Winter is coming... in April! Last night HBO showed a 10 minute behind-the-scenes feature for "Game of Thrones" before the season finale of "Boardwalk Empire." In it HBO revealed that its hot new show will be debuting in April 2011. There's also plenty of awesome character reveals (Petyr Baelish!) and scene sneak previews (Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister at the Wall!) for all those of you out there who are fans of the series like we are.
In honor of the 10 minute featurette, we decided to list the 10 reasons we're excited for the show -- and you should be too! So watch the video above and then hit the jump for 10 reasons we can't wait for winter to arrive. Be warned, some spoilers await!
10. The Actors
Pretty much everyone I've ever gushed about "Game of Thrones" to has immediately perked up the second I mention that Sean Bean, Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage are involved. Those three powerhouse fantasy actors are just the tip of the iceberg for this great cast, though. And everyone should go into "Game of Thrones" knowing that none of author George R.R. Martin's characters are safe.
9. It Makes History Better
The best way to explain the initial storyline for "Game of Thrones" is that it's basically England's War of the Roses set in a fantasy environment. Except, as Martin explains in the video, it takes the basic history and makes it so much better. Are there dragon lords and supernatural wights lurking in England's past? Didn't think so.
8. The Political Intrigue
It's all about the politics in Westeros, and that alone causes more problems than it solves. But it's that "Game of Thrones" focuses on its political elements instead of its fantastical ones that makes it so perfect for HBO. It's been said before and the comparison is apt: "Game of Thrones" is for people who don't like fantasy the same way "Battlestar Galactica" was for people who don't typically like sci-fi.
7. The Series Doesn't Need to Deviate From the Source Material
Similarly, there's so much sex, politics and intrigue in "Game of Thrones" that there's no need to embellish the original story like HBO did for "True Blood." Changing large parts of the story line will cause some big issues for the future of the show as well because Martin has created quite the intricately woven plot in his four novels.
6. The Production Design
"Game of Thrones" isn't going to have as insane a production budget as "Rome" did, but you can tell from the behind-the-scenes video that a lot of effort is going into making this show as realistic looking as possible. No more corny "Xena: Warrior Princess" sets; "Game of Thrones" is going for as close to the look of "Lord of the Rings" as it can.
5. Sword Fights and Jousting
Like all good medieval stories, "Game of Thrones" has plenty of swordplay and other hastiludes. Except here it's not only the knights who are having the fun. Tyrion the dwarf, 11-year-old Arya Stark and even the overweight, effeminate Sam Tarly all get in on the fun.
4. Amazing Characters
Soon the names Robert Baratheon, Daenarys Targaryen and Jon Snow are going to be as familiar to you as your own family. The thing about Martin's characters (which is touched upon in the behind-the-scenes vid) is how fleshed-out they are. These aren't your typical men in black and men in white, but well thought-out creations that make unexpected and very human life decisions. You will come to love them and hate them, and worship Martin for his craftsmanship.
3. Fantasy Television Has Not Been Done Like This Before
There was "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules," and then the more recent "Legend of the Seeker," but fantasy has never before been done the HBO "Game of Thrones" way. The novels would certainly make for great as films, but the stories are so multi-layered and deep that they lend themselves even better to TV. Just look at the amount of effort going into the sets andcharacters and the overall feel of the show, and you should be convinced.
Did you catch that quick flash of a giant dragon skull in the behind-the-scenes featurette? Yes, that's right people, "Game of Thrones" will eventually have dragons. When the story starts off, dragons are extinct and relegated to having their skeletons stowed away in the Red Keep's store rooms, but if you were paying attention you might have seen Daenarys holding a strange looking stone that almost looked like an egg. Let's just say this season will have a fiery finale.
1. Release Date
The biggest reveal from last night's behind-the-scenes clip was a release date. No longer are we counting down towards the vague "spring 2011"; now we know that "Game of Thrones" is going to debut in April! Sure, it's a little ironic that a show with a tag line like "Winter is Coming" is going to hit televisions when spring is turning into summer, but that also means that it's 10-episode-long season isn't going to have too much competition. In fact, it should wrap up its first season right in time for "True Blood" season four to premiere. And that transition is something to be excited for.
What are some of the reasons you're excited for "Game of Thrones"?