How great is this news! Sean Bean has been cast in HBO's adaptation of the fantasy book series A Song of Fire & Ice: Game of Thrones, written by George R.R. Martin. I am really excited to see what HBO does with this series. Bean will take on the lead role of Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark. As you know Bean played Boromir in LOTR, he is a great actor, and I think he is a perfect fit for the role. Mark Addy is in final negotiations to also join the production. Kit Harrington, Jack Gleeson, Harry Lloyd, and Peter Dinklage also have come aboard.
Harrington will play Jon Snow, Bean's bastard son, and Lloyd will play Viserys, a powerless ruler who seeks to marry off his sister to a powerful king. Gleeson will play Joffrey, King Robert's son. Dinklage will play Tyrion, the Queen’s brother who is treated as an outsider because of his size.
You've gotta admit HBO is great at what they do, and I think they will do a fantastic job bringing the series to life. Look what they did with Rome, Carnival, Deadwood, and Band of Brothers. They go all out with production value, and they are good at telling stories, so I don't think anyone should be worried with this series, because it is in good hands. I can't wait to see this brought to life.
A Song of Ice and Fire follows three principal storylines, divided by geography and participants.
The first storyline, set in the Seven Kingdoms themselves, chronicles a many-sided struggle for the Iron Throne that develops after King Robert's death. The throne is claimed by his son Joffrey, supported by his mother's powerful family, House Lannister, but Robert's brother Stannis claims that Robert's children are illegitimate, and that the throne should fall to him. Robert's youngest brother, Renly, also places a claim with the support of the extremely powerful House Tyrell. Whilst these three claimants battle for the Iron Throne, Robb Stark, Lord Eddard Stark's heir, is proclaimed King in the North as the northmen and their allies in the Riverlands seek to return to self-rule. Likewise, Balon Greyjoy also (re-)claims the ancient throne of his own region, the Iron Islands, with an eye towards independence. The War of the Five Kings is the principal storyline in the second and third novels, while the fourth novel concerns the realm's recovery in the face of the coming winter.
The second storyline is set on the extreme northern border of Westeros. Here, eight thousand years ago, a huge wall of ice and gravel was constructed by both magic and labor to defend Westeros from the threat of The Others, a race of ice creatures living in the uttermost north. This Wall, 300 miles long and 700 feet tall, is defended and maintained by the Sworn Brotherhood of the Night's Watch, whose primary duty is to guard against the Others, but by the time of the novels it is badly under-strength and has almost forgotten its original purpose, instead being threatened by the human ‘wildlings' or ‘free folk' who live to the north. This storyline follows Jon Snow, bastard son of Eddard Stark, as he rises through the ranks of the Watch, learns the true nature of the threat from the north, and prepares to defend the realm from it, despite the fact that the people of Westeros are too busy warring to send support. By the end of the third volume, this storyline has become somewhat entangled with the civil war to the south with the arrival of one of the claimants to the Iron Throne after the defeat of his armies in battle.
The third storyline is set on the huge eastern continent and follows the journeys of Daenerys Targaryen, the last (known) scion of House Targaryen and another claimant to the Iron Throne. Daenerys's adventures showcase her growing ability, as she rises from a near-penniless wanderer to a powerful and canny ruler who possesses the last living dragons. Though her story is separated from the others by many thousands of miles, her stated goal is to reclaim the Iron Throne, and it is presumed she will travel to Westeros before the end of the series. While she has no memories of Westeros and is barely known there, she may still be welcomed: the chaos of two civil wars in rapid succession has led to much yearning among the smallfolk for the days of stability under the Targaryens.