Game of Thrones Renewed for Season 3

HBO just sent forth a raven bearing good news for all the realm! King Joffrey slipped in the shower and broke his neck! Well, not really. But the next best thing: The network has renewed Game of Thrones for a third season! File this under "unsurprising news," as Season 2 has gotten off to a fantastic start both critically and ratings-wise, but everything is better when it's written in stone.

Early ratings data suggests that Game of Thrones isn't done growing and is on the same sort of trajectory that True Blood was on after its first season, and we all know where that show ended up. HBO says the Season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones has amassed a cumulative 8.3 million viewers and is on pace to exceed the average audience of Season 1.

The best part of this news is that if things stay on the current track, Season 3 will delve into the third book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels that Game of Thrones is based on, A Storm of Swords. That book—considered by many fans to be the best of the series so far and I concur—is a beast in every conceivable way, and producers have considered splitting it into two seasons. That would allow them to tackle the entire story and would also give author George R.R. Martin a little more time to write the books so HBO doesn't catch up to him with the television series (book five of seven was released last year; the first book was published in 1996).

My suggestion? Renew the series for Seasons 3 and 4, have both of those cover A Storm of Swords, and film them back-to-back. We can't let Arya Stark get too old!

Great news everybody! Now let's have a party in the comments!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I agree that the young actors will create a problem if they are too old for the filming of the later novels. I'm worried that GRRM will not complete the last two novels before the child actors are grand parents! After all the A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons were supposed to be one book and ended up as two because GRRM wrote so much. What happens if novels 5 and 6 go the same way? I'm sure the final TV seasons will still get made but I doubt it will happen without a gap of a year or two between them. For readers of the novels (and I'm one of them) that will be fantastic news because the more that GRRM writes about our beloved Westeros the better. The down side will be that some of the current actors will be grown up or dead before the final season airs. Maybe we will just have to accept new actors in the roles and hope it doesn't spoil our enjoyment of what is one of the best adaptations on TV ever.
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Leonard like this post! Haha love the community reference.
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Legit the BEST show on TV right now.
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I agree with you, but if they keep up the good work maybe they will get renewed for a 4th season after the 2nd ends airing...
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This is what I think. True Blood, I believe, was up to over 4 million viewers by the end of it's second season. If GoT can pull that off by S2's finale, I think a greenlight for season 4 is also underway.
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GAME OF THRONES is the best show ever! I love it so much that sometimes feel like a drug addictive! So more seasons are great news!



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GRRRREAT
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Thats great news. What they need to do is run A storm of swords events with the events in A feast for crows, as A feast for Crows would suck being transferred to the show, being as it has none of the main characters in it, and people don't give a fuck about the characters it does mention.
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A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons take place simultaneously, just in different locations and different characters. They will probably recombine the two and treat it as one huge book and get a couple of seasons out of that. I think it will be better on TV because they can cut out the unnecessary fat and make sure that the viewers get enough of the people they care about.
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Awesome news indeed.
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Omg, yes! :D *dances around*
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Already renewed. That's so awesome!!!
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It's hard to say about this news.
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I agree that they might have to split the 3rd book into 2 seasons, but it is a seriously long time to wait for the awesomeness that is Game of Thrones! Why not extend the series by a couple of episodes to fit the book in 1 season :-) What do you think they should do with the 4th and 5th books? I was thinking they need to combine the books for the show, for obvious reasons if you read the books, and also split them over 2 or 3 seasons... probably 2 seasons.
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Yeah extending the season would be awesome, but it's not HBO not wanting to make their normal 12 episode seasons, it's the budget. I mean can you imagine how it costs to make this show? Before GOT there was the show Rome which had great ratings, however the cost of it was also sky high so they made the 12 ep S1, and then were told that they were being canceled but were allowed to make on final shorter second season that concluded the story. Anyway i think they should do what the Sopranos did to their final #6 season when they aired the first 12 eps as Part 1 of the season then about 8 or 9 months later did part 2. So if GOT were to do Season 3 part 1 as 10 eps, then several months later Part 2 as a little shorter like 8 eps. 18 episodes should be more than enough to cover the entire book 3 and maybe carry over into four. > I only read the first three books years ago and am now rereading book 3, I remember some of the MAJOR events yet to come but not nearly the rest of the book. I plan on reading 4 and 5.

