By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood March 15, 2012 at 1:27PM
"Game of Thrones"' second season debuts on HBO April 1. Thus EW's cover story (on newsstands March 16) promises that this season will be sexier, bloodier, more epic -- and not "just for nerds anymore"! The show already boasts hordes of fans (we witnessed them at Comic-Con); HBO's Michael Lombardo describes "Game of Thrones" viewers as "rabidly passionate."
Producer Dan Weiss tells EW: "There’s so many characters and locations and story lines, so many things that are atypical in television—and for good reason." And exec producer David Benioff points out: “You could do this show relatively easily with twice the money that we have, then after a couple great seasons it’d collapse under its own weight and cease to exist.”
Benioff reveals: “This season is about a country at war,..we felt like if we didn’t see the most important battle of this entire war on screen, we’re going to shortchange viewers.” They made it happen with just a 15% budget increase over last year. Lombardo says Weiss and Benioff are "not only talented writers but they're nimble," managing to pack everything in the massive battle scene onto the screen.
Check out behind the scenes videos from season two here and the trailer below: