Looks like Canal+ Sweden is aiming for a Spring 2011 air date for Game of Thrones, according to their article covering the show. Headlined, “The most longed-for TV series ever” and claiming that “Not since The Lord of the Rings has there been so much interest in a book adaptation”, they go to discuss the massive fan following, the blogs and forums, and the like. We hope to eventually get a hold of a more precise air date.
This news follows on the heels of Sky Atlantic’s announcement this morning that the show will air in April in the UK. We won’t be surprised if a number of other overseas broadcasters shoot for a Spring date, to minimize the amount of time between their airings and U.S. airings, which’ll be a great thing for the fan community on the Internet.
The history of the series in Sweden is interesting in some ways. Published by Forum Bokförlag, the original novel (split into two volumes) featured a piece of Stephen Youll cover art rarely seen in the U.S. This cover features Ser Brynden Tully (the Blackfish), Lady Catelyn, and Youll’s unique depiction of the Arryn moon-and-falcon which influenced Virginia Norrey’s heraldic depiction in the appendices (GRRM’s original intention is closer to this). It was originally intended for the U.S. edition before the publisher went with the silver-foil cover featuring the Iron Throne.
The response in Sweden was poor enough in 1998 that Forum did not publish the rest of the series. Then, come 2005 when the series has taken off in popularity, Forum made a second go with a new edition of the series. This time, they published straight through A Storm of Swords... and stopped there. The assumption is that sales were soft enough that they didn’t feel it was economical to publish the rest of the series. To some degree, this has to be put down to the fact that many fantasy fans in Sweden had already read the series in English. However, with Canal+ (and, perhaps, SVT after Canal+‘s initial airing) due to air the show in Sweden with what seems a deal of hype, it may make sense for the publisher to reconsider, if they haven’t already. Both in the U.S. and the U.K., publishers are set to reissue the first novel with cover art using series photography, suggesting they’re preparing to reap the benefits a new, large fan base can bring.