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"Winter Is Coming" is the series premiere episode of the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones. The episode was directed by Tim Van Patten, redoing the work done by director Tom Mc Carthy in an unaired pilot.

The first episode of the first season, it was written by the show creators David Benioff and D. Weiss, in a faithful adaptation of the first chapters of George R. As the first episode of the series, it introduces the setting and the main characters of the show.

Winterfell receives the royal court, including King Robert, his wife Queen Cersei, their children – heir Prince Joffrey, Princess Myrcella, and Prince Tommen – as well as Jaime, a member of the Kingsguard, and his and Cersei’s younger brother Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf known as "The Imp".

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That scene is one of a few to be filmed on 35 mm film, and consequently slight film grain can be seen in the HD version of the episode.

The first episode of Game of Thrones obtained 2.2 million viewers in its premiere airing, with an additional 2 million viewers in the reruns aired during the same night.

Weiss, who then read the first book in two days, was very enthusiastic about a possible television project based on the books. Weiss, the first episode includes the plot of the book's chapters 1–9 and 12 (Prologue, Bran I, Catelyn I, Daenerys I, Eddard I, Jon I, Catelyn II, partial Arya I, Bran II, Daenerys II).

They arranged a meeting with Martin, who asked them if they knew who Jon Snow’s real mother might be, and was satisfied with their answer. Changes in the adaptation include the sequence of events in the prologue (in the books it is Gared and not Will who survives and is beheaded by Eddard afterwards, and Arya's material is set before the arrival of the royal family), new scenes showing the Lannister twins' perspective, and Daenerys's wedding night showing Drogo not waiting for her to consent to sex.

Tamzin Merchant was replaced as Daenerys Targaryen by Emilia Clarke, and Jennifer Ehle was replaced as Catelyn Stark by Michelle Fairley.

The Doune Castle in Scotland was originally used to recreate Winterfell, and its great hall was used for some interior shots.

In Malta, the Verdala Palace, the 16th century summer palace of the president of Malta, was used for the exterior scenes at Illyrio's mansion.

The Azure Window was used as the backdrop for the wedding.

However, the pilot was deemed unsatisfactory and had to be reshot.

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