Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones will still get a ten-episode run of season three, but each of those episodes will pack in a few extra minutes of blood, sex and treachery. As a special bonus, the season three finale will exceed one hour, something that must be done by special permission from the network. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are in the process of adapting roughly the first half of author George R.R. Martin’s third novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, “A Storm of Swords.” Hit the jump for more on season three’s episode expansion from Benioff and Weiss, plus a new production blog focusing on art direction. Game of Thrones returns on March 31, 2013.
EW reports that season three of Game of Thrones will receive both extended episode run times and a finale that will once again exceed one hour. Here’s what the Weiss had to say:
“There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season. One of the great liberties with HBO is we’re not forced to come in at a specific time. We can’t be under 50 minutes or over 60, but that gives us a lot of flexibility…So for people clamoring for another episode, it’s in there. It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”
Benioff commented futher, saying:
“A super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords. Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”
The network also commented on the possibility of a finale exceeding 60 minutes, as follows:
“All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes.”
So there you have it, fans! 11 episodes of Game of Thrones crammed into ten. Works for me! Check out the new production blog for the art direction in season three below and get caught up on our previous coverage of Game of Thrones here.