The hottest show on TV has been described as “The Sopranos in Middle Earth,” and there is some truth to that. After all, HBO’s epic fantasy/action series Game of Thrones was ranked in one 2012 study as having the second-highest number of deaths per episode, with an average of 14 characters biting the dust each episode.
But regardless of the show’s bloodlust, Game of Thrones has exploded in popularity, proving to be a ratings juggernaut for HBO. Now shown in 75 countries around the world, the fantasy series features the largest cast on TV (with more than 275 actors per season) and big-screen production values. The Game of Thrones pilot alone cost between $5 and $10 million, with a price tag of $50 to $60 million for the entire first season.
Now in its third season, Game of Thrones claims one of the most dedicated fan bases in all media. A 2012 Vulture study ranked the fans of various entertainment franchises and declared Game of Thrones fans to be the most devoted—outranking fans that support “Harry Potter” and even…gulp…“Star Wars”!
Based on a fantasy trilogy by author George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords) and primarily shot in four countries (Ireland, Malta, Morocco and Croatia), Game of Thrones is concerned with the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the various noble families who are trying to claim the power of the Iron Throne.
One of the show’s intriguing aspects is its setting, inspired by one period of European history or another—such as England’s War of the Roses (1455-1485), or France during the first half of the 14th century, or the great Icelandic sagas of the Vikings.
The show is rich in intrigue, deception and treachery—like its New Jersey neighbors, The Sopranos—and its depiction of medieval violence is unflinching and brutal. The show’s plot is so intricate and involved that it can hardly be summarized within any one article. Keep track with the Game of Thrones Viewer’s Guide or visit the Official Game of Thrones Production Diary.
Like any good show there’s even more that goes on behind the scenes to propel it into fandom:
Game of Thrones Stats
Turning Fantasy into a Lucrative Reality
Game of Thrones is just another example of the astounding popularity of fantasy-themed entertainment these days, and it shows the huge market that exists for creative professionals who know how to use today’s sophisticated software tools to produce incredible results for film, television, video games and other uses. Digital Media Academy helps kids and teens discover the thrills of filmmaking through exciting tech camps held on America’s coolest college campuses.
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