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The fact that HBO produces series with a much shorter episode count than network TV generally works in the subscription cable network’s favor. Fewer episodes usually equals less throwaway episodes, as well as a much tighter story arc. The bad thing about fewer episodes is that fans have to wait a much longer amount of time to see their favorite characters return to TV. Luckily, Games of Thrones is finally, awesomely amping up for a return to television in Season 3, and now we have a clip that discusses the new scenes, costumes, and characters.

The "in-production featurette" begins with a chat from co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who say Season 3 is where they hoped they could get to in the show's trajectory, all along. Some of the cast members also talk about all of the new costumes and sets that are part of the new season. The influx of new characters is mentioned, too, and a few new cast members are shown onscreen, but I think series actress Emilia Clarke says it best when she says she believes that “the game’s been upped.”

Game of Thrones is expected to return to the schedule in March, and we already know the names of a few of the actors who have joined the cast for the new episodes. Rome’s Ciaran Hinds will be playing Mance Rayder, and actors Ed Skrein, Jacob Anderson, Clive Russell, Tobias Menzies, Diana Rigg, Mackenzie Crook, and a slew of other names have also already been added to the Season 3 cast.

Fans can catch the new characters and settings when HBO’s Game of Thrones premieres on March 31, 2013.