Game of Thrones’ Next Season Will Have Seven Episodes, Won’t Air Until Next Summer

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Courtesy of HBO

So long, citizens of Westeros — at least until next summer. Game of Thrones’ next season will be shorter and won’t air until summer 2017, HBO confirms.

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“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,” HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, said in a statement released on Monday, July 18. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”

During a Tuesday, July 5, interview on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, GoT cocreators Benioff and Weiss shared more about the fantasy series’ season 7 delay.

"We don't have an airdate yet, but this year will probably be a little bit later," the pair told hosts Jim Norton and Matt Serra. "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 anymore. So we kind of pushed everything down the line, so we could get some grim, gray weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot."

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New Game of Thrones seasons typically premiere in March or April. Season 6, the show’s latest installment, started airing on April 24. While a GoT season normally spans 10 episodes, Benioff and Weiss recently told Deadline that the show has less than 15 episodes to go before Khaleesi and Co. wrap things up for good.

"Like President Obama, we want to leave while all the people watching this show are really into it,” Weiss explained to Deadline of the decision to call it quits on the Emmy-winning drama in the near future. “Get out at a high point and not have it be, well thank God that’s over."

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"It’s two more seasons we’re talking about," Benioff added. "From pretty close to the beginning, we talked about doing this in 70 to 75 hours, and that’s what we’ll end up with. Call it 73 for now. What Dan [Weiss] says is really true, but it’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome. We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end."

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