The Sopranos in Middle-Earth

Because of the combination of an intriguing plot and dark tones befitting a fantasy setting, David Benioff, the scriptwriter for the popular American fantasy TV series, Game of Thrones (GoT), jokingly gave the nickname above to the TV series.

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Photo: Game of Thrones, Season 4 from Movie Pilot.

Game of Thrones is a TV series adaption of an epic fantasy novel series, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, written by American author George R. R. Martin and published by HarperCollins. The TV series, aired on HBO, explores a medieval-ish fantasy world with a wide variety of characters who struggle to shine brightly in the one and only game that matters — the game of thrones and to be the most powerful man. In this game, you play to win or you lose and die. There is no middle ground.

Hardcore fans of the popular fantasy-drama series can start their couch-potato preparation as the TV series is back with Season 4, due to overwhelming responses from previous seasons! Consisting of 10 episodes, Season 4 is mostly based on the second half of ‘A Storm of Swords’, which is the third book in the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, with some material added from the fourth and fifth books.

The Game Plan (plot taken from IMDb.com)

Nine noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Political and sexual intrigue is pervasive. Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, asks his old friend Eddard, Lord Stark, to serve as Hand of the King, or highest official. Secretly warned that the previous Hand was assassinated, Eddard accepts in order to investigate further. Meanwhile the Queen’s family, the Lannisters, may be hatching a plot to take power. Across the sea, the last members of the previous and deposed ruling family, the Targaryens, are also scheming to regain the throne. The friction between the houses Stark, Lannister, Baratheon and Targaryen and with the remaining great houses Greyjoy, Tully, Arryn,Tyrell and Martell leads to full-scale war. All while a very ancient evil awakens in the farthest north. Amidst the war and political confusion, a neglected military order of misfits, the Night’s Watch, is all that stands between the realms of men and icy horrors beyond.

The Main Players of the Game

  • Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark (Sean Bean) and Lady Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley):

Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark is the head of the Stark household whose members are involved in most of the series’ intertwined plot lines. Ned and his wife, Lady Catelyn, have 5 children: eldest son, Robb (Richard Madden), dainty daughter Sansa (Sophie Turner), tomboy daughter Arya (Maisie Williams), adventurous son Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), and youngest son Rickon (Art Parkinson).

  • Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen):

Theon Greyjoy is Ned Stark’s hostage and ward who used to live with the Starks before he encountered the sadistic Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon).

  • Jon Snow (Kit Harrington):

Jon Snow is Ned Stark’s bastard son whose romantic interest lies in the red-haired Ygritte (Rose Leslie).

  • King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey):

King Robert Baratheon is Ned Stark’s old friend who is trapped in a loveless marriage with Queen Cersei Lannister. What he doesn’t know is that Queen Cersei has taken her twin, the “Kingslayer” Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as her secret lover!

  • Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)

Peter Dinklage has been recognized as the perfect person to play clever dwarf Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion is a member of the Lannister Household and the third and youngest child of Lord Tywin Lannister and the late Joanna Lannister. Because of his appearance as a dwarf, he is often mocked as the Imp or the Halfman.

  • Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance):

Lord Tywin Lannister is also known as the Lord of Casterly Rock, the Shield of Lannisport, and the Warden of the West. As the head of the Lannister Household, Lord Tywin is one of the most powerful lords in Westeros, and is the father of Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion. He loves Jaime and Cersei very much, but despises Tyrion due to his deformity, his birth that led to his beloved wife Joanna’s death, as well as for shaming the family name with his frequent whoring.

  • Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen):

Lord Petyr is the crafty Master of Coin who is one of the advisors in the king’s “Small Council”. He is accompanied by the eunuch spymaster Lord Varys (Conleth Hill).

  • Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke):

Across the Narrow Sea, Viserys is the brother to Daenerys, his sister, and are the exiled children of the king overthrown by King Robert Baratheon. The Targeryen siblings are on the run for their lives despite trying to win back the throne.

  • Leader of Nomadic Dhraki Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa):

Khal Drogo is the leader of  the nomadic tribe, Dothraki, and is the husband to Daenerys Targaryen.

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