The network allows the producers to explore more stories and add a few-minute worth of scenes to the upcoming season.
A few extra minutes are added to the upcoming episodes of "Game of Thrones". As it enters the third season, the hit epic series will be longer in duration because the showrunners are adapting it from the first half of George R.R. Martin's third book, "A Storm of Swords", which is considerably longer than the previous two novels.
Telling Entertainment Weekly that the season will still keep the 10-episode tradition, producer Dan Weiss said, "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."
Fellow producer David Benioff revealed that the additional time is around four to five minutes per episode. "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," he said. However, it's a work in progress and the exact times will not be determined until later.
Overall, the third season will gain more than one hour. "All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes," HBO said in a statement. Weiss added, "So for people clamoring for another episode, it's in there. It's just been cut into tiny pieces."
The new season begins March 31. Benioff previously said that they are "trying to be faithful to the books while recognizing that it's an adaptation."