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Winter is Coming: Game of Thrones Premieres

Winter is Coming: Game of Thrones Premieres (photo)

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Last night the eagerly awaited and much buzzed about “Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO. The show is based on George R. R. Martin’s wildly popular series “A Song of Ice and Fire”, but it’s not just for fans of fantasy or even medieval period dramas. Co-creator David Benioff once described the show as “The Sopranos in Middle Earth,” and while the pilot episode didn’t quite live up to that aspirational description, the show revealed a lot of potential. That is, it has a lot of potential for those who can stomach brutal violence, explicit sexuality, and the lack of any respect towards women.

After a preliminary and shocking battle, by necessity, the premiere episode of “Game of Thrones” spent a lot of time explaining the history and the characters who make up the dark world of Westeros. This is a land of unending winters, where the supernatural is real, if seldom seen. There are three main dynastic families — the Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryen — who are battling for supremacy. The Targaryen have been banished and, thus, operate on the outside of the kingdom, but the Starks and Lannisters stay close to the King. The families are complete opposites, culturally, politically, and morally. The last Hand of the King was murdered, perhaps by the Lannisters, who may be angling for the Iron Throne, despite the fact that King Robert still sits on it. As the story unfolds, several mysteries begin to reveal themselves. So perhaps as the series goes forward, “Game of Thrones” will attempt to meld the fantasy world with a good old fashioned mystery.

Creating the world of “Game of Thrones” was clearly an epic undertaking. The attention to detail is impeccable, the CGI is by stunning, and the cinematography lush. The cast is extremely capable, most notably Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Sean Bean as Eddard Stark. The well-crafted opening titles with an embedded map showing where the action was taking place were an especially helpful touch as the creators try to cram a long and complex tale into hour-long television segments. Will this be enough for the fans? Hard to say. Martin’s books sold more than 15 million copies. That means there is a rabid fanbase eager to watch the mysteries of Westeros unravel before them …and then to pick them apart to decide if they live up to the books.

What did you think?

Here’s the trailer for the series:

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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