(Warning: The following contains potential SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season seven, as well as some discussion of the events of the recently concluded sixth season of the show. Proceed with whatever level of caution your friendly neighborhood Three-Eyed Raven suggests to you is wise...)
And so, our watch is...extended somewhat. Or, at least, that's what Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' recent suggestion that the show's seventh season will be delayed seems to indicate. Indeed, from the sounds of their fan-devastating revelation, the show is set to begin filming sufficiently late to have left the seventh season without a current air date:
"We don’t have an air date yet... 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."
The big question now, then?
What Does The 'Game Of Thrones' Delay Actually Mean For The Show?
Well, from a fan perspective, it largely means a potentially lengthy delay in season seven arriving (though a reduced length, seven episode season could also reduce the amount of time needed for post-production), which for many - though not all - of us is a cruel, Ramsay Bolton-esque blow.
From a plot perspective, however, the delay in filming might actually tell us a whole lot more about season seven than simply that there'll be more "grim, grey weather". For instance:
We Can Now Expect A Whole Lot More Snow
Specifically, actual, white and fluffy (albeit potentially blood-stained) snow, as opposed to the bastard variety. Y'see, while a shift towards winter filming does indeed increase the chances of seeing "grim, grey weather", it also offers up more opportunities for filming in actual snow in shooting locations like Iceland - and beyond.
Could this delay, then, confirm that we'll be seeing the snow that's already covering Westeros' north move south - or even that the show's focus will move more-and-more toward the North, thus necessitating a greater number of filming days in snowy locations such as Iceland? If so, then...
We Can Now Expect A Whole Lot More Jon Snow, Too
Or, rather, a whole lot more attention being paid to the North - and perhaps to the fight against the White Walkers. After all, determined as Daenerys is to take the Iron Thrones, she's also surely seen far too much in her time to blindly ignore warnings of zombified death coming from the North as the rest of Westeros has. If so, could we see the majority of the season's events taking place close to The Wall?
After all, who wouldn't want to see every house in Westeros' armies massed in the North for a major, Iron Throne-holder-deciding confrontation, only to be interrupted by a horde of White Walkers? The look on Cersei's face alone would be priceless.
The North Could Be Hiding More Secrets Than We Think
Specifically, there's a whole fan theory about how there's an ice dragon hiding in The Wall - something that would seem even more likely to come into play were season seven to see a massed confrontation between Daenerys' dragon-led forces and...well, pretty much anyone else.
Could we see Bran turn up atop a kick-ass ice dragon he's freed from the wall - or The Night's King do the same? Either way, Drogon is going to be pissed.
We Probably Shouldn't Expect Too Much To Change At All
Y'see, for all that it's entirely possible that a shooting delay will define the entire seventh season of Game of Thrones, it's also entirely possible that it...well, won't. After all, it's entirely possible that Benioff and Weiss were being completely honest when they argued that the delay is simply designed to allow them to shoot more "grim, grey weather", and nothing more.
In which case, season seven may simply turn out to be a little more grey than usual, with everything else staying more-or-less the same. Except for that whole 'invading army of Dothraki, Unsullied, Ironborn and dragons' thing, of course. That's pretty new...