The upcoming third season tackles the first half of George R.R. Martin’s nearly-1,000 page long book “A Storm of Swords“. The new season will introduce several new characters, including Clive Russell as Bryndn “The Blackfish” Tully and Diane Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell, “The Queen of Thorns.” Season three will cover the first half of Martin’s “A Storm of Swords”, which will be continued in year four of the show.
The executive producers say that the new season will be “super-sized”, due to extended running times. Like the previous seasons, year three will be 10 episodes long, but this year each episode will be approximately four minutes longer. Benioff says, “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57 minute ones. All those extra minutes, added together, roughly equal another whole episode. So for people clamoring for another episode, it’s in there. It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.” Also, the season premiere and finale will both run longer than 60 minutes.
Benioff and Weiss say that the book “Sword of Storms” is what made them want to do this series in the first place and so this season is particularly exciting for them. “This is the season that Dan and I have been anticipating from the very beginning.” Benioff confesses.
“We always envisioned season three as sort of the place we needed to get,” adds Weiss. “If we made it through season three, and if we could do season three right, then it would all be worthwhile. The game’s been upped. There’s so much more danger. There’s so much more risk.”
Benioff hints that, “This is the rise and fall season. There are so many characters who come into the season with power of some kind, who lose everything, and other characters who enter with almost nothing and achieve great power.”
Series executive story editor/scriptwriter Bryan Cogman states that, “In many ways this season is a little more intimate. There are a lot more character-driven scenes where you’re really getting under the skin of the characters and finding out what makes them tick.”
The creators promise “You’re never going to see the same thing twice, and the story takes twists and turns that are impossible to foresee.” Does this mean changes from the book’s story arc? No one but the show-runners can say. Certainly there will be some deviations, as is common with book-to-screen adaptations. The extent of which is yet to be seen.