Game of Thrones had terrific premiere ratings, and the second episode (my review today!) held most of those numbers. Beyond that, the series is a huge cultural touchstone, which is what HBO really cares about - they want people to feel like they must subscribe to the network lest they be left out of the conversation.
And so today HBO has announced that they've renewed Game of Thrones for a third season. Which is great! Bring on A Storm of Swords, possibly the best book in the series. Except they won't be bringing on the whole book...
Talking to EW show runner David Benioff says “As George [RR Martin] and all his fans have said for a long time, there’s no way to do it in a single season, so it’s being broken into two... We’re still kind of figuring out exactly what goes where. We don’t want it to feel like a two-part season … From the beginning we’d always prayed we’d get to season three at least because, you know, two of our favorite scenes from the entire saga are in season three.”
There's some real gold in season three, and I'm curious how they'll split it. I wish that this announcement came with a season four announcement; if the series didn't get to the end, at least finishing up A Storm of Swords would feel sort of okay.
And if they're breaking up the third book, what will they do with books four and five? I still think they can be condensed into one, not terribly interesting, season.