Game of Thrones has been commissioned for a second series after just one episode, it has been confirmed.
The fantasy series, filmed mostly in Northern Ireland, premiered in the US on Sunday night to an audience of 2.2m, followed by its UK launch on Sky Atlantic HD Monday night.
A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland Screen said it was “working hard” to bring the big budget production back to the province.
Game of Thrones, based on author George RR Martin's best-selling series of novels A Song of Ice and Fire, was shot on location at the Paint Hall studio in Belfast and in counties Antrim and Down last year.
It is understood it created around 800 local jobs and boosted the economy by £20m.
The story centres on the violent dynastic struggles of noble families on the continent of Westeros, looking to seek control of the Iron Throne.
It stars Sean Bean as Lord of Winterfell Eddard Stark, Peter Dinklage, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-waldau and local actress Michelle Fairley.
A spokeswoman for HBO confirmed Game of Thrones would return for a second season. However it is not yet know when production on the new episodes will begin.