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'Game Of Thrones' Episodes Lengthened For Season 3

12/18/2012 12:47 pm ET | Updated Dec 20, 2012

Longer "Game Of Thrones" episodes are coming. EW reports that the beloved HBO fantasy series, based on George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, will be returning with a "super-sized" Season 3.

Like prior seasons, Season 3 will be 10 episodes long, but each episode will be about four minutes longer. “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57,” "Game of Thrones" showrunner David Benioff told EW. In addition, both the premiere and finale will run over 60 minutes.

The show's producers claim that the extra minutes, added together, roughly equal another full episode. “So for people clamoring for another episode, its in there,” showrunner Dan Weiss told EW. “It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”

The new season tackles the first half of Martin's nearly-1,000 page long "A Storm of Swords," and introduces several new characters to the show, including Clive Russell as Bryndn "The Blackfish" Tully and Diane Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell, "The Queen of Thorns."

"Game Of Thrones" Season 3 premieres March 31, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST.

"Game Of Thrones"

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