Fans of the popular TV series Game of Thrones have been reacting with anger after it was announced that the show has been ‘suspended indefinitely’ because of legal action that has been taken by The Vatican on behalf of the Catholic church.

According to a brief statement that was released by one of The Pope’s representatives this afternoon, it has come to their attention that a number of scenes in the TV series have been ‘unacceptably similar’ to circumstances that were depicted in either the Old or the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

The Vatican’s Press Officer Giacomo Del Inspironi said: ‘Over the last three months, we have employed a team of researchers to watch every single episode of Game of Thrones after concerns were raised by a number of bishops in the field about themes from The Holy Bible being adapted by the concept creator George R R Martin.’

‘For example, the sheer wanton bloodlust portrayed in The Red Wedding was incredibly similar to The Massacre of the Innocents, which is perhaps better known to people as the point where King Herod ordered the killing of all young male children in Bethlehem – this is in Matthew 2:16–18.’

‘HBO must have thought that we would simply turn a blind eye to this outright plagiarism, but as ultimate copyright holder for both testaments we have a binding duty to protect them as pieces of intellectual property wherever possible.’

‘Furthermore, when Prince Oberyn Martell fought Ser Gregor Clegane and met his death by virtue of having his skull crushed by his iron grip, all that our team could envisage was Samson’s fight with a lion in the Old Testament’s Book of Judges.’

‘We cannot really go into any further details at the moment as an ongoing legal process is now active, but what we can say is that these storylines are thousands of years old. HBO only came along and created the TV series from 2011, with the books being written a few years beforehand, and so we feel that we have a very strong case.’

‘In many ways, we are looking at this as a test case, and the major TV and movie studios should be under no illusions about the extent to which we are prepared to protect the holiest of all books.’

In a late development, an inside source at The Vatican also hinted that another team is currently analysing a number of scenes from AMC’s The Walking Dead after concerns were raised about similarities between large gatherings of ‘walkers’ and the story of The Passover.