Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones commissioned for a second series


US broadcaster HBO has announced it has commissioned a second series of its epic fantasy adventure series Game of Thrones, some of which will be filmed in Northern Ireland.

It is a dramatisation of the second book of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series of novels by George RR Martin.

The first series showed two worlds, the dark north, filmed in Northern Ireland, and the sunny south, filmed in Malta.

It began showing on Sky Atlantic on 18 April 2011.

The first series was filmed mostly on a huge set at Belfast's Paint Hall Studio in the Titanic Quarter, as well as various locations throughout Northern Ireland and Malta.

Game of Thrones stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Alfie Allen, the brother of pop star Lily Allen.

Coleraine actress Michelle Fairley was cast as Catelyn Stark, wife of Eddard Stark, who is played by Sean Bean.

The makers had previously said their long-term ambition was for each novel in the series to fuel a season's worth of episodes.

Although the first series has been completed, it is not yet clear how much the NI economy has benefited.

The government had estimated a figure of £20m.

HBO has been behind a string of popular programmes including The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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