"Winter Is Coming" is the series premiere of the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones. The first episode of the first season, it was written by series creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, in an adaptation of the first chapters of George R. R. Martin's book A Game of Thrones. The episode was directed by Tim Van Patten, redoing the work done by director Tom McCarthy in an unaired pilot.
As the first episode of the series, it introduces the setting and the main characters of the show. The episode centers on the Stark family, and how Ned Stark gets involved in the court politics after the king chooses him to replace his recently deceased chief administrator ("Hand of the King"). The episode received largely positive reviews, and was seen initially by 2.2 million viewers. A week before the episode first aired, HBO made the first 15 minutes available as an Internet preview.
The title of the episode is the motto (referred to as "House Words" in-universe) of House Stark, which is spoken several times in the episode and the series.