'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Gets Summer 2017 Release Date & 7 Episodes

By Victoria Guerra | Jul 19, 2016 08:21 PM EDT
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Our worst fears related to the Westeros weather have been confirmed: the arrival of winter has now officially delayed the release date for the next season of Game of Thrones. Recently, HBO announced that the Emmy-winning fantasy epic series won't be returning to the small screen until the summer of 2017 -- and, even worse, the next season will only have seven episodes.

According to Entertainment Weekly, season 7 of Game of Thrones has been officially delayed until the summer, as the showrunners have decided to give preference to shooting in winter weather rather than releasing the new season in the usual spring date, typically around April.

"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," Casey Bloys, the president of HBO programming, said in a statement via Variety. "Instead of the show's traditional spring debut, we're moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule."

Because of the need for cold weather, the shooting locations will also be changing up a bit, as the cast and crew will be filming in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland; the latter hasn't been used as a location for a while, at least since Kit Harington's Jon Snow was North of the Wall and hanging out with Rose Leslie's Ygritte.

Traditionally, production for Game of Thrones has started in July, but obviously this year things will begin a few months later. Still, there's one thing that seems clear: Thrones, which just bagged a record number of nominations at the Emmys, won't be eligible for the 2017 ballot, as shows have to have broadcast the majority of the season's episodes by May 31st in order to be considered.

Last week, Thrones was nominated for a record 23 awards at the Emmys, including competing against itself in a few categories, such as Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Lena Headey (Cersei) and Maisie Williams (Arya) all competing in the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, while Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) and Harington both got nods as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

So far, there's no official word on when the next season of Game of Thrones will finally begin shooting, and much less a date for the HBO release date -- so far, all we know is that winter is, in fact, here.

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