Game of Thrones (season 1)

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Game of Thrones
Season 1
Game of Thrones Season 1, Region 1 DVD box artwork, depicting Eddard Stark on the Iron Throne
Region 1 DVD artwork
StarringSee List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Release
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 17 (2011-04-17) –
June 19, 2011 (2011-06-19)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of Game of Thrones episodes

The first season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 17, 2011, in the U.S. and concluded on June 19, 2011. It consists of ten episodes, each of approximately 55 minutes. The series is based on A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. HBO had ordered a television pilot in November 2008; filming began the following year. However, it was deemed unsatisfactory and later reshot with some roles recast. In March 2010, HBO ordered the first season, which began filming in July 2010, primarily in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with additional filming in Malta.

The story takes place in a fantasy world, primarily upon the continent Westeros, with one storyline occurring on another continent to the east, Essos. Like the novel, the season initially focuses on the family of nobleman Eddard "Ned" Stark, the Warden of the North, who is asked to become the King's Hand (chief advisor) to his longtime friend, King Robert Baratheon. Ned seeks to find out who murdered his predecessor, Jon Arryn. He uncovers dark secrets about the powerful Lannister family, which includes Robert's queen, Cersei, that his predecessor died trying to expose. This leads, after Robert's death, to Ned's arrest for treason. Ned's eldest son, Robb, begins a rebellion against the Lannisters. Ned is killed at the order of Cersei's tyrannical teenage son, King Joffrey Baratheon. Meanwhile, in Essos, the exiled Viserys Targaryen, son of the former king, forces his sister Daenerys to marry a Dothraki warlord in exchange for an army to pursue his claim to the Iron Throne. The season ends with Viserys dead and Daenerys becoming the Mother of Dragons.

Game of Thrones features a large ensemble cast, including established actors such as Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley, and Iain Glen. Newer actors were cast as the younger generation of characters, such as Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams.

Critics praised the show's production values and cast; Dinklage's portrayal of Tyrion Lannister received specific accolades, as did Bean and Clarke, as well as Ramin Djawadi for music.

The first season won two of the thirteen Emmy Awards for which it was nominated: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Dinklage) and Outstanding Main Title Design. It was also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. U.S. viewership rose by approximately 33% over the course of the season, from 2.2 million to over 3 million by the finale.