I think when it comes down to it splitting up seasons, while not ideal waiting time, is the best way to go for 1:fans, especially the readers to get way more stuff from the books put on screen. 2. HBO: it will be able to let them to have time to work out their budget and what will be put in the show. And most importantly 3. We know that George R.R Martin said that it will be a total of seven books, and of course the release dates have been spread out over the years. So with only two more books expanding the show would give him the time to finish the series, do you agree?
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They are just going to make multiple seasons out of the bigger books.



A Game of Thrones (Book 1) - Season 1 - 10 episodes

A Clash of Kings (Book 2) - Season 2 - 10 episodes

A Storm of Swords (Book 3) - Seasons 3 and 4 - 20 episodes combined



No need to get all fancy by doing season 3 part one or season 3 part two, it doesn't have to be one season = one book. As the creators have said, they are adapting the entire series to the screen, so they don't think of it as book by book.
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Celebration thread? Celebration thread.



WOOOOOOOOOT. HELL YEAH! THERE IS A GOD!
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the only god i know exists is between a women's legs. U HEARD IT HERE Firs-, Second.
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It was a given really with those ratings & soooo big a fan base. So like you said mark in the not surprising category.
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WOOOOT! Lets all celebrate with a very SPECIAL kind of wedding ;)

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Hmmm... a RED motif would be appropriate don't you think? =)
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Hell yeah
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Is that why I saw a red comet in the sky today?
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gsager1 likes this post
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Great! Now if they also renewed Fringe, the year 2012 could already be deemed a success.
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Oh know right! I effing love that show!. So far they have announced the renewals of several other fantastic genre shows like The Walking Dead, Grimm, Person of Interest, American Horror Story, and others. I find that people who like genre shows like GOT and TWD tend to watch similar shows as the others. Like there has to be at least one of the shows I mentioned you watch right?
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Well... obviously.
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BEST NEWS EVER!!!!
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Glad it got renewed even though I knew it would
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Its interesting that I got very upset while reading A Storm of Swords but its my favorite book of series...

Cheers to season 3! & 4?
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I knew buying all that Game of Thrones merchandise would pay off. Thank the Gods!
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Hey HBO, how about renewing the series INDEFINITELY, to unsure that the whole saga will be cover?



Unless there's such a thing as the Mayan Apocalypse, I cannot see the ratings going anywhere but up, so green-light it 'til infinity, give 'carte blanche' to everyone involve so far on this masterpiece and LET'S GET ON WITH THE GAME!
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Yeah that would be great, but seriously dude how rare does a show two or three episodes into it's first season get renewed for a second. Than again 2 ep into it's second renewed for a third? very rare. The only other show I can recall doing something like that was Spartacus Blood and Sand, which actually was renewed for a second season before they even aired the pilot! Anyway don't worry dude, EXACTLY like you said the ratings for GOT are gonna keep going up so I feel absolutely confident that the show will go to the very end.

Sans the Mayan Apocalypse of course! lol
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Bad business move. They don't know how many books there will be or how the ratings will be when things move to the 4th and 5th book, which are a lot slower compared to the third.
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Agreed, but HBO doesn't do show renewal decisions based on ratings. It's a subscription channel, so ratings are not that important. Network channels, on the other hand, base everything on ratings. The only thing ratings are good for for HBO is generating buzz and hype about its shows, and that is happening with GoT at the moment.
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"Feast for Crows" seemed slow because it is the background for part 2 of "Storm of Swords". HBO will definitely combine them.
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Viewers though, are important, because it shows how many of the subscribers are watching this particular show, giving an indication as to how many subs are actually spending money to watch it.
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Viewers are important, yes, but ratings mean initial airing viewer numbers collected by the Nielsen company using a certain statistical analysis method from a predetermined sample source (Nielsen households). When it comes to viewer figures, HBO is really only interested in the full viewer numbers that include all airings as well as On Demand and HBO GO viewings etc. The press release for this renewal didn't mention ratings at all, only a gross viewer number which was 8.5 million (while the rating was "only" 3.86M) and still climbing. Ratings are simply a pricing tool for network channels and advertisers, nothing more, and not much use for HBO apart from the potential buzz effect it can create in the media.



