The series premiere is still months away, but it's never too early to talk about HBO's upcoming epic "Game of Thrones," based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy book series "A Song of Ice and Fire." It's a loaded, layered drama, but to summarize, think one part sword-wielding medieval fantasy, a la "Lord of the Rings," and one part sex-charged fight for power, like "The Tudors" or "The Sopranos."

MTV News recently caught up with a few key cast members at the Television Critics Association press tour, where young star Emilia Clarke revealed the hazards of shooting racy scenes. We also spoke to actor Sean Bean, a veteran of sorts when it comes to the fantasy genre, although usually in roles of a villainous nature.

In "Game of Thrones," Bean plays Eddard "Ned" Stark, a noble commanding officer and Lord of Winterfell, the northernmost territory in Martin's fictional world. Given Bean's resume, particularly his work in "Lord of the Rings," we asked the English actor whether he had any reservations in taking on another role in the fantasy genre.

"I seem to be quite drawn to the medieval, magical fantasies, as it were," he said. "It was such a good part, and I read the book and the character, and I just really wanted to play it, so I didn't have any doubts whatsoever," Bean assured us.

He said diving into the world of "Thrones" was a completely new experience.

"I wasn't aware of the books at first, and I wasn't aware of how big a following it had," Bean admitted. "And then when I realized it, I talked to David Benioff, the writer, who I worked with on 'Troy.' He's a great guy, does some great dialogue, and it's just a wonderful production."

Bean went on to say that HBO's involvement sweetened the deal.

"Knowing you've got the backing of HBO and the quality of them, I thought, 'Wow, this is a great role,' " he said. "[Ned is] a good guy as well, a good man for a change for me," he said with a smile.

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