The worst thing about HBO’s Game of Thrones—and it may be the only negative about the show—is that as we make our way through a season, we begin to dread that 10th episode, knowing full well that that’s where it ends for the year, instead of the usual 12th episode.
Season 3 of the series will be doubly painful, as it will be based on author George R.R. Martin‘s biggest book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, A Storm of Swords. That means instead of the season being focused on one entire book, this one will only be covering the first half of the book, leaving us to wait another year just to finish this book’s stories.
But on the bright side of life, that means at least one more season than there are Martin books, if we’re fortunate enough to get them all covered by HBO. And now comes word that episodes this season will be longer!
The average Game of Thrones episode runs about 52 minutes in length, with a couple of exceptions. Because this next book is so large and so much is going on, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be jam-packing as much content into every episode as they can.
“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.”
With Benioff adding:
“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.”
There’s also a chance that the season 3 finale will run over an hour, but they need to get special approval from HBO for that to happen. They’ve gotten this permission twice before, with the pilot and the season 2 finale.
All in all, the hope is to have almost an episode worth of extra content tagged on in small bits at the end of each episode this season, despite there still only being 10 episodes total.