How 'Games of Thrones' Differs From 'Lord of the Rings'

Game of Throne - TV Still: Conan Stevens - 2011
Helen Sloan

There's sex, it's raunchy, it's pretty violent and a bit disturbing," says "Thrones" star Sean Bean, who also appeared in Peter Jackson's film trilogy.

HBO's new drama series Game of Thrones has drawn many comparisons to The Lord of the Rings.

In fact, Thrones star Sean Bean also appeared in Peter Jackson's movie trilogy, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. And Thrones is based on the best-selling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, who has been called the "American Tolkien."

But, Bean says, there are differences between HBO's drama, which debuts Sunday night, and the Rings movies.

For starters, Thrones features explicit sex scenes, including nudity, something the PG-13-rated Rings trilogy did not.

"There's sex," Bean told the Wall Street Journal. "It's raunchy, it's pretty violent and a bit disturbing. It's got it all."

Thrones tells a sprawling, interwoven tale of feuding families, swords, sex, carnage, beasts, frayed loyalties, deception, intrigue and the pursuit of power. [Read The Hollywood Reporter's review here.]

"I think the good thing about Game of Thrones is there is such scope for it," Bean told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "With Lord of the Rings, there were admittedly three films and they were thoroughly researched and very well replicated on screen, but with what George has created, it's a very different world that goes on much longer and has more twists and tales."

In fact, a few years ago, Game of Thrones executive producer/writer David Benioff described the series as The Sopranos meets Middle Earth but later regretted making that comparison.

"These are not children's fantasy; it's sexy, violent and brutal and none of the characters are safe," Benioff told the Post-Gazette. "Characters you think will go on for six seasons meet an early end."