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‘Game Of Thrones’ Extends Running Time, Pours Beer

Season 3 returns March 31; brews from Westeros to hit stores

“Game of Thrones” will enjoy a slight extension of its running time during Season 3, according to series executive producer D.B. Weiss.

HBO’s hit fantasy series returns March 31, 2013 and explores George R.R. Martin’s third “A Song of Ice and Fire” novel, “A Storm of Swords.” Split into two seasons, the novel’s arc will conclude in Season 4.

“There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season,” Weiss recently told “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.”

“A super-sized season, as befitting ‘Storm of Swords,’” added David Benioff, executive producer. “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”

Weiss and Benioff also promised another extended season finale.

And to toast its show’s growing popularity, HBO is partnering with Brewery Ommegang to release a series of themed beers reflecting the medieval-like realm of Westeros and surrounding regions.

The inaugural beer, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, will launch nationally timed to the season 3 premiere. It will be available in March on draft and in bottles, with another beer following in the fall and two additional beers in subsequent seasons.

Ommegang beers are distributed in 45 states and internationally. The Belgian-style brewery is located in Cooperstown, New York.

“Game of Thrones” chronicles a treacherous clash among royal families to secure ultimate power of Westeros, a vast kingdom facing peril at every corner. Its third season features another ambitious use of filming locations, including Belfast, Northern Ireland; Croatia, representing parts of King’s Landing; and Iceland.

Benioff (“Troy,” “The Kite Runner”) and Weiss executive produce the series along with Carolyn Strauss and Frank Doelger. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, Alan Taylor, Guymon Casady and Vince Gerardis co-executive produce the show, with Bernadette Caulfield serving as a producer.

The series stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington.

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