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [1]U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Winter Is Coming"Tim Van PattenDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 17, 2011 (2011-04-17)2.22[2]
North of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, Night's Watch soldiers are attacked by supernatural White Walkers. One soldier escapes but is captured at Castle Winterfell. Eddard "Ned" Stark, Warden of the North, executes him for desertion. Later, six orphaned dire wolf pups are found and one given to each Stark sibling, including Ned's bastard son, Jon Snow. In King's Landing, the Seven Kingdoms capital, Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, dies suddenly. King Robert Baratheon, Ned's old friend, travels to Winterfell to recruit Ned and propose a marriage between his heir Joffrey and Ned's daughter, Sansa. Lysa Arryn, John's widow, sends her sister (Ned's wife), Catelyn, a letter claiming the Lannisters, Queen Cersei's family, murdered Arryn. Catelyn believes the Lannisters are now plotting against King Robert. Ned's young son, Brandon, climbs a tall tower and witnesses Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister, inside having sex. To hide their incest, Jaime pushes Bran from the high window. Across the Narrow Sea in Essos, exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen forces his sister, Daenerys, to marry the Dothraki warlord, Drogo, in exchange for an army to conquer Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne. Robert Baratheon became king after Jaime Lannister killed "Mad" King Aerys Targaryen, earning Jaime the nickname, "The King Slayer". The ancient Targaryens once commanded dragons, and Daenerys is given three fossilized dragon eggs as a wedding gift.
22"The Kingsroad"Tim Van PattenDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 24, 2011 (2011-04-24)2.20[3]
Ned, the new Hand of the King, travels to King's Landing accompanied by his daughters, Sansa and Arya. Catelyn remains at Winterfell to care for the still unconscious Bran. An assassin attacks Bran, but Catelyn fends him off and Bran's direwolf, Summer, kills him. Catelyn suspects the Lannisters were behind the attack. Ned's illegitimate son, Jon, heads north with his uncle, Benjen Stark, to join the Night's Watch, the protectors of the Wall, a massive ice structure that keeps the Wildling tribes and the mythical White Walkers from civilized Westeros. Before departing, Jon gave tomboy Arya a thin sword she names, "Needle". Queen Cersei's younger brother, Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf also known as "The Imp," accompanies Jon to the Wall. In King's Landing, Prince Joffrey threatens Arya's young commoner friend, later having him killed. Nymeria, Arya's direwolf, defends her, biting Joffrey. Cersei demands that Robert have the wolf killed, but Arya releases Nymeria to the wild. Sansa's direwolf, Lady, is killed instead. In Winterfell, Brandon awakens, remembering nothing about his fall. He will live, but his legs are permanently paralyzed. Meanwhile, Daenerys is befriended by Ser Jorah Mormont, a disgraced knight, while she focuses on learning how to please Drogo.
33"Lord Snow"Brian KirkDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 1, 2011 (2011-05-01)2.44[4]
Ned attends the King's Small Council and learns Westeros has been poorly managed and deeply in debt. Catelyn travels to King's Landing to covertly warn her husband about the assassination attempt, but she is intercepted by her childhood friend, Councillor Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. Bran learns he will never walk again and remains unable to remember the events leading to his fall. Jon struggles to adapt to life on the Wall. The once elite Night's Watch now recruits many low-born and/or convicted criminals who are unimpressed by Jon's bloodline. Lord Commander Mormont asks Tyrion to plead with the King to send more recruits to the Night's Watch. Daenerys, now pregnant, stands up to her brother, Viserys, threatening him if he ever abuses her again.
44"Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things"Brian KirkBryan CogmanMay 8, 2011 (2011-05-08)2.45[5]
While returning to King Landing's, Tyrion stops at Winterfell where he presents the Starks a saddle design that will allow the paraplegic Bran to ride a horse. Ned secretly investigates John Arryn's death. In the process, he discovers one of King Robert's illegitimate children, Gendry, an armorer. Robert and his guests attend a tournament honoring Ned, which Ned considers an extravagance. Jon takes measures to protect Samwell Tarly, an awkward and friendless Night's Watch recruit from the other Watchmen's abuse. A frustrated Viserys clashes with his newly-empowered sister. Sansa dreams of one day becoming queen, while Arya envisions a far different future. At a roadside tavern, Catelyn, who is Lord Hoster Tully's daughter, unexpectedly encounters Tyrion Lannister. She rallies her father's Riverrun allies to arrest Tyrion for conspiring to murder her son.
55"The Wolf and the Lion"Brian KirkDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 15, 2011 (2011-05-15)2.58[6]
King Robert's eunuch spy, Varys, has uncovered that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant. Ned rejects Robert's plan to assassinate her, considering Daenerys a non-threat. He resigns in protest as Robert's Hand, angering the king. Catelyn and her prisoner, Tyrion, arrive at her sister Lysa Arryn's fortress home in the Eyrie. News of Tyrion's capture reaches King's Landing where Jaime Lannister, the Queen's twin brother, demands answers from Ned. A vengeful Jaime orders Ned's men killed and fights Ned until Jaime's man stabs Ned in the leg from behind, leaving him wounded.
66"A Golden Crown"Daniel MinahanStory by : David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Teleplay by : Jane Espenson and David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
May 22, 2011 (2011-05-22)2.44[7]
King Robert reappoints Ned as Hand and tasks him with running affairs until Robert returns from hunting. Villagers from Riverrun arrive with news of atrocities committed by raiders, who Ned deduces were led by Ser Gregor Clegane, a Lannister retainer. Ned sentences Ser Gregor to death and summons Tywin Lannister to a trial. Ned decides to send Sansa (now reconciled with Joffrey) and Arya back to Winterfell. Ned has discovered that Joffrey and his two siblings are not Robert's biological children, and were fathered by Jaime Lannister. Bran, while testing his new saddle, is attacked by rogue Wildings. Robb, Ned's oldest son, and Theon, Ned's captive ward, whose father, King Balon, was a fallen rebel, rescue him, and the woman Wilding, Osha, is enslaved. In the Vale, Tyrion demands a trial by combat. Lysa chooses Ser Vardis as her champion. The sellsword Bronn volunteers as Tyrion's champion. He defeats Vardis and obtains Tyrion's release. Meanwhile, Viserys grows impatient and angry waiting for Drogo to fulfill his promise, and he threatens to kill Daenerys' unborn child. Drogo kills Viserys by pouring molten gold on his head.
77"You Win or You Die"Daniel MinahanDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 29, 2011 (2011-05-29)2.40[8]
In King's Landing, Ned confronts Cersei, saying he knows Jaime fathered her children and will inform King Robert. Before he can, Robert is critically wounded while hunting boar. As Robert lies dying, he signs a proclamation naming Ned "Protector of the Realm," until Robert's heir can assume the throne. Ned amends the wording to say the king's rightful heir. Ned sends word to Stannis, Robert's brother, the legal heir to the throne. Ned asks Petyr Baelish to secure the City Watch's loyalty. After Robert's death, Ned confronts Cersei and Joffrey in the throne room, where Baelish and the City Watch betray Ned and attack his men. At the Wall, Benjen Stark disappears during a foray north of the Wall. Jon and Sam are assigned as stewards, with Jon as Lord Commander Jeor Mormont personal servant. Jon is disappointed he was not chosen as a ranger until Sam points out that Commander Mormont likely intends to groom him for command. The stewards swear their loyalties to the Night's Watch. In Essos, King Robert's hired assassin is exposed by Ser Jorah before he can poison Daenerys. Drogo vows to conquer the Seven Kingdoms for his unborn son and starts marching towards Westeros.
88"The Pointy End"Daniel MinahanGeorge R. R. MartinJune 5, 2011 (2011-06-05)2.72[9]
Arya escapes the Red Keep after Syrio Forel, her Braavosian sword master, fends off guards sent to arrest her, while Sansa is captured. Robb hears the news and prepares the Northern armies to fight the Lannisters, leaving Bran behind to rule Winterfell. Lysa refuses to fight the Lannisters, and Catelyn leaves to join Robb's camp. Tyrion and Bronn are surrounded by Shagga, leader of the Stone Crows tribe. Tyrion convinces them to escort him to his father Tywin Lannister, who will pay them. At the camp, Tywin asks Shagga to help them confront the Starks in exchange for even greater payment. At the Wall, some bodies affected by the White Walkers are found. One awakens as a wight and attack Commander Mormont, but Jon kills it. In Essos, Drogo's soldiers begin attacking nearby settlements, enslaving locals in order to sell them to raise money to buy ships to cross the Narrow Sea. Drogo is wounded in a fight. Joffrey appoints his grandfather, Tywin, as Hand of the King. Sansa begs Joffrey to show Ned mercy. Joffrey agrees if Ned publicly recognizes Joffrey's claim to the throne and admits to committing treason.
99"Baelor"Alan TaylorDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissJune 12, 2011 (2011-06-12)2.66[10]
The Stark army arrives at the Twins castle; Catelyn persuades Lord Walder Frey to allow them to pass through his land and assist them in exchange for Robb and Arya marrying two of Frey's many unattractive offspring in the future. At the Wall, Jeor Mormont gives his family Valyrian steel sword to Jon in gratitude; Maester Aemon reveals to Jon that Aemon is a Targaryen. In Essos, Drogo's wound becomes septic and his death imminent. Daenerys asks a mystic slave woman to use blood magic to save him. The woman tells everyone to remain outside the tent until after the spell is cast. Daenerys goes into labor, and Jorah brings her into the tent seeking aid. Robb sacrifices 2,000 soldiers to fight the Lannister army as a diversion so he can move his army and capture Jaime. In a public hearing, Ned confesses to treason and publicly affirms Joffrey is the rightful heir. However, rather than sparing his life as negotiated, the vengeful and increasingly insane Joffrey has him decapitated, while Sansa, Cersei, and other counselors object futilely. Sansa is forced to watch her father die while Arya is nearby in the crowd.
1010"Fire and Blood"Alan TaylorDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissJune 19, 2011 (2011-06-19)3.04[11]
The North secedes from the Seven Kingdoms and proclaims Robb as king. With Jaime as the Starks' prisoner and Robert's two brothers, Stannis and Renly, each challenging Joffrey's claim to the throne, Tywin appoints Tyrion as acting King's Hand, while Tywin fights to defend Joffrey's reign. Jon attempts to desert the Night's Watch to avenge Ned and join Robb, but his Night's Watch brothers convince him to honor his oath. Jon joins an expedition to search for Benjen Stark beyond the Wall. Yoren, a Night's Watch recruiter, smuggles Arya out of King's Landing disguised as a boy, while Joffrey intends to crown Sansa his queen, despite executing her father. Daenerys's baby is born deformed and dead, and Drogo is left in a vegetative state by the witch's treacherous magic. Daenerys compassionately ends Drogo's life. She places the three dragon eggs on Drogo's funeral pyre and sets it afire, also burning the witch alive. Ignoring Jorah's pleas, she walks into the flames. When the embers die the following morning, Daenerys is found in the ashes, unharmed, flanked by three newly-hatched baby dragons. Jorah and other witnesses kneel before her.

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Starring[edit]

Also starring[edit]

Guest cast[edit]

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 1. They are listed by the region in which they first appear:

Production[edit]

HBO originally optioned the rights to A Song of Ice and Fire in 2007, at which time David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were identified as the project's writers and executive producers.[37] The first and second drafts of the pilot script, written by Benioff and Weiss, were submitted in August 2007,[38] and June 2008,[39] respectively. While HBO found both drafts to their liking,[39][40] a pilot was not ordered until November 2008,[41] with the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike possibly delaying the process.[40]

Benioff and Weiss served as main writers and showrunners for the first season. They contributed eight out of ten episodes, including one co-written with Jane Espenson. The two remaining episodes were written by Bryan Cogman and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin.[13]

Tom McCarthy directed the original pilot, but much of this was later re-shot by Tim Van Patten as the pilot was reworked into the first episode of the complete season.[42] Van Patten also directed the second episode. McCarthy is still credited as a consulting producer for the series' first episode. Brian Kirk and Daniel Minahan directed three episodes each, and Alan Taylor directed the final two.[13]

Before Game of Thrones both Benioff and Weiss worked in film, and were unfamiliar with working on a television show. This resulted in several first-season episodes being about 10 minutes too short for HBO, forcing them to write another 100 pages of scripts in two weeks. Due to lack of budget the new scenes were designed to be inexpensive to film, such as two actors conversing in one room. Benioff and Weiss noted that some of their favorite scenes from the first season were the results of the dilemma, including one between Robert and Cersei Baratheon discussing their marriage.[43]

Casting[edit]

On May 5, 2009, it was announced that Peter Dinklage had been signed on to star as Tyrion Lannister in the pilot, and that Tom McCarthy was set to direct.[44] On July 19, 2009, a number of further casting decisions were announced, including Sean Bean being given the role of Ned Stark.[45] Other actors signed on for the pilot were Kit Harington in the role of Jon Snow, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon, Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen, and Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon.[45][46]

At the beginning of August 2009, it was revealed that Catelyn Stark would be portrayed by Jennifer Ehle.[47] On August 20, more casting announcements were made, including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister and Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen, as well as Richard Madden in the role of Robb Stark, Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont, Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.[48] On September 1 Lena Headey was announced as Cersei Lannister.[49] On September 23, Martin confirmed that Rory McCann had been cast as Sandor Clegane.[50] Isaac Hempstead-Wright was confirmed as Bran Stark on October 14, followed by an announcement of Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo three days later.[51]

After the pilot was shot and the series picked up, it was announced that the role of Catelyn had been recast, with Michelle Fairley replacing Ehle.[52] Later, it was also confirmed that Emilia Clarke would replace Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys.[53][54] The rest of the cast was filled out in the second half of the year, and included Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister, Aidan Gillen as Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish, and Conleth Hill as Varys.[12]

Filming[edit]

Doune Castle
Doune Castle was used as the set for Winterfell in the pilot.

The pilot episode was initially filmed on location in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Morocco by Tom McCarthy between October 24 and November 19, 2009.[42] However, the pilot was deemed unsatisfactory and much of it had to be reshot together with the other episodes of the season in Northern Ireland and Malta.[42]

Most scenes were shot in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland border counties. Principal photography was scheduled to begin on July 26, 2010,[55] with the primary studio location being the Paint Hall Studio in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland.[56] Among various locations for the initial shooting of the pilot in 2009,[51] Doune Castle in central Scotland was used as the location for Winterfell,[57] including scenes at its great hall (the great hall was later recreated in a soundstage in Northern Ireland).[58] Additional filming locations included Cairncastle at Larne,[59] Shane's Castle,[60] and Tollymore Forest Park,[60] all in Northern Ireland. In the 2010 shooting of the series, Castle Ward was used as Winterfell instead of Doune Castle,[61] with Cairncastle for some exterior Winterfell scenes. The set for Castle Black was built at Magheramorne quarry.[62][63] The show's presence in Northern Ireland and use of Paint Hall created hundreds of jobs for residents, and made the area "a hub for film and television production".[64]

The "King's Landing" exterior scenes were shot at various locations in Malta, including the city of Mdina and the island of Gozo.[65] The filming in Malta resulted in controversy when a protected ecosystem was damaged by a subcontractor.[66]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack to Game of Thrones was originally to be composed by Stephen Warbeck. On February 2, 2011, only ten weeks prior to the show's premiere, it was reported that Warbeck had left the project and Ramin Djawadi had been commissioned to write the music instead.[67] The music supervisor of Game of Thrones Evyen Klean first suggested Djawadi to Benioff and Weiss as the replacement for Warbeck, and although Djawadi was reluctant as he had other commitments at that time, they managed to persuade Djawadi to accept the project.[68]

To give the series its own distinctive musical identity, according to Djawadi, the producers asked him not to use musical elements such as flutes or solo vocals that had already been successfully used by other major fantasy productions. He mentioned that a challenge in scoring the series was its reliance on dialogue and its sprawling cast: on several occasions already-scored music had to be omitted so as not to get in the way of dialogue.[69]

Djawadi said that he was inspired to write the main title music by an early version of the series's computer-animated title sequence. The title music is reprised as a global theme in the rest of the soundtrack, initially infrequently and as part of the theme of individual characters, then in full towards the end of season 1 during particularly important scenes.[69]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Anticipation for the series was described by various media outlets as very high, with a dedicated fan base closely following the show's development.[70][71] By April 2011, multiple entertainment news outlets had put it at the top of their lists of television events to look forward to in 2011.[72][73]

The majority of reviews for the first season were very positive, with critics noting the high production values, the well-realized world, compelling characters, and giving particular note to the strength of the child actors.[74][75] Tim Goodman's review for The Hollywood Reporter stated, "a few minutes into HBO's epic Game of Thrones series, it's clear that the hype was right and the wait was worth it".[76] Mary McNamara from the Los Angeles Times called it "...a great and thundering series of political and psychological intrigue bristling with vivid characters, cross-hatched with tantalizing plotlines and seasoned with a splash of fantasy".[77] New York Post's Linda Stasi gave Thrones 3.5/4 stars stating, "The art direction, acting and incredible sets are as breathtaking as the massive scope of the series".[78] Many critics praised Peter Dinklage for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister, with Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly stating, "...if Dinklage doesn't get an Emmy for his clever, rude Tyrion Lannister, I'll be gobsmacked"[75] and Mary McNamara from the Los Angeles Times stating, "If the man doesn't win an Emmy, heads should certainly roll.”[77]

The first season of Game of Thrones has a Metacritic average of 80 out of 100 based on 28 critic reviews, categorized as "generally favorable".[79] On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a 90% approval rating from 41 critics with an average rating of 8.38 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Its intricate storytelling and dark themes may overwhelm some viewers, but Game of Thrones is a transportive, well-acted, smartly written drama even non-genre fans can appreciate."[80]


Game of Thrones (season 1): Critical reception by episode

Ratings[edit]

The first episode attracted 2.2 million viewers its initial airing on April 17 in the U.S.,[81] and totaled 5.4 million viewers across multiple Sunday and Monday night airings.[82] It averaged 743,000 and reached a peak 823,000 in UK and Ireland on its April 18 premiere.[83][84] HBO announced that they would be commissioning a second season on the strength of the reception of the premiere episode.[85] By the final episode of the season, which aired June 20, the ratings had climbed to over 3 million.[86]

Accolades[edit]

The first season of Game of Thrones was nominated for thirteen Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Tim Van Patten for "Winter Is Coming"), and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "Baelor"). It won two, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage) and Outstanding Main Title Design.[87] Dinklage, who plays Tyrion, was also named best supporting actor by the Golden Globes, the Scream Awards and the Satellite Awards.

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2011 AFI Awards AFI TV Award Game of Thrones Won [88]
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Pilot Drama Nina Gold Nominated [89]
Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Series Drama Nominated
Portal Award Best Actor Sean Bean Won [90]
Best Actress Lena Headey Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage Nominated
Best Episode Winter Is Coming Won
Best Series Game of Thrones Won
Best Young Actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright Nominated
Maisie Williams Nominated
EWwy Award Best Supporting Actress, Drama Emilia Clarke Won [91]
[92]
Best Actor, Drama Sean Bean Nominated
63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Tim Van Patten for "Winter Is Coming" Nominated [87]
Outstanding Drama Series Vince Gerardis, Frank Doelger, Ralph Vicinanza, Mark Huffam, David Benioff, Carolyn Strauss, George R. R. Martin, Guymon Casady and D. B. Weiss Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage Won
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "Baelor" Nominated
63rd Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Nina Gold and Robert Sterne Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Series Michele Clapton and Rachael Webb-Crozier for "The Pointy End" Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series Kevin Alexander and Candice Banks for "A Golden Crown" Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Design Angus Wall, Hameed Shaukat, Kirk Shintani and Robert Feng Won
Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Paul Engelen and Melissa Lackersteen for "Winter Is Coming" Nominated
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special Paul Engelen and Conor O'Sullivan for "A Golden Crown" Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series Robin Quinn, Steve Fanagan, Eoghan McDonnell, Jon Stevenson, Tim Hands, Stefan Henrix, Caoimhe Doyle, Michelle McCormack and Andy Kennedy for "A Golden Crown" Nominated
Outstanding Special Visual Effects Rafael Morant, Adam McInnes, Graham Hills, Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, Stuart Brisdon, Damien Macé, Henry Badgett and Angela Barson for "Fire and Blood" Nominated
Outstanding Stunt Coordination Paul Jennings for "The Wolf and the Lion" Nominated
Women's Image Network Awards Actress Drama Series Lena Headey Nominated [93]
International Film Music Critics Association Best Original Score for a Television Series Ramin Djawadi Nominated [94]
1st Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated [95]
69th Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Peter Dinklage Won [96]
Best Television Series – Drama Game of Thrones Nominated
Peabody Award Game of Thrones Won [97]
16th Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Peter Dinklage Won [98]
Best Television Series – Genre Game of Thrones Nominated
Scream Awards Best Ensemble Game of Thrones Nominated [99]
Best Fantasy Actor Sean Bean Nominated
Best Fantasy Actress Lena Headey Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage Won
Best TV Show Game of Thrones Won
Breakout Performance – Female Emilia Clarke Won
Most Memorable Mutilation "Head covered in molten gold" from "A Golden Crown" Nominated
The Ultimate Scream Game of Thrones Nominated
27th TCA Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Peter Dinklage Nominated [100]
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Game of Thrones Nominated
Outstanding New Program Game of Thrones Won
Program of the Year Game of Thrones Nominated
Gold Derby TV Awards 2011 Best Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated [101]
Best Drama Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage Nominated
IGN Awards Best TV Hero Sean Bean as Ned Stark Won [102]
Best TV Twist Off with his head! Won
Best TV Episode Baelor Won
Best TV Series Game of Thrones Nominated
Best TV Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated
Best TV Actor Peter Dinklage Nominated
Best TV Actress Emilia Clarke Nominated
Best TV Hero Kit Harington as Jon Snow Nominated
Best TV Villain Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon Nominated
IGN People's Choice Award Best TV Series Game of Thrones Won
Best TV Drama Series Game of Thrones Won
Best TV Hero Sean Bean as Ned Stark Won
Best TV Twist Off with his head! Won
Best TV Episode Baelor Nominated
Best TV Hero Kit Harington as Jon Snow Nominated
Best TV Actor Peter Dinklage Nominated
Best TV Actress Emilia Clarke Nominated
Best TV Villain Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards New Series David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, George R. R. Martin, D. B. Weiss Nominated [103]
Television Drama Series David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, George R. R. Martin, D. B. Weiss Nominated
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [104]
ADG Excellence in Production Design Award One-Hour Single Camera Television Series Gemma Jackson for "A Golden Crown" Nominated [105]
Gracie Allen Awards Outstanding Female Rising Star in a Drama Series or Special Emilia Clarke Won [106]
SFX Awards Best New TV Show David Benioff and D. B. Weiss Won [107]
Best TV Show David Benioff and D. B. Weiss Nominated
Best Actress Maisie Williams Nominated
Best Actor Peter Dinklage Nominated
NewNowNext Awards TV You Betta Watch Game of Thrones Nominated [108]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Short Form Dialogue and ADR in Television Game of Thrones for "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things" Won [109]
Best Sound Editing – Short Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television Game of Thrones for "Winter Is Coming" Won
Costume Designers Guild Awards Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series Game of Thrones Nominated [110]
64th Directors Guild of America Awards Dramatic Series Tim Van Patten for "Winter Is Coming" Nominated [111]
American Cinema Editors Best Edited One-Hour Series For Non-Commercial Television Frances Parker for "Baelor" Nominated [112]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Television Series – One Hour Ronan Hill, Mark Taylor for "Baelor" Nominated [113]
9th Irish Film & Television Awards Best Television Drama Mark Huffam Nominated [114]
Best Director Television Drama Brian Kirk Nominated
Best Actress – Television Michelle Fairley Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Television Aidan Gillen Nominated
Best Sound (Film/TV Drama) Ronan Hill Nominated
Best Sound Ronan Hill Nominated
Astra Awards Favourite Program – International Drama Game of Thrones Won [115]
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, George R. R. Martin, Tim Van Patten, Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan and Alan Taylor for Game of Thrones – Season 1 Won [116]
Kerrang! Awards Best TV Show Game of Thrones Won [117]
Producers Guild Awards "The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama" David Benioff, Frank Doelger, Mark Huffam, Carolyn Strauss, D. B. Weiss Nominated [118]
Saturn Award Best Television Presentation Game of Thrones Nominated [119]
Best Actor on Television Sean Bean Nominated
Best Actress on Television Lena Headey Nominated
Best Supporting Actor on Television Kit Harington Nominated
18th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by An Ensemble in a Drama Series Amrita Acharia, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Josef Altin, Sean Bean, Susan Brown, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Ron Donachie, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Elyes Gabel, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Julian Glover, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, Richard Madden, Jason Momoa, Rory McCann, Ian McElhinney, Luke McEwan, Roxanne McKee, Dar Salim, Mark Stanley, Donald Sumpter, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Nominated [120]
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series Game of Thrones Won
IGN People's Choice Award Best TV DVD or Blu-ray For the complete first season on Blu-ray Won [121]
Visual Effects Society Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program Henry Badgett, Mark Brown, Rafael Morant, James Sutton for "Fire and Blood" Nominated [122]
Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or Broadcast Program Markus Kuha, Damien Macé, Dante Harbridge Robinson, Fani Vassiadi for "The Icewall" Won
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, Angela Barson, Ed Bruce, Adam McInnes for "Winter Is Coming" Won

