Fantasy adventure ‘Game of Thrones’ will return to Northern Ireland's shores to film season three. The 10-part series has been given the greenlight for a third season following record ratings for season two. The popular HBO series will return to Paint Hall Studios in Belfast where seasons one and two filmed, as well as the new sound stages in Belfast and the Linen Mill Film Studios in Banbridge. The season two premiere grossed 8.3 million viewers, and is already expected to surpass season one’s ratings of 9.3 million.
It has been speculated season three will focus on half of ‘A Storm of Swords’, the third book in a series by George R.R. Martin. No order size has been confirmed for season three, however season one and two stuck to 10-episode formats which is likely to remain the set-up for season three.
HBO president Michael Lombardo expressed his delight at the success of ‘Game of Thrones’: "Series creators David Benioff and DB Weiss raised our expectations for the second season - and then surpassed them. 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."
‘Game of Thrones’ season two is currently airing on Sky Atlantic on Monday nights at 9pm. Irish actor Aiden Gillen (Love/Hate) reprised his role as Petyr Baelish and Liam Cunningham (The Guard) joined the cast as Ser Davos Seaworth for season two.
It is not yet known when production will begin in Northern Ireland. ‘Game of Thrones’ was funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund.