It's not as though you needed another reason to be excited about the upcoming third season of HBO's fantasy series Game of Thrones, but here's one anyway: the episodes are going to be longer.
The show's seasons have been relatively short, even by cable standards: instead of the typical twelve or thirteen episodes, Game of Thrones only runs ten, often leaving fans desperate for more. This year, despite the fact that the season will still be only ten episodes long, fans will be getting more Game of Thrones than ever.
There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season,” executive producer Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Calling season 3 "a super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords" (the book from which season 3 is adapted), fellow executive producer David Benioff added that most episodes of the season will be closer to 56 or 57 minutes, as compared to the 52-minute outings that populated season 2.
“So for people clamoring for another episode, it’s in there,” Weiss said. “It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”
Much like the show's second season finale, the season 3 finale will also run over an hour long.
I couldn't be more excited, personally. More Game of Thrones is more Game of Thrones, no matter how you slice it. And with A Storm of Swords presenting some of the richest material the show has gotten to adapt yet, I'll take all I can get.
Game of Thrones season 3 is slated to premiere Sunday, March 31, on HBO.