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in the United States and Canada on April 17, 2011,[123][124] and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom and Ireland on April 18, 2011,[125] with a same-day release on HBO Central Europe.[126] The series premiered in Australia on Showcase on July 17, 2011.[127]

Home media[edit]

The first season of Game of Thrones was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on March 6, 2012.[128] The set includes extra background and behind-the-scenes material, but no deleted scenes, because almost all footage shot for the first season was used in the show.[129]

HBO released a Collector's Edition DVD/Blu-ray combo pack of the first season, which includes a resin-carved Dragon Egg Paperweight. The set was released in the United States and Canada on November 20, 2012.[130] The first season was released on 4K UHD Blu-ray on June 5, 2018.[131]

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season
Set details Special features
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Castilian, Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 5-disc set, 10 episodes
  • "Making Game of Thrones": A 30-minute feature including new footage from the set and interviews.
  • "Creating the Show Open": Portrays the creation of the opening title sequence.
  • "From the Book to the Screen": Interviews with Benioff, Weiss, and Martin about the adaptation process.
  • "Character Profiles": Fifteen principal characters described by their actors.
  • "The Night’s Watch": An examination of the warrior order that Jon Snow joins.
  • "Creating the Dothraki Language": Covers the creation of the Dothraki language.
  • Seven audio commentaries by, among others, Benioff, Weiss, Martin, Clarke, Dinklage and Harington.

Blu-ray exclusive:

  • "Complete Guide to Westeros", an interactive compendium of the noble houses and lands featured in Season One, and 24 histories of the Seven Kingdoms as told by the series's characters.
  • "Anatomy of an Episode": A detailed feature about the production of episode six, A Golden Crown.
  • "In-Episode Guide": Provides background information about characters, locations, and histories while each episode plays.
  • "Hidden Dragon Eggs", easter eggs.[128]
DVD release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
March 6, 2012[132] March 5, 2012[133] August 10, 2012[134]

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External links[edit]