HBO Renews ‘Game of Thrones’

Winter will get a return engagement after an impressive start for the new fantasy series.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

There's an easy way to get renewed at HBO: debut to big numbers.

Almost immediately after the ratings for last Sunday's series premiere were revealed to have cumulatively reached 4.2 million viewers across multiple airings, HBO gave the greenlight for a second season of "Game of Thrones."  

“We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin’s amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers,” wrote Michael Lombardo, HBO's President of Programming. “This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership.”

Last fall, HBO also used a quick renewal for "Boardwalk Empire" after its first episode aired. In both cases, one of the main reasons behind the fast order is suspected to be the network's desire to get the most out of some extremely expensive sets. And while "Game of Thrones" didn't equal the audience pulled in by "Boardwalk Empire," its performance was still impressive given that it was up against the NBA playoffs.

"Game of Thrones" is based on the popular "A Song of Ice and Fire" series of novels by George R.R. Martin, under the direction of David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and even Martin himself.

The series also features a large cast of actors, including Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Jason Momoa.

Presumably, the second season "Game of Thrones" will adapt the second novel in the series, "A Clash of Kings." However, the announcement did not confirm that nor did it give a start date for the second season.