Catch Carnalbanagh on ‘Sky Atlantic’ in Sean Bean new mini-series

THE rugged rural scenery of Carnalbanagh will be viewed by thousands throughout the UK in the comfort of their own living rooms from Monday, April 18, when Sky Atlantic HD starts screening the much-talked about medieval fantasy television series, ‘Game of Thrones’.

Being launched on that channel just a day after its premiere in America, the HBO series stars Big Screen heart-throb Sean Bean.

Based on the series of best-selling novels - A Song of Ice and Fire - by George R.R. Martin, the 10-part epic looks set to redefine the fantasy genre.

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It is an expansive saga set in the Seven Kingdoms of the mythical continent Westeros and follows several noble families as they vie to rule the land.

Scotland and Malta provided locations for the many environments as did Ireland, where Carnalbanagh was selected as being a realistic backdrop for some rural scenes.

An authentic looking and elaborately made set for the American series was created there in the foreground of Slemish late last September attracting considerable interest from locals and passers-by.

‘Game of Thrones’ is set in the fictionial land of Westeros where “summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime”, making the beautifully rugged countryside of Carnalbanagh an ideal, atmospheric location.

Additional filming locations in Ireland, included Belfast, Shane’s Castle, Castle Ward, and Magheramourne.

The series is based on author George R. R. Martin’s best- selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series of novels, chronicling the violent dynastic struggles among noble families for control of the Iron Throne of Westeros.

The book revolves around a battle among seven kingdoms and between two ruling families for control of the Iron Throne, a possession that ensures survival through a 40-year winter to come.

The series opens with King Richard Baratheon (BAFTA® award nominee Mark Addy, The Full Monty, A Knight’s Tale), who is married to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey, 300) of the wealthy and corrupt House of Lannister, asking Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark (Sean Bean, Red Riding, The Lord of the Rings) to become his chief advisor after the questionable death of his right-hand man.

Anticipation for the series, which sees Sean Bean take the lead role of Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, has been described by various media outlets as extremely high.

“Thrones” marks the latest fantasy epic-style production for Bean who starred in The Lord of the Rings but who will be best known to television audiences here for his portrayal of the fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, ‘Sharpe’.

However, when his latest television series hits Sky Atlantic next month, heart-throb Bean may - at least in the eyes of locally based viewers - be overshadowed at times by natural beauty of his mid-Antrim backdrop.