Tom McCarthy has signed on to direct HBO's fantasy pilot Game of Thrones, and Peter Dinklage has been set in the title role.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling "Songs of Fire and Ice" novels, and is described as an epic struggle for power set in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Dinklage will play Tyrion, the Queen's brother who is treated as an outsier because of his size.

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David Benioff and D.B. Weiss penned the pilot script and are exec producing.

Game of Thrones is slated to film in the third quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in what the country's First Minister Peter Robinson hails as "the first TV production of such vast size and scale that has been filmed in Northern Ireland."