A very interesting report has come by way of EW’s James Hibberd, revealing that while season 3 is still just 10 episodes—compared to the 12 episodes the other big HBO drama, Boardwalk Empire, gets—these episodes will often run 4-5 minutes longer than they did in the previous season, squeezing in just a bit more content per episode. If the season averages out to 57 minutes an episode, that would practically be equivalent to an 11 episode season at season 2’s run time.
And on top of that, it looks like the season finale is going to run 60 minutes, or perhaps even just beyond that, something that the executive producers Benioff and Weiss note requires special permission from HBO due to scheduling.
Here’s the relevant quotes:
“A super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords,” Benioff adds. “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”
In fact, the third season finale is expected to run more than an hour — a move that requires special permission from the network (previously, the show’s pilot and its second season finale exceeded an hour).