We all know that George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" books are pretty much the longest books ever written, right? And you know the basis for "Game of Thrones" Season 3, "Storm of Swords" is 973 pages? Well then it should come as no surprise that HBO and "Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have decided to extend a number of Season 3 episodes to fit as much of the epic tale as possible.
According to Benioff, Season 3 will consist of a bunch of 56 or 57-minute episodes, as opposed to the more typical 52-minute. The ability to mess with episode runtime is one of the (many) benefits to working with a pay-channel like HBO. When creators are freed from the shackles of network and basic cable commercial breaks, they aren't required to hit specific end-times, as Weiss told EW:
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.
According to EW, the season 3 finale could potentially run longer than 60-minutes--though logistics are still be worked out, HBO said:
All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes.
"Game of Thrones" Season 3 airs on March 31, 2013.