We knew Season 3 of ‘Game of Thrones’ was going to be grander and larger than ever, but now it’s been announced that it will also be longer too!

The upcoming season will be based on the first half of ‘A Storm of Swords,’ the third book from George R.R. Martin’s ‘A song of Ice and Fire’ book series. It’s one of the longest books in the series with over 975 pages, so it’s no wonder that a full 10 episode season would not be enough to cover the entire novel. But now it seems that 10 episodes are still not enough to cover the amount of drama and content from even half of the book!

According to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, in order to do the season justice, they had to add time to each episode.

“There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season,” comments Weiss. “One of the great liberties with HBO is we’re not forced to come in at a specific time… that gives us a lot of flexibility.”

According to Benioff, many of last year’s episodes ran around 52 minutes. This year, they’re looking at about 56-57 minutes long. That’s an added 4-5 minutes to each episode!

“So for people clamoring for another episode, it’s in there,” Weiss says. “It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”

Since the episodes are currently in the post-production stage, the exact running times are unknown, but a statement from HBO has indicated that “All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes.”

To see what could be included in the extra few minutes and to get a glimpse of some of the key scenes in the series, HBO has released a ‘Game of Thrones’ vlog highlighting the art direction for the upcoming third season. There are also some quick snippets of new and returning cast members taken while filming on location and a look at the new inner courtyard for Red Keep in King’s Landing.

‘Games of Thrones’ has always been elaborate and it’s obvious that Weiss and Benioff have raised the bar in Season 3.

Take a look at the video below and tell us if you’re excited about the upcoming third season of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones?

Season 3 of ‘Game of Thrones ‘returns to HBO on March 31, 2013.

Source: EW, Winter is Coming