- 11 April 2012
- By Gerard Wood
Although it should come as no surprise to those of us hooked on HBO’s Game of Thrones, there will be a collective sigh of relief no doubt with news that a third season of this stellar series has been officially confirmed. The quality of George R.R. Martin’s story-telling, David Benioff and Dan Weiss’s adaptation, the production and cast of Game of Thrones should always have assured the longevity of the series, but given the sad history of quality series being axed before their time, there's never a guarantee that studios and networks will stay the course.
Of course, HBO is not Fox – the studio responsible for the premature axing of Firefly and The Sarah Connor Chronicles due to declining ratings (in turn a consequence of poor scheduling). HBO has a history of investing in shows for the long run, and it helps of course that the ratings for Game of Thrones have been strong and improving. The Season Two premiere achieved a series high of 3.9 million viewers in the US (with a combined 6.3 million viewers over the first evening’s multiple broadcasts), representing a 27% increase over the previous high, the Season One finale. Word of mouth and multiple awards for the series have obviously seen the audience grow between seasons.
On confirming Season Three, Michael Lombardo, President of HBO Programming, commented that "Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season - and then surpassed them. We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we've received for the series, and can't wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season."
There has been speculation – fed in part by Benioff and Weiss - that their adaptation of A Storm of Swords, the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Ice and Fire, might be split over two 10 episode seasons. As things unfold however, it’s looking increasingly likely that the writers will adopt a more liberated approach to the adaptation. As Weiss has commented "A Storm of Swords is too long to fit in a single season. ... And as readers know, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons take place during roughly the same time frame, so we'll have to fold those together. The plan, if we're lucky enough to be given the opportunity to see it through, is to use as many seasons as we need to tell the story as a whole, to do justice to George's entire opus."
Rather than adapting one novel per season it may be that Benioff and Weiss will choose to work with material that comes from several of the remaining novels in Season Three. In this way, A Storm of Swords may end up spanning two seasons, and so on. (There are already signs of a more liberated approach to the adaptation in Season Two, with events that occur half way through the novel being covered in the very first episode.)
If true, this will no doubt come as a relief to Martin as it’s possible that Books Three, Four and Five in his series may span more than three years of TV production, giving him more time to work on the remaining two novels in the sequence.
Quality writing takes time, and the more time Martin has, the better!
- Riddick 3 trailer: Vin Diesel romances alien predators and angry bounty hunters While the science fiction epic The Chro...
- Ender's Game trailer is stunning: Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley with tattoos After many false starts and a troubled ...
- Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell heads for the small screenIn November last year the BBC quietly an...
- Cloud Atlas deliversAdapted from David Mitchell's novel of t...