Get going with 'Game of Thrones'
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
There have been teasers and interviews and even food trucks, but now the day is finally (almost) here: George R.R. Martin's series "A Song of Ice and Fire" makes its television debut on HBO this weekend as "Game of Thrones."
In our pages, television reviewer Mary McNamara writes that "Game of Thrones" is "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."
Anyone who's read Martin's five books will be familiar with the characters, battles of power and intrigue in the Seven Kingdoms, a land that used to have dragons and fearsome ice creatures, but doesn't anymore -- at least, that's what they like to think. But for those who are coming to the series fresh, we've got this cheat sheet to help get a handle on who's who.
If you haven't yet read George R.R. Martin's books upon which the series is based, they're readily available. They can be found used for $5 to $6, new for retail prices and are available as ebooks for around $9 each. You might want to get started quickly, though -- the four books total close to 2,000 pages. And Martin promises that the long-awaited fifth book is coming in July.
For the record, 9:46 a.m., April 15: A previous version of this post said that five books in the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" series had been published and a sixth was on the way. Four have been published and the fifth is coming soon.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Sean Bean as Ned Stark in "Game of Thrones." Credit: HBO