TV Guide Magazine visited Northern Ireland for a sneak peek at Game of Thrones, the new HBO drama (based on the best-selling novels of George R. R. Martin), premiering this April. "It's an epic fantasy in the tradition of Tolkien, but with more sex, violence and treachery," Martin says.
The Lord of the Rings fans will find a familiar face in Sean Bean, who plays Eddard "Ned" Stark, patriarch of one of the families vying for influence in the kingdom of Westeros, which is ruled unsteadily by King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). The House of Stark's adversaries include Robert's queen, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), her brother, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
But in this land of decade-long winters, another threat looms: Beyond "The Wall," a towering barricade in the far north, lurks a cold-loving supernatural menace. As Martin says, "No one is safe."