Game of Thrones has just started but it's already a smash hit - and a critical darling - for HBO.
Lead actor Sean Bean, most famous for his role as Boromir in Lord of the Rings, plays Lord Eddard Stark, in a show he calls an edgier, sexy, dark, brooding piece, where no one is safe and that has more brutality, betrayal, back-stabbing, corruption and hordes of unsavory characters.
Bean, now a hard to believe 51, considers his character as a complex and contradictory figure: "He’s a strong, noble and honorable warrior from the North."
HBO filmed most of the series in Northern Ireland, and gave it a predominantly British and Irish based cast.
"It’s hard to say why fantasy has come to have a British accent," David Benioff, one of the series’s co-creators, told The Daily Telegraph. "But so many of the classic fantasy authors, such as Tolkien and CS Lewis, are English, and this world of Westeros, of castles, banners and jousts, is very much borrowed from European history."