Fantasy fanboys (and fangirls) rejoice! HBO has formally sent "Game of Thrones" to series.
 
The epic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's wildly complicated and politically rich fantasy series will begin production in June 2010 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the series is expected to premiere next spring.
 
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss adapted the pilot and HBO has ordered nine additional episodes, which are expected to tell the story that unfolds through the first book of Martin's still-developing "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. 
 
The deep cast includes Mark Addy as spirited (but occasionally buffoonish) king Robert Baratheon, Lena Headey as the king's scheming wife Cersei Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Cersei's twin Jamie, Peter Dinklage as cynical, complicated Tyron Lannister, Sean Bean as the stubborn and noble Eddard Stark, Jennifer Ehle as Eddard's regal wife Catelyn, Tamzin Merchant as displaced royal heir Daenerys Targaryen and Jason Moamoa as the savage horseman Khal Drogo.
 
The cast also includes Kit Harrington, Iain Glen, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Richard Madden, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Ron Donachie and many many more.
 
The pilot was directed by Tom McCarthy.
 
Explaining the plot of Martin's vast novel or its increasingly lengthy follow-ups would take far too long, but suffice to say it tells the story of the battle -- both violent and intellectual -- for a kingdom, pitting several rival factions each with a legitimate or illegitimate claim on the throne.
 
The first official image from the series appears to be from the very first scene in the book:
 
 

The first official image from HBO's