Dan Weiss David Benioff Production Season 3

S3 episodes to be longer on average

James Hibberd talked to the showrunners David and Dan, and to HBO, and learned that the episodes are coming in longer this year. They are still editing them, so the lenghts may vary a bit, but:

“There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season,” Weiss says. “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.”

“A super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords,” Benioff adds. “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”

On top of that, the finale will run longer than one full hour, much like the first episode of the first season, and the finale of the second.

Hear Me Roar: Joy! I always wondered why they weren’t pushing for episode lengths closer to sixty, when they have that option (especially when S2 ones were a bit shorter on average). Says Winter, it will be nice to see the exact run times when they are released. Indeed. Cannot wait!


  • Excellent! I am all for that! Also they are right, given the amount of material that will be covered it makes sense, never mind that “A Storm Of Swords” is split into two seasons. IT’s all gravy!

  • Well, let us all wait impatiently for February when all the juicy infos will pop up… trailers, making-of, titles, lenghts, pictures…

  • a Christmas miracle!

    Basically like getting a bonus episode stretched over the course of the season is a nice way to go since actual bonus episodes are out of the question.

  • This news compliments the fact that I just finished ASOS last night quite nicely.

    Just two more books and I can 100% safely join in the speculation extravaganza!

  • This is great news. I definitely felt like the episodes in season 2 could’ve been a little bit longer. Between Storm of Swords being spread out over more than 1 season and the coming episodes being a few minutes longer I feel like ASOS will be adapted better than ACOG since there will be more time for plot and character development.

  • Good to hear they’re doing it now, but I don’t know why it hasn’t been something worth doing from the outset. Certainly they’ve always shoot more footage than they’ve used. I would have liked to have seen it.

  • Off Topic:
    Lol, I seem to run into errors these days. There is an error code at the top of the episode guide page of both seasons. It repeats itself several times.

  • that is phenomenal news!!!! If I werent going to see the hobbit tonight I would jumping for joy but the hobbit is taking up most of my brain at this point

  • Everyone! I don’t know where to put this but iTunes just put up season two of game of thrones along with three brand new and FREE bonus features for season two. Everyone go download now!!!

  • serum,

    The Hobbit is good dispite what anyone is saying have fun.

    The more Thrones the better I say.

    Speaking of the Hobbit, Conan Steven’s was awesome in that. Can we petition him back for Season 4?

  • There’s a new making of video literally just been posted on the facebook page!! Can’t watch it now though as I’m in uni and have no headphones to listen to it. Arrggh!!

  • Andrew:
    Everyone! I don’t know where to put this but iTunes just put up season two of game of thrones along with three brand new and FREE bonus features for season two. Everyone go download now!!!

    Link? GoT S2 on the US iTunes just lists the episodes and a recap video of season one.

  • Yes yes yes! WIC you must post the new making of game of thrones that they just released on facebook. The link for the itunes features is https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/game-of-thrones-season-2/id526846194 For me it comes up with no episode list actually only three season two bonus features: Season 2: invitation to the set, destinations of season 2, season 2: how to be an extra, with run times of only 2 minutes, 6 minutes, and 3 minutes respectively

  • Honestly, HBO should just go ahead and give this series 12-episode seasons. All those excuses the executives have made are just a front.

    Obviously, if they gave them more episodes, it would cost more money per season and would require potentially bigger gaps between the airing of one season and the start of the next due to extended production schedule.

    This is now their most expensive show by far, more expensive than Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. And yet, they don’t give the creatives the right amount of time to do it justice. There are always gonna be a couple points in each season, wherein two super-crammed episodes could easily be expanded into three for a better flow and feel.

    The news about episodes not being shorter than 50′ is new. I recall that some previous HBO programs, like Carnivale had the license to do 46′ episodes.

  • Oh this is awesome news! With the rushed pace of season 2 I’m glad ASOS is getting even more coverage.

  • Excellent news.

    But, I do remember reading on this site that the RW happens in episode 9. Is that confirmed? If they’re going to have a whole nother hour of story after that, there’s going to be hardly any book left for Season 4. The RW happens on about page 700 of 1100 in the paperback of SoS. If they take in another 75ish pages, that only leaves a little more than 300 pages to cover in Season 4. That’s more like 3/4 of SoS for Season 3, not roughly half like everyone involved keeps quoting.

    Now, to be sure, the last 1/4 of SoS is the most jam packed, awesome part of any of the books, which has plenty of material to expand upon (and with very few new cast members required for Season 4 it would be the perfect time to tell the story of Robert’s Rebellion.)

    Of course, I’m sure things will be shuffled as D&D have been promising all along. But, I’d really like them to hold off on the RW to Episode 10 of Season 3. What a great, shocking finale that would make. And it would also give us a little time to set up the Red Viper and other things before plowing straight into the PW (which happens only about 100 pages after the RW) in Episode 1 of Season 4.

    With so little story left to tell in Season 4, the other option would be to delve in to Feast and Dance. For the vast majority of characters, I really hate this option. The way Book IV ends is fucking amazing, and wraps up so many of the stories we’ve been following. Tyrion killing Tywin. Petyr killing Lysa. Lady Stoneheart. Jon elected Lord Commander. All of those are such amazing endings. I suppose you could go a little farther into the books with Dany and Arya. But, the vast majority of the characters have endings that serve as excellent cliffhangers, but also provide quite a bit of catharsis for the story thus far. It’d be a shame to lose that.

    Just an opinion

  • dizzy,

    yeah, I’ve actually talked to a couple people who’ve seen it and they absolutely loved it and said that it literally follows the book line for line……9:35pm could not get here fast enough

  • good news. But can we just get a full 12 or 13 episodes for season 4 please. Boardwalk has 12. Virtually every other hour long program has 12.

  • Proof yet again that D&D are constantly evolving and improving season to season. One of my biggest beefs last season was the short runtime of most of the episodes. With so many storylines to be told why would they make 52min episodes and not take full use of the 60mins HBO gives them?

    I am very happy that D&D decided to use up the entire timeslot. 4 mins here and there x10 basically equals a whole extra episode.

    Thank you! =)

  • Excellent news – every additional minute of Game of Thrones is appreciated.

    Quick question – and perhaps a bit off topic: does anyone know if Patrick Malahide has filmed any episodes this season? Wondering if Balon’s death will happen on-screen rather than the somewhat anti-climatic way it did in the books

  • Abyss,

    It is the first time I have seen any of those bonus features for season two. Like I said it’s a total of about 13 minutes but they were very interesting and iTunes as well as these features in HD are all free!

  • This is amazing news!

    And to the conversation above, The Hobbit was amazing! Lighter in tone, a little more CGI, but it did the book justice and I can’t wait for the next one. See it in IMAX 3D if you can. Critics dropped the ball on that one for sure. I love how the Cinemascore was an ‘A’ from actual viewers.

    A great few years it will be to be a fantasy fan…

  • serum:

    yeah, I’ve actually talked to a couple people who’ve seen it and they absolutely loved it and said that it literally follows the book line for line……9:35pm could not get here fast enough

    It does not. It adds a ton of extra plot points (some implied, some not). I’m not familiar enough to know if they took dialog line for line like with LOTR (I expect they did), but there’s plenty that they didn’t.

    It’s much better than the critics say. The 48fps shows were too far away for me, so I didn’t see it in that. But the other complaints aren’t really accurate.

    It’s long, but it didn’t really drag. It’s a kid’s movie, but if you know that going in, there really aren’t that many fart jokes. It won’t win any Oscars, but I was entertained and some scenes were really good.

    I thought Gollum was great and the battles scenes were awesome. Gandalf’s council with Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel was great. The Ogre scene was pretty awful, and it played at times a little too hyperdramatic,

  • dizzy:Speaking of the Hobbit, Conan Steven’s was awesome in that. Can we petition him back for Season 4?

