Sean Bean Sean Bean

Talk about leaving us wanting more! Sunday's sneak peek of HBO's Game of Thrones — a too-brief 15-minute tease — showed promise for both fans of George R.R. Martin's book series and newcomers alike.

Based on the preview, here's what we think you can expect from the forthcoming series:

A grim tone: The preview kicked off with not one, but two beheadings, and the second was witnessed by a 10-year-old boy. We think it's safe to say that HBO's Game of Thrones will be a little grittier and less glorified than the Lord or the Rings franchise. Winter is indeed coming.

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Epic scope: HBO may very well have spent Lord of the Rings money, no? We got our first glimpse of the fantasy land of Westeros with the beautifully bleak landscape just north of The Wall and then swiftly traveled to Winterfell, where the Starks live. The clever computer-generated opening sequence that flies across a map of Westeros, however, gave us a better idea of how many lands we'll be traversing (as well as how many names we'll have to keep straight.)

A well-cast Stark family: Sean Bean made a solid Eddard "Ned" Stark, and we were fairly satisfied with the casting of his pretty wife Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), son Robb (Richard Madden), daughter Sansa (Sophie Turner) and bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) looked exactly how we pictured him, and we're delighted with how Arya (Maisie Williams) archery-bombed him with a little spark in her eye. Rickon must have been there somewhere, but the youngest of the Starks wasn't given anything to do.

Game of Thrones first look: Winter has arrived

Incomprehensible danger beyond The Wall: There was something out there, and even though the Night Watch deserter called it a White Walker, we're still not sure what that is or how they'll fight it — especially since Ned doesn't believe they exist anymore. As the various Houses of Westeros are battling over the Iron Throne, they might want to pay attention to what's going on beyond The Wall as well.

Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 17 at 9/8c on HBO.

How did you like preview? Are you looking forward to the premiere?