HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will not return to the airwaves until summer 2017, a delay from the show’s usual April premiere.
The network confirmed the delayed start as well as a change in the number of episodes, pulling back from 10 to seven for the upcoming season. The next batch of episodes will film in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland.
“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, president of HBO programming, said. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”
Showrunners Benioff and Weiss had previously hinted that season seven may not arrive until much later due to the weather.
“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.”
Benioff and Weiss have said before that they envision the series ending at 73 hours, which would mean seven episodes next year and six in an eighth season. However, no information about season eight is available as of now.
The sixth season of “Game of Thrones” scored 23 Emmy nominations and averaged more than 23 million viewers.