game of thrones finale 'Game of Thrones': Can the finale top last week's shocker?After last week’s utterly shocking (if you haven’t read the book) or expected but still amazing (if you have read it) development, where does “Game of Thrones” go from here?

[If you’re not up to date with the series, you might want to stop reading here. Because we’re talking about the aforementioned shocker in the next paragraph.]

The killing of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) was utterly faithful to George R.R. Martin‘s novel, but fans of the show who haven’t read the book were taken aback (and in some cases, more than a little angry) that the series would kill such a central character. Ned’s death understandably leaves the Stark family in shock as well, and Sunday’s (June 19) season finale will deal in part with Robb’s (Richard Madden) assuming his father’s place and seeking vengeance for his death, while Ned’s daughter Sansa (Sophie Turner) feels even more despondent over her betrothal to Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), whose mother (Lena Headey) had a hand in Ned’s death.

A preview of the finale is below. HBO also announced Friday that Season 2 of “Game of Thrones” will begin production in Northern Ireland on July 25 — just four days after several cast members, Martin and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss make an appearance at Comic-Con. Season 2 will likely air in the first half of 2012.

Are you still reeling from last week’s episode? What do you hope to see in the finale?

Posted by:Rick Porter