‘Game of Thrones’ Preps for Third Season

HBO has ordered a third season for the fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books

Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones can expect the next installment in the George R.R. Martin A Song of Fire and Ice series in 2013:  A Storm of Swords. The network said Tuesday that it has renewed the fantasy hit for Season 3, meaning at least part of Martin’s third book in the series will get a television adaptation.  The wildly popular show scored a record 3.9 million viewers for the broadcast of its second season premiere, with a combined 6.3 million tuning in to the network’s multiple broadcasts for the night. That was a little over half again better than its first season. “Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season — and then surpassed them,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.”

As with the first two seasons, the third season will probably be a 10 episode run – but it probably won’t follow the same pattern of tracking one of Martin’s books from start to finish. Co-creator Weiss recently said that A Storm of Swords couldn’t be told in just 10 episodes. “A Storm of Swords is too long to fit in a single season,” said Weiss. “And as readers know, A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons take place during roughly the same time frame, so we’ll have to fold those together. The plan, if we’re lucky enough to be given the opportunity to see it through, is to use as many seasons as we need to tell the story as a whole, to do justice to George’s entire opus.”

HBO co-president Richard Plepler said at last summer’s Television Critics Association press tour that the network would produce the series as long as Martin wanted it to, but there’s a problem – Martin has been slow to put out new novels in the series, and if things keep going at this rate, HBO will overtake Martin.  At that point something’s gotta give, so we hope Mr. Martin is plugging away as we speak on the next novel and making good progress.

An expensive production, Thrones is filmed mostly in Northern Ireland.  The pilot purportedly cost HBO between $5M and $10M. Its first season won two Emmy’s and thirteen nominations as well as two Golden Globe nominations.


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