The third season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered in the United States on HBO on March 31, 2013, and concluded on June 9, 2013. It was broadcast on Sunday at 9:00 pm in the United States, consisting of 10 episodes, each running approximately 50–60 minutes. The season is based roughly on the first half of A Storm of Swords (the third of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, of which the series is an adaptation). The series is adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. HBO renewed the series for a third season on April 10, 2012, nine days after the second season's premiere. Production began in July 2012. The show was filmed primarily in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco.
The story takes place in a fictional world, primarily upon a continent called Westeros, with one storyline occurring on another continent to the east known as Essos. Like the novel, the season continues the storyline of The War of the Five Kings: after the death of Renly Baratheon, all four kings in Westeros believe they have a claim to the Iron Throne, besides Robb Stark, who seeks vengeance for the death of his father, Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark. The season also features other storylines: Daenerys Targaryen continues to rise in power in Essos; Jon Snow goes undercover beyond the Wall; the other Stark children struggle to survive across the lands of Westeros.
Game of Thrones features a large ensemble cast, including Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington. The season introduced a number of new cast members, including Diana Rigg, Ciarán Hinds, Nathalie Emmanuel and Iwan Rheon.
Critics praised the show's production values and cast. Viewership yet again rose compared to the previous season. It won 2 of the 16 Emmy Awards for which it was nominated, it received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Dinklage), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Clarke) and Outstanding Drama Series. It also won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Series.