Games Of Thrones Back To Northern Ireland For Series 3

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One of the most talked about TV series of the last ten years - Games Of Thrones - has been commissioned for a third series by HBO, just days after series 2 started airing on Sky Atlantic to strong critical acclaim.

Commenting on the production, Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming said: “Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season – and then surpassed them. We are thrilled by all the support we’ve received, and can’t wait to see what they have in store for next season.”

The recommission is great news for Northern Ireland, which has been a key location during the first two runs. Already HBO and Northern Ireland Screen have confirmed that it will return to the province for series 3. It will shoot in the Paint Hall film studio and the new sound stages in Belfast, the Linen Mill Film Studios in Banbridge, as well as various Northern Ireland locations.

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, the series 2 premiere of Games Of Thrones attracted an impressive 8.3m viewers in the US where it is one of HBO’s signature dramas. Speaking on his blog, Martin said series 3 will have 10-episodes (like the first two series) and will cover the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the series (which itself was split into two parts because the publishers felt it was too long for a single edition). Martin also revealed that he will write one of the episodes in the new run.

As before, Northern Ireland Screen will assist on funding, with support from Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund. NI Screen estimates that series 1 brought £20 million into the local economy.