As virtually everyone this side of the Wall expected, HBO has renewed its hit drama Game of Thrones for a third season.
The acclaimed adaptation of George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic kicked off its second season on April 1, attracting a series-high 3.9 million viewers in its first airing. The second episode drew 3.8 million viewers, retaining a remarkable 97 percent of the viewers from the season premiere.
"Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season - and then surpassed them," HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in a statement. "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."
The 10-episode second season of Game of Thrones continues Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.