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HBO Confirms That 'Game of Thrones' Won't Return Until Next Summer

Earlier this month, Game of Thrones co-creators announced that everybody’s favorite fantasy show would probably be coming back a bit later than usual and now HBO has confirmed it: Thrones won’t be back until the summer of 2017. The delay is due to the fact that the showrunners had to push production back a bit since winter has officially arrived in GoT. Said Benioff and Weis, “… 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.” As Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, said in a press release today:

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.

As Polygon points out, this will be the first time that Thrones has premiered outside of the spring season: every season debuted in April except for season three, which kicked off March 31, 2013. HBO also confirmed the longstanding belief that the latest season of the show would contain just seven episodes (the previous six seasons all ran for ten episodes each).

Filming for season seven will get underway soon in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland.