Okay, maybe “super-sized” is an exaggeration, as the added runtime amounts to roughly four extra minutes per episode, but this is still a pretty big deal for Game of Thrones fans, particularly those who were worried about how the series would find room for all of the excessive awesomeness of the first half of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords (arguably the most popular book in the Song of Ice and Fire series…and unquestionably the best, if you ask me, which no one did), a book that runs nearly a thousand pages.
As co-showrunner Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly, “There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season.” Weiss adds, “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.”
Fellow showrunner David Benioff elaborated upon the extended runtime, proclaiming this upcoming season a “super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords.” He continues, “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”
To be more precise, the third season finale is expected to run well over an hour, in a move that required special permission from HBO, which had previously given the show extended runtimes for its pilot and for last season’s finale. In a statement, HBO confirmed the added length: “All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes.”
“So for people clamoring for another episode, it’s in there,” Weiss says. “It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”
Full story: Entertainment Weekly
Season 2 of Game of Thrones hits Blu-ray and DVD on February 19. Season 3 premieres March 31 on HBO.