It’s perhaps not the most surprising news given the success of the show, but US cable channel HBO has renewed Game Of Thrones for a fourth season, which will air next year.
The series, which returned to US telly on Sunday and the UK on Monday, has seen its ratings soar, breaking records both here and across the pond with the third season premiere.
Unlike the first two seasons, the third adapts roughly the first half of George R.R. Martin’s third book, A Storm Of Swords (with the usual provisos of necessary TV plotting changes), and the fourth was planned to adapt the other half. Working that way not only allows for more of each massive tome to be included, but also gives needed breathing room for Martin to keep writing the novels.
"My dream chronology is that the books finish first, and I do have a considerable lead over them," the author recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's true that they're moving faster than I am – the series has its own speed – but I don't see us catching up for another three years or so, by which time another book will be out. That should give them another two seasons of material. And while I'm writing the last book, they'd be making those."
Given the huge, expensive, logistical challenges involved in shooting in Belfast, Croatia, Iceland and elsewhere, the production team assumed that the renewal was all but given and all the deals with the current cast have been locked down. For more on Thrones, take a listen to our pod-chat with Blackwater director Neil Marshall below. To find an exclusive chat between some of the Stark family (AKA actors Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Richard Madden and Kit Harington), get yourself to the nearest newsagents or book store to pick up the latest Empire or find it via the iPad. Jon Snow, as usual, knows nothing.