Game of Thrones is a hugely ambitious HBO series that adapts George R.R. Martin's fantasy novels about the epic clash for control of the kingdom of Westeros. The action starts off when the adviser of King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) suddenly dies, prompting nobleman Ned Stark (Sean Bean) to take over the job. In the process, Stark discovers a horrifying secret that could bring down the entire monarchy. The show's vast web of plotlines also follows two exiled members of Westeros' previous ruling family, who are seeking the means to take back the throne by force, as well as Stark's illegitimate son Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who volunteers to join an organization protecting the northern region from possible invaders. As the second season begins, several contenders for the Iron Throne begin their machinations to claim the coveted position.