Game of Thrones, Season 1 just came out on DVD, and I must say it's awesome! The show had me at the first two minutes before anyone spoke. And when they did, I was sold. The characters are complex and the plot surprising. (Here I must confess that I haven't read the books -- yet, though I have checked out the first one to read yesterday.)
Season 1 tells the story of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell and his family. Early on, he is asked by King Robert Baratheon to become his Hand and to protect his interests at court. Ned (as he is familiarly called) is an honorable soldier and loyal friend -- and agrees reluctantly to do so. Arrayed against them is the Queen's family, the Lannisters who have legendary wealth and guile.
The central intrigue (to which we as an audience are privy to) is that the Queen is having an incestuous relationship with her twin brother -- a court secret for which people have died. But there is also the mystery of the dread"White Walkers" North beyond the Wall manned by the "Night's Watch."
The show has a late Medieval feel to it. It is more realistic in style, than not. But the fantasy elements are there, beyond the world being not ours, but its own. (Think about dragons and the "white walkers.") Know that there's a lot of blood and sex in this show -- but then, I imagine so was the Medieval period . . .
The series is a must-see, and it has gotten me started on the novels. The second season should be starting very soon on HBO.