (2014).
- Series 05 (2015).
- Series 06 (2016).
- Series 07 (2017).
- Series 08 (2019).
Production & Filming Details
- Creator(s): David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
- Director(s): Tim Van Patten, Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Alan Taylor, Alik Sakharov, Daivd Petrarca, David Nutter, Neil Marshall, Alex Graves, Michelle MacLaren, D.B. Weiss, Michael Slovis, Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Miguel Sapochnik, Jack Bender, Matt Shakman, and David Benioff.
- Producer(s): David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield, Bryan Cogman, Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, Mark Huffam, Joanna Burn, Frank Doelger, Chris Newman, Greg Spence, Lisa McAtackney, Bryan Cogman, and Duncan Muggoch.
- Writer(s): David Benioff, D.B.Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Dave Hill, George R.R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, Ethan J. Antonucci, and Jane Espenson.
- Music: Ramin Djawadi.
- Cinematography: Anette Haelmigk, Jonathan Freeman, Robert McLachlan, Fabian Wagner, David Franco, Gregory Middleton, P.J. Dillon, Matthew Jensen, Alik Sakharov, Martin Kenzie, Marco Pontecorvo, Kramer Morgenthau, Chris Seager, Sam McCurdy, and David Katznelson.
- Editor(s): Katie Weiland, Frnaces Parker, Crispin Green, Tim Porter, Oral Norrie Ottey, Martin Nicholson, Jesse Parker, and Yan Miles.
- Production: HBO Entertainment, Television 360, Grok! Television, Generator Entertainment, Startling Television, and Bighead Littlehead.
- Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Television.
- Original Network: HBO.
- Release Date: 17 April 2011 to 19 May 2019.
- Running time: 50-82 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: 15/18 (depends on season).
- Country: US.
- Language: English.