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Martin, who says he has a ways to go on the sixth of what will be a seven book series, says book fans, an ardent group that can help shape public attitudes, have responded well to the small screen adaptation. "I think most of them love the TV series. There's always a small percentage who get upset at any divergence from the books and will write angry letters about the character's hair being a different color. But I think they're a minority."

fiction are finally gaining a wider cultural acceptance and not just being this little insular thing for geeks."

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"It deals with all the problems and issues we deal with in our daily life: marriage, war, mortality, religion," Dormer says. "These are all very apt themes for the turmoil the modern world is going through, but it is safely encapsulated in a fantasy universe, so it's not too close to home," she says.

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"A big part of this is that the series has taken its time getting into the 'fantasy' stuff, namely dragons, instead building an amazing foundation of grounded and fascinating people whose fates we care about deeply," he says. "Tyrion Lannister is an iconic, unforgettable and wholly original character. It doesn't take a lover of swords and sorcery to appreciate that."

Maybe it was Big Bang Theory's Sheldon wielding Jon Snow's sword, Longclaw. Or Dwight teaching Erin the Dothraki language on The Office. Or Artie reminding his Glee friends about the fragility of their newfound social status using Thrones' ominous warning: "Winter is coming." Numerous other shows, from South Park to Parks and Recreation, have chimed in.

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"The idea behind the opening was just kind of a love letter a fun mashup of these two beloved, crazy franchises," says Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman, who says 99% of the comedy's writing staff are fans. You could argue that and you would not be wrong. But, to me, the biggest appeal of Game of Thrones is that it's an incredibly well observed, character drama about human nature and the nature of politics and power," he says. "To me, the dragons and magic are not as interesting as the tragically flawed characters operating Converse White Pumps

Martin tempers his enthusiasm, saying many TV shows and movies have captured the public's fancy. "Still, it's pretty cool that it's happened to a fantasy. That's pretty far out," he says. "Maybe it's a sign that fantasy and science Sale Converse Trainers Uk

'Game of Thrones' takes a seat at the pop

The broader audience is reflected in the ratings. Thrones drew 4.9 million viewers per episode in Season 2, a nearly 50% jump from its first season. Counting cumulative broadcasts of each episode, the series averaged 11.6 million viewers, a number exceeded at HBO only by The Sopranos and True Blood. (Season 2 DVD sales have set records for the pay cable network, even in a soft home video market.)

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage):For holding King's Landing Converse Yellow Rubber

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Simpsons adapted Thrones elaborate opening sequence to the animated world of Springfield.

in a very real world."

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And, if more proof is needed that the third season drama (Sunday, 9 ET/PT) has engulfed the public consciousness, there was the unironic tribute from an arbiter of pop culture status, The Simpsons, which adapted Thrones' elaborate opening sequence to the animated world of Springfield.

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Of course, the sex and nudity may have something to do with it too, as Saturday Night Live surmised in yet another media take that both raised and exemplified Thrones' growing profile.

"Essentially, it's a political drama, it's a thriller, it's an action film and it's a rom com. It goes beyond fantasy. Aesthetically, it looks like a historical drama, but then there are dragons, then there are spirits," says Gwendoline Christie, who plays the single minded warrior, Brienne of Tarth. "Because the relationships are so human, we can identify with it, but it also entertains our imagination because of the fantasy setting and because it's so epic."

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and the Iron Throne until his father, Tywin, and his forces arrive to thwart Stannis Baratheon, Tyrion is rewarded with relative banishment to a small chamber where he recovers from his battle wounds. No longer the magisterial Hand of the King, the crafty Tyrion must devise a way to rebound. 'Thrones,' Fairley says, "is a story that appeals to everybody because of the issues it deals with. "Season 2 is where we were introduced to her," Christie says. "What's interesting about this year is I'm playing a spy and I didn't even see it as that until about a quarter of the way through filming," Harington says.

The escapist element can provide a protective coating, too, says Natalie Dormer, who plays King Joffrey's betrothed, the power savvy Margaery Tyrell.

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Lost co creator Damon Lindelof, who knows a thing or two about catching the public's imagination, says Thrones is in the zeitgeist, engaging fans with its exploration of power and violence. It has crossed over from the dedicated Converse White Leather Rose Gold fantasy fan base the Sheldons and Dwights of the world to a wider following.

Dragons, smoky spirits and the legendary northern marauders known as White Walkers share the stage with well drawn characters in war torn Westeros, where the ruthless Lannisters staved off the advances of Stannis Baratheon, one of many would be kings, at the end of Season 2. Martin's epic book series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

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