It has been one of the most popular shows on HBO in recent years, and it appears as though breakout fantasy drama Game of Thrones is being rewarded with what every successful TV series craves – official licenced product tie-ins.
While Game of Thrones have already released a few things with their name on in the market, including a video game and a decorative ‘throne’ toilet seat cover, the latest move is one into the beverage industry, as producers of the show team up with Cooperstown (USA)-based Brewery Ommegang to launch a range of beers emblazoned with the Game of Thrones logo.
Reported by the New York Times, show will begin the first in a ‘series’ of four ‘themed ales’ by beginning to stock the first (‘Iron Throne Blonde Ale’) in March, ahead of the season 3 premiere date on 31 March. This will be followed by a second product scheduled for release at some time in ‘fall 2013′, and a further two at a later date, presumably the same points of the year in 2014.
While it is not the first time that HBO have made an official drink tie-in with their shows (in 2009 releasing an energy drink for ‘supernatural drama’ True Blood), the premium subscription network will hope that the Game of Thrones beer can build up interest in their new series at just the right time.
While beer lovers and Game of Thrones fans now have a perfect match, producers of the series are announcing a hook that will keep viewers in their seats a little longer than originally planned, announcing that with a slight extenstion of the runtime to many of the upcoming episodes, fans will have an entire episode’s length of extra content compared to season 2 (which also contained 10 episodes as the upcoming batch is confirmed to consist of).
Showrunner David Benioff said of the ‘expansion’ to the amount of content that will be on offer: “A super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords. Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”
An official HBO statement confirmed the plans: “All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes.”
Fellow showrunner Dan Weiss summarised of how this was achieved: “There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season. One of the great liberties with HBO is we’re not forced to come in at a specific time. We can’t be under 50 minutes or over 60, but that gives us a lot of flexibility. So for people clamouring for another episode, it’s in there. It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”
With a few added minutes and an official drink to add to the fan-pleasing experience, will Game of Thrones retain their successful ratings through season 3?