Rather than add another episode to the third season’s run, all of the extra material will result in slightly elongated episodes. “There’s almost a full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season,” says Weiss. “One of the great liberties with HBO is we’re not forced to come in at a specific time. We can’t be under 50 minutes or over 60, but that gives us a lot of flexibility.” The season finale is also expected to run over an hour, just like last season’s did, so fans of the epic series will be pleased that it has become that little bit more epic.
“So for fans clamoring for another episode, it’s in there. It’s just been cut into tiny pieces,” added Weiss. Those tiny pieces will include all of the surviving returning cast, while the new editions include Mackenzie Crook (“The Office”), Thomas Sangster (“Love Actually”), Diana Rigg, and most notably Ciaran Hinds as the Wildling ‘King Beyond the Wall’ Mance Rayder. Those who have read the books and followed the series will have noticed that some of the early parts from the third novel were actually present towards the end of season two (mostly the segments including Jaime Lannister), so we imagine this season will be translating a greater proportion from the page than ever before. [EW]