Wednesday 13 December 2017

A royal battle as Game of Thrones starlets slug it out on the red carpet

Liam Cunningham
Liam Cunningham

It was all glitz and glamour and not a beheading in sight as the cast of Game of Thrones gathered in the Tower of London for the premiere of the new series

The fifth series of the HBO fantasy drama based on the books by George RR Martin starts next month. But members of the huge cast, which includes a number of Irish actors like Liam Cunningham and Aidan Gillen, met at the historic fortress as fans got to watch the first episode on the big screen.

Sophie Turner who plays Sansa Stark, Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) and Jon Snow actor Kit Harington hit the red carpet alongside Mark Gatiss (Tycho Nestoris) and Aidan Gillen (Little Finger).


The fantasy, in which a three-eyed raven is a recurring symbol, sees multiple power-hungry characters fighting for the Iron Throne which would unite the Seven Kingdoms.

The series is known for high levels of violence and nudity, with beheadings, poisonings, children thrown out of windows, dismemberment, rape and incest just some of the shocking events that have been included so far.

The choice of the Tower of London as venue is wildly appropriate as American author Martin has admitted that his story is steeped in British history. His books borrow heavily from the War of the Roses and the author has previously said that the setting of Westeros is "closer to medieval Britain than anything else".

Zai Bennett, the director of Sky Atlantic which broadcasts the show, said: "I can't think of a more fitting venue to give what promises to be another unmissable series its big launch."

The fifth series will be screened in Ireland from April 13 on Sky Atlantic and the service's digital platform Now TV.

But fans have expressed dissatisfaction that while the drama will be aired simultaneously in 170 countries from 12 April, Irish audiences will have to wait 19 hours to catch up on what the Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen have been up to.

The move to broadcast globally at the same time has been made by HBO in a bid to combat piracy as it is one of most illegally-downloaded television shows in the world. In previous seasons episodes were time shifted for other territories, or even delayed weeks or months, which led to a demand for pirated versions.

This week HBO bosses David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed they'd like the hit fantasy drama to go on for at least seven seasons.


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