Game of Thrones will return this summer in the light of the Seven. Not only will it release in 2017, but season 7 has also been confirmed to consist of only 7 episodes. Coincidence or not, hopefully this triple 7 is a sign of good fortune to come.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the show has dropped its usual schedule of having each season premiere in the spring and opted to begin recording later in the year. President of HBO programming Casey 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.” On the same topic, series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stated “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.”
Season 7 will also feature another huger departure from the shows usual formula, cutting the episode count from the usual 10 to just 7 episodes. Shorter seasons were speculated since April this year with 13 episodes expected between the final two seasons of the show. Weiss and Benioff also spoke of a planned 73 hours worth of content for the show and the desire to end the show while it was at a high point, meaning fans of the series were prepared for this move although still sad from the knowledge that the series is coming to a close. Now that Season 7 is confirmed to contain 7 of the remaining 13 hours the show has, it can be fairly assumed that the 8th and final season will be only 6 episodes long, but with no confirmation on anything from season 8 as of yet, it will remain a mystery for the time being.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones is shaping up to be the biggest season the show has aired since the series premiere back in 2011. Each season has procured a larger and larger budget from HBO, allowing for some intense and epic moments, such as the penultimate episode of season 6 “Battle of the Bastards”. Season 6 hit a new series high in ratings, rising about 15% since the prior year, and indicates that interest in the series is only growing. News that five stars of the Game of Thrones cast have scored top dollar contracts for season 8 is hopefully an indication that the show has earned more money to spend on production and cast members, and not that season 8 will have to sacrifice on the visuals and CGI and leave us with 8-bit White Walkers.
Game of Thrones has confirmed a panel for San Diego Comic-Con 2016, so if you want to squeeze out as much information as you can for season 7 be sure not to miss this opportunity.