Game of Thrones season 5 world premiere: Westeros comes to London's Bloody Tower

The first episode of the new series will be viewed tonight in an appropriately bloody setting

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The Independent Culture

The three-eyed raven will soar over the Tower of London tonight as the new series of Game of Thrones has its premiere in Europe for the first time.

The fifth series of the HBO fantasy drama based on the books by George RR Martin starts next month. But members of the huge cast, which includes a number of British actors, will gather at the historic fortress tonight as fans get to watch the first episode on the big screen.

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Sophie Turner who plays Sansa Stark, Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) and Jon Snow actor Kit Harington are expected to attend tonight’s premiere alongside Mark Gatiss (Tycho Nestoris) and Aidan Gillen (Little Finger).

The fantasy, in which a three-eyed raven is a recurring symbol, sees multiple power-hungry characters fighting for the Iron Throne which would unite the Seven Kingdoms.

The series is known for high levels of violence and nudity, with beheadings, poisonings, children thrown out of windows, dismemberment, rape and incest just some of the shocking events that have been included so far.

The choice of the Tower of London as venue is wildly appropriate as American author Martin has admitted that his story is steeped in British history. His books borrow heavily from the War of the Roses and the author has previously said that the setting of Westeros is “closer to medieval Britain than anything else”.

Tower of London poppies exhibition

Zai Bennett, the director of Sky Atlantic which broadcasts the show, said: "I can't think of a more fitting venue to give what promises to be another unmissable series its big launch."

The fifth series will be screened in the UK from April 13 on Sky Atlantic and the service’s digital platform Now TV.

But fans in the UK have expressed dissatisfaction that while the drama will be aired simultaneously in 170 countries from 12 April, British audiences will have to wait 19 hours to catch up on what the Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen have been up to.

The move to broadcast globally at the same time has been made by HBO in a bid to combat piracy as it is one of most illegally-downloaded television shows in the world. In previous seasons episodes were time shifted for other territories, or even delayed weeks or months, which led to a demand for pirated versions.

This week HBO bosses David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed they’d like the hit fantasy drama to go on for at least seven seasons.

Last year the Tower of London hosted an exhibition of ceramic poppies to commemorate the First World War, attracting more than 4 million visitors.