After six years of “winter is coming,” it is finally here for Game of Thrones Season 7. Sansa Stark made that comment to Jon Snow after seeing a white raven. What does this have to do with the Season 7 premiere? Rather a lot, actually.
The showrunners broke the news that Thrones Season 7 wouldn’t air until summer 2017. Many fans were disappointed by that news, especially after hearing that the season would have three less episodes. However, there is a very good reason for the later air date (usually in April, 2017), and the showrunners have finally explained why.
— Slate (@Slate) July 25, 2016
Throughout the series run, the aim has always been to make the weather look realistic. This is why certain shooting locations have been chosen, including Croatia for King’s Landing and Northern Ireland for Winterfell. The North of the Wall has often been filmed in Iceland for the snowy weather. It worked for the period of summer turning into winter, but what about now that winter is here?
Game of Thrones is already one of the most expensive productions on TV. Even in Season 6, the producers had to choose between Wun Wun and Ghost for the battle between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton because of financial limitations. It makes sense to keep filming costs down as much as possible to allow for more CGI when direwolves and dragons are involved.
— The Independent (@Independent) July 25, 2016
To do that the shooting needs to be kept in Northern Ireland as much as possible. Winter being “here” wouldn’t look that realistic if Game of Thrones was stuck to its usual airing date. This would mean filming right now, in the middle of the summer. Instead, the showrunners want to push production back a few months for the grey, colder weather, maybe even getting some snow in the winter months.
Of course, with post-filming production that means the date of the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere needs to be pushed back. Setting it for the summer means filming can be set for September onwards of this year. Some parts of the show will still be filmed in Croatia and Iceland, especially since King’s Landing hasn’t got the snow yet and scenes North of the Wall still need to be much colder than at Winterfell and further south.
To keep fans entertained while they wait for the show, HBO has released two new videos. The first is the Game of Thrones Season 6 blooper reel, which spends most of its time on Peter Dinklage, as he fails to pronounce “benevolent” properly.
The second is a video looking into the pre-production work for the show, especially the craftsmanship that goes into many of the sets and props for the show. Fans get to see a close look of the stone eyes for those who have died and the iron throne, with the voiceover of Cersei Lannister’s coronation at the end of the season.
Game of Thrones has been confirmed for at least another season, albeit a shorter one. Season 7 will get just seven episodes, which presumably is not enough to finish the whole story. Daenerys is only just traveling across the Narrow Sea, and Jon Snow has just been proclaimed the King of the North, much to Littlefinger’s annoyance. Could there be a Season 8 to wrap the whole story up? Many publications, like Slash Film, are reporting Season 7 as the penultimate Thrones season.
The move to a summer 2017 premiere will take the show out of the 2017 Emmy race, but it will likely be worth it when winter is more realistic on Game of Thrones Season 7.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]