A Heroic Fantasy for Skeptics

The excitement for next Sunday’s premiere episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones just went up a notch. The New York Times delves into the journey George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series took to get to HBO and it’s hard to believe it’s been in development for nearly four years now.

Mr. Lombardo would not confirm reports that the “Game of Thrones” pilot alone cost between $5 million and $10 million. He said the 10-episode series, for which Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss were already sketching out a second season, was “not the most expensive show” HBO had ever produced, “but it’s certainly near the high end for us.”

While ads for “Game of Thrones” seem to be playing up its more realistic elements — so it almost looks like a historical drama — Mr. Lombardo said HBO was not trying to disguise that it is a fantasy show.

“What we don’t want is to have people write this off as a genre piece and not for them,” he said. “I don’t think either the books or this show can be marginalized in that way.”

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