It’s no April fool – Game of Thrones does indeed return to Sky Atlantic on 1 April at 9pm. RadioTimes.com predicted two months ago that the fantasy drama would be back on exactly that date but it’s nice to have it officially confirmed.
Season three of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning series based on George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels will air on Mondays, one day after the US premiere on HBO, and although it will be in ten parts like previous runs, co-creators David Benioff and DB Weiss have promised viewers “A super-sized season."
"Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes," said Weiss, "This year is a lot of 56, 57.” It may not seem like much, but those extra four and five minutes add up – Game of Thrones fans could be looking at around 45 minutes more scheming, sorcery, sex, swords and dragons, which amounts to almost an extra episode.
Benioff and Weiss are billing series three as “the season that we have been anticipating from the very beginning”, and say it will largely be based on the first half of Martin’s epic third book, A Storm of Swords.
Along with the return of familiar faces including Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Richard Madden as Robb Stark and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, viewers can look forward to the debut of a number of new characters, played by some equally recognisable actors.
Diana Rigg is "Queen of Thorns" Lady Olenna Tyrell, the matriarch of the House of Tyrell, Ciarán Hinds plays Wildling leader Mance Rayder, Mackenzie Crook is Orell, a Wilding with special powers, Paul Kaye is red priest Thoros of Myr and Tara Fitzgerald appears as Selyse, wife of Stannis Baratheon.
In the meantime, fans can refresh their memories of the story so far with another chance to see season two on Sky Atlantic from Monday 21 January.