‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 set to premiere March 31

For those of us already addicted to the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones,” the time to start getting excited about the season three premiere happened as soon as season two ended on June 3. For those of you not addicted to “Game of Thrones,” I am writing this column so that you still have plenty of time to watch seasons one and two before the premiere of season three on March 31. Really, it’ll only take you about two days.

“Game of Thrones” has been critically acclaimed as one of the best shows on television by publications ranging from the Washington Post to TIME magazine to The Hollywood Reporter. The show has also accumulated a significant amount of hardware, including two Emmys, six Creative Arts Emmys, two Screen Actors Guild awards, and a Golden Globe.

But anyone can win some awards and claim to be the best show on TV. Hell, “Frasier” has 37 Emmys. “Game of Thrones” sets itself apart from the pack with its blend of the classic “blood and guts” approach that many medieval fantasy film adaptations take with the sexy edge of pop culture.

Based on the “Song of Fire and Ice” series by George R. R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” has used the first two seasons to cover the first two books of the seven-part series. Naturally, the third season of “Game of Thrones” will cover the plot of the third book in the series, “A Storm of Swords.” With a title like that and the plethora of questions left unanswered at the end of season two, I think it is safe to say that “Game of Thrones” fans have a lot to look forward to.

As the show takes place in several different locations throughout the mythical land of Westeros and Essos, “Game of Thrones” must tie together the plots of the various characters and their families in all locations at once. Now that all the pieces are firmly in place, the kings in their thrones, and the goal of sitting upon the Iron Throne in each of their sights, season three looks to see bigger, bloodier battles, betrayals and murders, romances formed and lost, and, of course, dragons.

Another slight change from previous seasons that “Game of Thrones” fans can look forward to in season three is longer episodes, now as long as 58 minutes each. The change may be slight, but every extra minute gives the writers more opportunities to fit the details in that make “Game of Thrones” such an incredible show.

If you are already a fan of the show, I don’t need to tell you twice to be excited for season three. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly encourage you to go watch it now so you can join in on the fun.