Fantasy TV: HBO approves Game of Thrones


















The doorstop-size fantasy tomes in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series should be on the bookshelf of every avid geek-lit reader. Martin's clever story-crafting might better be classed as magical realism rather than fantasy; it's as much about political intrigue as it is about dragons.

But if you're a geek who isn't fond of reading (let alone reading books heavier than your head), there's a decent chance you haven't heard of Martin's series at all. That's about to change: two days ago, HBO officially approved a TV show based on Martin's stories, to be titled Game of Thrones after the series' first book.

Today, HBO releases the show's first promotional image (see above), and already fans clamor for more. "I want to see the Stark kids in full costume," says Natania of "I want some swords and armor! I demand it. And some ships. And maybe a Kraken."

Ever since I listened to the audiobooks last year, I've been daydreaming about a film or TV show version. So I googled, just in case, and quickly discovered that my dreams had already begun to come true. Followers of the Winter Is Coming blog know that HBO has been planning the pilot and potential season for the past year or so. The show's been casted, the pilot filmed, and -- much to the delight of shooting locale Northern Ireland's economy -- approved for a full season of episodes.

But what about the geeks who haven't spent the past year re-reading the books, checking the blogs, and squealing with delight at the announcement of each new casting choice? Martin's fanbase is devoted, but not big enough to support a show all on its own. Fans are already fretting about potential cancelation. HBO's historical drama Rome fell, and Dollhouse got sent to the attic. Will Game of Thrones be good enough to snag new audiences who've never read or heard of the books before?

Until this adaptation comes to our idiot boxes in Spring 2011, there's little we can do but cross our fingers and dare to hope. Take it from this diehard fan: if you think this show will interest you at all, please tune in on Day 1 and give it a shot.

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