Every subscriber pays for every program on HBO even if they don't watch any of them, there's no way for them to choose to pay for only some of them. That's the whole point of a general subscription channel. Pay-per-view is a different matter, then; there the viewer pays only for what he or she watches.
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Erm, although the third and fourth are slow, that is mostly because of the plot separation, I think HBO would likely combine them so as to not confuse viewers too much, which would make them seem not so slow.....if that makes sense...
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Can anyone remind me of how much time passes in between the books?

Or rather, the time passed between the start of Book 1 and the end of Book 5?

It's been a little while since I last read them.

But this is amazing news. Book 3 is just about the craziest thing I've ever read-I can't wait to see a certain few scenes on screen. Like omg.
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You're not the first to ask this question. Here's a response I already posted on a previous GoT article: (Since you've already read the books, I apologize for the unnecessary exposition.)



George. R. R. Martin has already written five books of what is to be a seven volume series titled, "A Song of Ice and Fire". The first book, "A Game of Thrones", was published in 1996, and the fifth book was published last year. The timeline for the first book and the first season of the TV series is not known exactly, but the best estimate is between 6 to 8 months. The timelines for the next two books in the series are roughly the same. When Martin started writing the fourth book in 2001, he initially planned on a five year time leap. Here's an excerpt of an interview he did with GamePro magazine discussing the matter:



"Back at the Philadelphia Worldcon (which seems a million years ago), I announced the famous five-year gap: I was going to skip five years forward in the story, to allow some of the younger characters to grow older and the dragons to grow larger, and for various other reasons. I started out writing on that basis in 2001, and it worked very well for some of my myriad characters but not at all for others, because you can't just have nothing happen for five years. If things do happen you have to write flashbacks, a lot of internal retrospection, and that's not a good way to present it. I struggled with that essentially wrong direction for about a year before finally throwing it out."



There are no long times jumps between any of the five books that have been written. The fourth book pretty much adheres to the same 6 to 8 month timeline as the others. And the first half of the fifth book takes place during the events of the fourth book, with different characters perspectives.

So, in closing, I would say the timeline from book one to book five, is approximately 3 to 4 years.



Not that long, eh
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Yep it would be around 3-4 years. The dragon growth has been explained in the books and it was quite acceptable. They are magical creatures anyway so who among us knows how fast they really grow, right?
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Which is good otherwise we'd have a problem with the young actors aging too quickly.
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Or it would have meant recasting the entire show in order to jump 5 years.
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Fantastic news!
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I really do hope they decide to split the book in 2 as so much will be lost otherwise. And ofc a certain event in the middle of the book is the perfect way to end a season with.
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Non-book readers are going to freak out when that "event" happens. I literally threw the book across the room, vowed to stop reading the series, started reading again two days later to make sure it actually happened, found out to my utter dismay it did actually happen, and then stopped reading for 2 months before curiosity got the better of me. I'm glad it did. The end of book 3 is one of the most satisfying literary experiences I've ever had.



But still, when the shit goes down at the end of the third season, people are going to see "RED".
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LOL! I did the exact same thing! I "literally threw the book across the room" and had to take a break from reading it. I have never been so upset before that I throw a book! My husband was beside me and thought I went crazy! LOL So after that, I braced myself while reading all 5 books and did not have to throw the book again.
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I very much doubt season 3 will end with this "event". It just is not a good way to end a season with such a dismal event. If that event takes place in season 3, and I do believe it will, it would be wiser to have that happen in the penultimate episode and then the season finale will deal with the aftermath. That way the season has a chance of ending on a more positive note, just like season 1 did with Ned's death in episode 9 and the finale ending with some hope for Dany.
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It's actually the perfect cliffhanger in my opinion. People will want more and some might actually go crazy waiting for a whole year before the next season.
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I didn't like much book three...or maybe I was just soooo pissed off by all that "RED". Ok I was definitely pissed off..I haven't even finished it. Maybe the tv series will help me make peace with it...
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Woohoo!! So excited. Also, that'll help me catch up reading the last book.
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I just wonder how the fan base that hasn't read the books is going to react at some of the more negative things that happen to their favorite characters. If that will stop them from watching and keep the ratings high.
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I am one of those fans who has not read the books. My wife and I both loved Season 1, despide the shocker in episode 9. No matter what happens to the characters, we will be watching, because TV shows where the main characters are not safe are some of my favourites. Knowing that they can rub out anyone at any time REALLY makes the suspense build. So if Tyrion is involved in battles, then he might ACTUALLY get killed and that will be that! It's the ultimate ticking bomb under the seat.



