HBO has briefly lowered the gates to Westeros. Expect many return visits.
On Sunday night, the network debuted a 15-minute preview of their upcoming fantasy epic series, "Game of Thrones." Based on the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series of novels by George R.R. Martin, the series follows the politics, magic and wars over the Iron Throne, the highest seat in the kingdom's capital of King's Landing.
Confused? Don't be -- HBO is hoping to attract both hardcore fantasy viewers and the mass audience that poured in for the "Lord of the Rings" movies. The show will weave together story lines from the book series' four novels and three prequel novellas, with both wars amongst humans and other species, such as the Others (sound familiar, "Lost" fans?).
Sean Bean stars as Eddard "Ned" Stark, and Michelle Fairley plays his wife, Catelyn.
The series debuts April 17th; check out the long preview below -- as a warning, there are some graphic images of violence involved.WATCH: