‘Game of Thrones’: HBO Confirms The Wait For Season 7 Will Be A Long One

Well, Game of Thrones fans, HBO has confirmed when we can expect Season 7 to air, and the news isn’t good. Winter has arrived on the hit show, and because of that, showrunners have delayed filming until the weather is appropriate for the plot. According to Vox, that means our wait for new episodes of Game of Thrones will be a long one, with Season 7 not airing until (gulp) summer of 2017.

President of HBO Programming Carter Bloys explained.

“Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing. Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”

This confirms what Benioff recently stated about the timing of the next episodes of Game of Thrones.

“We’re starting a bit later because at the end of this season, ‘winter is here’—and that means that sunny weather doesn’t really serve our purposes any more. So we kind of pushed everything down the line, so we could get some grim, grey weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot.”

Production of Season 7 of Game of Thrones will take place mostly in Northern Ireland. Some will be filmed in Spain and Iceland. Rumors of a shorter season have been circulating for months now, and that has also been confirmed. There will be seven episodes in Season 7. That’s three fewer than previous seasons of Game of Thrones.

A summer premiere for Game of Thrones is months later than fans have become accustomed to. Typically the show runs from spring to summer. This news about Season 7 means it’s beginning probably three or four months later than usual.

Game of Thrones recently picked up 23 Emmy nominations. Among those is a nomination for best drama. The Wall Street Journal reports that Season 6 of the show broke its previous record for viewership. GOT averaged 25.1 million viewers per episode last season, beating its previous record, which was set in Season 5. During that season of Game of Thrones, an average of 20.2 million viewers watched each episode.

As noted by The Atlantic, the delayed premiere will also give Game of Thrones producers more time to create the story from scratch. With the show having outpaced the bestselling George R.R. Martin books, Benioff and Weiss had to create Season 6 without the benefit of book material to build upon. Martin reportedly provided the Game of Thrones production team with information on some of the major developments he sees in the remaining books. And while this certainly provides guidance, it isn’t the same as having thorough descriptions of the setting and details in a complicated plot with so many characters.

George R.R. Martin has previously commented on HBO’s Game of Thrones moving beyond where his books have gone.

“The show moved faster than I anticipated and I moved more slowly… Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter [on the show] may not be spoilers at all… because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so.”

HBO has also announced their roster of Game of Thrones directors for the new seasons. They are Mark Mylod, Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa, and Matt Shakman. Jeremy has three Primetime Emmy nominations, one of them for his direction of the Game of Thrones episode titled “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.” Matt Shakman is new to the show, but has many directing credits to his name, including The Good Wife and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

[Image via HBO]