    Now I’ve not seen it myself (yet) but that’s the first I heard his character is even in the first film and I’ve read a lot of the reviews.

    Are you sure you aren’t thinking of Azog (who Conan was initially announced as being) but is now voiced by Crixus from Sparticus.

  • Brad Villane,

    You’re forgetting a few things. For one, there is a lot of material this season that has been pushed back from ACoK: the Reed siblings, Ramsay Snow, the Baratheon family, the Tully’s at Riverrun, and some material with Dany. The other thing is that the material D&D will include from AFfC/ADwD into season four likely won’t be material for the core cast, but the introductions of the Dornish characters and the new characters at the Iron Islands, which fits chronologically with the latter half of ASoS. I know D&D have said that things won’t work out to ‘1 season = 1 book’ any longer, but I highly doubt they’ll simply ignore the natural beginning and ending points he provides in the novels in lieu of making it as far as they can with each ten episodes (unless it’s small things that make sense like Yoren leaving King’s Landing with Arya, or Jon going beyond the Wall, as in the first season).

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    True. Though I think D&D may go into AFFC/ADWD territory in S4 with some of the core cast as well. I am unsure whether Dany and Bran have enough ASOS material for two whole seasons. Bran is barely in the book, it’s gonna be a slim one season for him, let alone two with only his ASOS chapters.

  • Upcoming episodes averaging 4 to 7 minutes longer is good news, definitely
    a step in the right direction for telling the story. I’d pray still for an extra
    episode by season four, as doing so would help propel a careful plan
    for better success. Can’t wait to experience the upcoming ambitious season three.

  • gael,

    I think invent and/or altered material is more likely in these cases, as moving forward their material from the other novels when the same isn’t happening for many of the other characters can cause two issues: It can cause a ripple effect later down the line when it may be important that things happen in a specific order, and the more important thing is that it leaves them with no material to work with going forward. Moving up the scant material Bran has in AFfC/ADwD creates another problem unto itself. I think D&D will wisely use Meera and Jojen to bring a lot of backstory into the show, which will allow Bran and company to appear without having to actually do too much.

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    Let’s hope. I’ll be interested to see how they’ll start incorporating all the rich history, prophecies and the like into the show. I hope this season may be the start of that trend to some degree, with Reeds (mythological aspect) and Barristan (historical aspect).

    We’ll see. They can’t ignore those things forever. They have an important part to play in the books.

  • Just a couple of months ago I was still such a book newb that I mistakenly believed the burned orphans in the show were the much-discussed Reed siblings, and went on clumsily believing they couldn’t have been terribly urgent to the overall plot if that was how D&D handled them. It nearly shames me to look back on that. Lol.

    Now I’m incredibly stoked for their introduction, late though it may be. I think given the limited running time of the show this may prove to have been a clever decision on the writers’ parts. I, too, am curious just how heavily into the mythological aspects they’ll delve.

    As I read through ACoK and ASoS I was surprised to find it so relevant, and Bran’s tale going forward is going to be diminished significantly if it’s downplayed too much. I haven’t read AFfC or ADwD yet though, so maybe I don’t know what I’m saying.

    All I know for sure is that I can’t wait for the “big black thing approaches up the well” scene if it happens in the show. I wonder if Bran and Rickon will be separated in the show, I mean, Luwin’s dying statement about Osha protecting them feels at odds with that idea compared with the book splitting them up immediately. But again, only three books in right now… I’m sure Osha’s adventures prove important enough somehow to necessitate… Something. :p

  • Oh maaaan, I posted with my phone for the first time and failed at marking spoilers entirely. The last paragraph should be blacked out as well. It’s vague and not a huge deal but still, sorry. Phone isn’t letting me edit or delete. >_<

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    Yes, if the backstory is ever going to come into it, then Meera and Jojen are a great way to introduce it.

    Alternatively, if the Reeds don’t bring in the backstory and if the tale of the Knight of the Laughing Tree isn’t mentioned, then it may be ignored entirely. And I’m still unsure of how I would feel about that tactic.