No matter what happens with this show, I'm seriously looking forward to the rest of the seasons, and I hope that Martin gets his books written in time, and that HBO gives the show its full run (I was seriously disappointed that they cancelled Deadwood and Carnivale before those stories were finished).
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Cool, good to know that you will keep tuning in no matter what. Just be ready for it. I agree Deadwood was cancelled to early, never did see Carnivale.
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Duly filed in unsurprising news...



For those who've read the books and watch the series, would you recommend reading the books or sticking with the TV show first?
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You likely know the answer for yourself already. The books are almost always better than the show, so I'm going to wait until the show's over (or at least until a couple of books have finished airing on the show).



It's a question of extra content and information or surprise. I'm going with surprise. Trying, anyway. As about 70% of the comments are about the books, I don't think I'm posting here anymore.
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Tbh stick with the tv show first, because its much more exciting when you don't know what happens. Then read the books, as they contain much more details and backgroundstory than what the tv-show do.
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Read the books first, then watch the show! You will be able to enjoy it more because there's a lot to track, so a) reading it is easier and b) it rewards you with more character depth and detailed stories.
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The tv show is fantastic, but it in no way compares to the books. Because the chapters are narrated by the characters you really get to know them in a way that tv can't compete with. I'm amazed at how well the tv show has handle the books and I can't wait for each episode, but you still miss out on lots from the books. So I'd read the books, you'll enjoy the show anyway, plus you'll have to wait longer for the show to get there and believe me you want to know what happens in bk3 pt2!!!
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"Dark wings, dark words." - Not this time, baby!



*starts spontaneously break-dancing*



YES! I feel like celebrating! C'mon people, let's get drunk and go burn a giant effigy of Joffrey!



We will call it, "Joffigy".
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Even though back-to-back filming would be great and the show runners think so too, they've also said that it's not possible to do scriptwriting-wise. But, the third book will still be cut to two seasons. In fact, Benioff & Weiss have said that they are no longer following a book per season approach but will simply adapt the whole story in the best way they think it can be made. So we'll get stuff from books 2 and 3 in season 3 and then season 4 will have stuff from books 3, 4, and 5. And then season 5 would have stuff from books 4 and 5 and so on.
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This is awesome! They will have the opportunity to throw out stuff from the parts where the story "drags" a bit (like in AFFC) and use that time to show more little storylines and details from main storylines. Imo the books - however awesome they are - have some downswings in their quality (especially regarding the story focus) in the later books (4/5) so I hope the show will be able to polish that up, too.
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This is a great way to approach the adaptation. Considering the size and scope of the fantastically elaborate world Martin has created, there is bound to be an ebb and flow of excitement. But if they aren't restricted by the way the books are presented, the TV series can hopefully avoid any lulls.



I mean, could you imagine (SPOILER) an entire season without Tyrion Lannister? It's almost unfathomable.
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Yep, I don't think any TV series can afford what Martin did from book 3-5: (BOOK STRUCTURE SPOILER) End one of the most epic stories ever on several cliffhangers, leave for a year, give a season with complete new characters and stories, leave for a year AGAIN and then in a new season resolve the cliffhangers and continue the stories from 2 years ago. While for a book it can work (there are different opinions), it would be the death of every TV series (ok, except maybe Touch?).
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Excellent news. No surprise to the Master of Whisperers, Varys.
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I'm excited for Game of Thrones fans.
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Nice joke with leonard liking this post... saw that on community... very funny!!
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