As if you didn’t see this one coming: HBO has renewed the immensely popular fantasy series Game of Thrones for a fourth season. The pickup comes just a couple of days after the show’s season three premiere, which pulled in a record-breaking 4.4 million viewers. The renewal was essentially a foregone conclusion, as Game of Thrones has been a massively profitable series for HBO. Not only does the show pull in great ratings, but its DVDs and Blu-rays—an incredibly lucrative market for the pay cable network—are record sellers. Hit the jump for more.
As long as Game of Thrones doesn’t take a massive drop in viewership (and I mean massive), we can safely expect the show to continue until executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have concluded adapting author George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. The trio recently spoke about what would happen if they catch up to Martin’s books (he’s writing the penultimate novel now), and you can read their response right here.
Season three of Game of Thrones roughly covers the events of the first half of Martin’s third book, A Storm of Swords. Season four would likely cover the second half of the novel, but Weiss and Benioff have been very clear about the fact that they’re adapting the entire book series and not just one book at a time, so fans can expect to see threads of later novels woven throughout the entire series. Assuming the show retains the same production schedule it used for seasons two and three, filming on season four will likely begin in July. If you missed it, you can catch up on Allison’s recap of the season three premiere right here. Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9pm ET/PT.