HBO’s multiple award-winning fantasy drama series, “Game of Thrones” (GoT), will return next year in summer instead of spring, a shift from the show’s usual schedule. Along with the announcement, HBO confirmed that season 7 will consist of 7 episodes, also a big change from the series’ usual 10 episodes.

On top of that, for the first time in years, the GoT production will return to Iceland (other countries include Ireland and Spain). If you remember, Iceland was primarily used for the North of the Wall scenes when Jon Snow was embedded with the Wildlings camp.

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So perhaps that’s a subtle hint to the upcoming season’s plot, and the popular GoT quote, “Winter is coming” now rings truer than ever before?

President of HBO programming Casey Bloys disclosed, “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,” he added.

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Note: The change in the schedule means that GoT will be ineligible for the Emmys in 2017, since the cut-off date is 31st May.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who envisioned 2 more seasons to close out the series, amounting to about 13 episodes, also confirmed, “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.”

As for season 8 of GoT, HBO has yet to confirm anything although the show’s producers have previously said that they wanted to end the hit series with 6 episodes in the 8th and final season. This means that season 8 will have the least episodes in a season in GoT history and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it will allow the team to really polish each episode before going out with a bang.

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The finale for season 6 of GoT, which aired last month, broke records with the highest ratings ever for the show with 8.9 million viewers tuning into HBO. More recently, GoT raked in a whopping total of 23 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, the most nominations this year and more than any of other series for the 3rd year running.

Sources: EW, Deadline, NY Times, THR.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.