Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. The show was filmed in Belfast and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and the United States. The series premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011, and concluded on May 19, 2019, with 73 episodes broadcast over eight seasons. Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, Game of Thrones has several plots and a large ensemble cast, but follows three story arcs. The first arc is about the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the noble dynasties either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from it. The second story arc focuses on the last descendant of the realm's deposed ruling dynasty, who has been exiled and is plotting a return to the throne. The third story arc follows the Night's Watch, a brotherhood defending the realm against the fierce peoples and legendary creatures of the North.