Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO. It is an adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, the first of which is A Game of Thrones.
The series has been praised by both television critics and historians for what was perceived as a sort of medieval realism. George R.R. Martin set out to make the story feel more like historical fiction than contemporary fantasy, with less emphasis on magic and sorcery and more on battles, political intrigue, and the characters, believing that magic should be used moderately in the epic fantasy genre. Martin has said that “the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords but from ourselves”.
Academics have classified the series as neo-medieval which focuses on the overlapping of medieval history and popular fantasy. A common theme in the fantasy genre is the battle between good and evil, which Martin says does not mirror the real world. Martin explores the relationship between good and evil through the questions of redemption and character change. The series allows the audience to view different characters from their perspective, unlike in many other fantasies.
|Season||Ordered||Filming||First aired||Last aired||Novel(s) adapted|
|Season 1||March 2, 2010||The second half of 2010||April 17, 2011||June 19, 2011||A Game of Thrones|
|Season 2||April 19, 2011||The second half of 2011||April 1, 2012||June 3, 2012||A Clash of Kings|
|Season 3||April 10, 2012||July–November 2012||March 31, 2013||June 9, 2013||A Storm of Swords|
|Season 4||April 2, 2013||July–November 2013||April 6, 2014||June 15, 2014||A Storm of Swords|
|Season 5||April 8, 2014||July–December 2014||April 12, 2015||June 14, 2015||A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, and original content|
|Season 6||April 8, 2014||July–December 2015||April 24, 2016||June 26, 2016||Outline from The Winds of Winter and original content|
|Season 7||April 21, 2016||August 2016–February 2017||July 16, 2017||August 27, 2017||Outline from A Dream of Spring and original content|
|Season 8||July 30, 2016||October 2017–July 2018||April 14, 2019||May 19, 2019|
Principal photography for the first season was scheduled to begin on July 26, 2010, the primary location was the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Exterior scenes in Northern Ireland were filmed at Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains (standing in for Vaes Dothrak); Castle Ward (Winterfell); Saintfield Estates (the Winterfell godswood); Tollymore Forest (outdoor scenes); Cairncastle (the execution site); the Magheramorne quarry (Castle Black); and Shane’s Castle (the tourney grounds). Doune Castle in Stirling, Scotland, was also used in the original pilot episode for scenes at Winterfell. The producers initially considered filming the entire series in Scotland but decided on Northern Ireland because of the availability of studio space and tax credits.
It has won numerous awards throughout its run, including 59 Emmy Awards, eight Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Peabody Award. It holds the record for total Emmy Award wins for a scripted television series (surpassing the record of 37 wins held by Frasier since 2004) and for most Emmy nominations for a drama series, with 161. In 2019, the show’s final season established a new record for most Emmy nominations received in a year with 32, breaking the 25-year-long record of 26 nominations established by NYPD Blue in 1994.
In 2013, the Writers Guild of America listed Game of Thrones as the 40th best-written series in television history. In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter placed it at number four on their best TV shows ever list, while in 2016 the series was placed seventh on Empire‘s “The 50 best TV shows ever”. The same year, Rolling Stone named it the twelfth “greatest TV Show of all time”. In 2013, at the Media Access Awards, George R. R. Martin accepted the Visionary Award from the Writers With Disabilities committee of the Writers Guild of America, for its positive portrayal of characters with disabilities.