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LOS ANGELES — “Game of Thrones” is getting another season, HBO officially announced Tuesday.


Though most people assumed the hit fantasy series would be back again — it’s been receiving rapturous reviews and great ratings — its third season is now guaranteed.


Ratings for the second season premiere hit a series high, with an accumulated gross audience of 8.3 million viewers over the episodes multiple airings.


“Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season — and then surpassed them,” President of HBO Programming Michael Lombardo said in a statement. “We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series, and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.”


If Benioff and Weiss continue to follow the pattern they’ve established in the first two seasons, then the third season of “Game of Thrones” will takes its story lines from the third book in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, titled “A Storm of Swords.”


“Swords” is one of the longest books in the series and many believe that in order to fit all the events into the television series it would need to be spread out over more than one season. Benioff and Weiss have spoken openly in the media about the idea of playing it out over the course of two 10-episode seasons. The first two seasons have managed to fit in most of the events of the first two books. However, HBO has not yet greenlighted a fourth season.


The idea of playing out the books over multiple seasons will probably be a relief to Martin, who is hard at work on the sixth book in the series, but has said that it’ll take him a couple more years to finish it. Nothing like the locomotive of a TV series in production to spur an author’s output.

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