The only question surrounding HBO’s renewal of Game Of Thrones was “What took so long?” Following a ratings record-setting Season 2 premiere and excellent Week 2 hold, the fantasy series was just picked up for a third season. “Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season – and then surpassed them,” said HBO’s programming president Michael Lombardo. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, Game Of Thrones launched its second season with 3.9 million viewers tuning for the premiere, a series high and up 74% from GOT‘s series debut. The Season 2 opener has now been seen by a gross audience of 8.3 million viewers and is on track to easily surpass the Season 1 average of 9.3 million viewers. This past Sunday, GOT drew 3.8 million viewers, retaining virtually the entire audience of its second season premiere. No order size has been announced, but the third season will likely once again consist of 10 episodes as the show’s creators have stated that doing more could affect quality. Season 3 is expected to cover half of A Song Of Ice And Fire book series’ third novel, A Storm Of Swords. Season 2 of GOT is executive produced by Benioff, Weiss, Carolyn Strauss and Frank Doelger.