When Does ‘Game Of Thrones’ Come Back? Season 7 Could Still Be A Long Way Off, And It’s Shorter Than Fans Will Hope

When does Game of Thrones come back for Season 7?

It’s a questions millions of fans are asking right now, as the sixth season of the HBO fantasy/drama ended on a note filled with uncertainty. It has left viewers searching for answers, but they may not be coming too soon.

[WARNING: Potential Game of Thrones spoilers ahead]

So far, there is no exact date for when Game of Thrones will return for Season 7. HBO has announced that the show will be back, and imagine the riots from fans if they had stopped it here — with plenty of hanging threads and no resolution — but not offered many details beyond that.

The situation is leaving fans and critics to make estimates of when Game of Thrones will return for Season 7. Fansided noted that it’s likely to follow the show’s traditional release schedule, which means the seventh season would hit the air sometime around spring of 2017.

But the report also noted that it’s all up to the writing schedule of George R.R. Martin.

Right now it sounds like the show will be back in late March or early April. We can never know for sure this far out but historically the show has premiered in the early spring. Of course, with shortened seasons on hand for the final two rollouts, we could get a shorter gap between season seven and season eight.

That being said, the wait for next season is still going to be a while as the show is almost entirely operating on its now since George R.R. Martin isn’t close to finishing Winds of Winter.

While fans are waiting to learn when Game of Thrones returns for Season 7, there is already one thing known from HBO — there’s going to be a significant amount less to watch. In fact, it appears there are just 13 more episodes in total until the show reaches its conclusion.

In an interview with Variety, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said there will be seven episodes for Season 7 and six for Season 8, which is shaping up to be the show’s last.

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo acknowledged the showrunners’ plan to wind down the series with two more years. “That’s my understanding from them right now, those have been the conversations we’ve had,” he says. “Because where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them. As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do.”

But, he added, “I’m always an optimist, and I do believe we will figure this out.”

While fans wait for Game of Thrones to return next year, there are already some huge questions about what might happen during Season 5. The return of Daenerys Targaryen to Westeros could be setting up a showdown with Jon Snow — who viewers just learned is her nephew.

Emmy-nominated actress Emilia Clarke addressed the rumors that Daenerys and Snow are headed for a confrontation.

“Those rumors have never been substantiated within the Game of Thrones circle. It’s never been said,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “So I don’t know. I could kill him. He could kill me. He could be dead before we even meet. I could be dead before we even meet. Arya could kill us both! You never know! Anything’s possible. All I know is winter is coming … and I’m bringing the heat!”

So while viewers are waiting to find out when Game of Thrones will return for Season 5, the best they can do is speculate. The official announcement from HBO won’t come until production of the next season is wrapping up, and that itself is still months away.

[Image via HBO]