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