The first season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 17, 2011, in the U.S. and concluded on June 19, 2011. It consists of ten episodes, each of approximately 55 minutes. The series is based on A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. HBO had ordered a television pilot in November 2008; filming began the following year. However, it was deemed unsatisfactory and later reshot with some roles recast. In March 2010, HBO ordered the first season, which began filming in July 2010, primarily in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with additional filming in Malta. The story takes place in a fantasy world, primarily upon the continent Westeros, with one storyline occurring on another continent to the east, Essos. Like the novel, the season initially focuses on the family of nobleman Eddard "Ned" Stark, the Warden of the North, who is asked to become the King's Hand (chief advisor) to his longtime friend, King Robert Baratheon. Ned seeks to find out who murdered his predecessor, Jon Arryn. He uncovers dark secrets about the powerful Lannister family, which includes Robert's queen, Cersei, that his predecessor died trying to expose. This leads, after Robert's death, to Ned's arrest for treason. Ned's eldest son, Robb, begins a rebellion against the Lannisters. Ned is killed at the order of Cersei's tyrannical teenage son, King Joffrey Baratheon. Meanwhile, in Essos, the exiled Viserys Targaryen, son of the former king, forces his sister Daenerys to marry a Dothraki warlord in exchange for an army to pursue his claim to the Iron Throne. The season ends with Viserys dead and Daenerys becoming the Mother of Dragons.