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'Game of Thrones' returns Sunday, George R.R. Martin 'Robot Chicken' cameo set

Less than a week separates fans of Game of Thrones with its triumphant return to TV on Sunday as HBO comes off a great year of promoting the show.

According to Reuters, Thrones' viewership rose 20 percent in 2013 and clocked in at 14.4 million viewers across all of its platforms. That figure only falls behind the sixth and final season of The Sopranos, which is HBO's most-watched show ever, by about 50,000.

It's also noted that 42 percent of the show's audience is women, 5 percent better than AMC's Breaking Bad when is ended last year. The show currently airs in over 200 countries and though a new season has not been officially commissioned, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have signed on for two more seasons, so we can expect an announcement of a fifth season pretty soon.

In other Thrones news, fans of the show (and particularly the books) who also watch Cartoon Network will be in for a treat when author George R.R. Martin makes a claymation cameo appearance during season seven of Robot Chicken. Executive producer Eric Towner told Zap2It on Monday that Martin would be appearing as himself on the animated sketch comedy show, promising some sort of Game of Thrones parody this season. Towner did not reveal which exact episode the cameo is in.

Speaking of parody, be sure to also check out this great one that masterfully combines Thrones with Netflix hit House of Cards. "House of Thrones," which was made by Quiznos, of all things, follows a Frank Underwood-esque character as he systematically dismantles his Westerosi opponents one by one. With all the political intrigue flowing through the plot lines of these two shows, it's a pretty natural mash-up.

"As we used to say in Gaffney, when your neighbor brings you rotten deer meat, make sure he takes the first bite of jerky," Mr. "Underwood" says.

Check it out above, but beware. Though the parody shows how Underwood would theoretically take down several characters, there's actually a pretty big indirect spoiler at the end.

Game of Thrones premieres April 6 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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