After months of speculation, HBO finally confirmed the return date for hit fantasy drama Game Of Thrones and, as we suspected, the seventh season will be delayed. Instead of its usual April airing, Game of Thrones will be returning to our screens in summer 2017. HBO also confirmed that for the first time ever, the next season of the show will consist of only seven episodes, down from 10 in past seasons.
It's a sad day for Game Of Thrones fans, who have been anticipating the next season ever since the critically acclaimed season finale aired last month. Let's take a look at what this news means for Game of Thrones and what impact it will have as we head into the seventh season.
More Focus On The Endgame
As much as we hate to admit it, the final chapters of Game Of Thrones are well and truly upon us. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss have already confirmed that the eighth season will likely be the last. The closing moments of Season 6 saw Daenerys finally heading for Westeros which leads us to believe that the battle for the Iron Throne is almost ready to begin. Moreover, Cersei extinguished her competition and is now sitting on the throne — something we assume cannot last for very long, especially now that Dany is on her way and Jaime has returned home.
If you take a look at where all of the storylines currently are, it seems they are building towards a final battle. The confirmation of a shortened season suggests that Benioff and Weiss will not require the usual ten episodes to tell this story, meaning that the overall story of Westeros is getting ready to conclude.
The Undead Are Coming
After six years of hearing the infamous "winter is coming" phrase uttered by several key characters, the season finale confirmed that winter has finally arrived in Westeros. As we know, Westeros has a reputation for its long seasons, so the residents had better prepare for many cold nights.
Winter arriving in Game Of Thrones is the very reason that production has been delayed — the crew need more time to film with gloomy winter weather — weather that would reflect winter in the show. However, there is also the possibility that the crew's absolute necessity for colder weather this season could mean that the undead may finally be unleashed upon Westeros. We've seen the Night's King and the White Walkers on several occasions before, and as important as the battle for the throne is, the real war will be between the living and the dead.
As much as we'd like to believe that the characters were talking about the season of winter when they uttered those words, it's more than likely that the winter they were referring to will be the season of the Night's King.
Game of Thrones Out Of The Emmys Race
For many years Game Of Thrones have reigned supreme over the Emmy awards — including this year with a total of 23 nominations, more than any other show. However, due to the next season of Game Of Thrones being delayed until summer, the series is now ineligible for nomination in the 2017 awards. Unfortunately, this means that we will have to wait until the following year to see what awards the cast may or may not pick up for their work on the seventh season.
After six seasons on the air, Game Of Thrones continues to prove why it's still TV's number one show. While we'll have to wait a little longer to see what happens next with our favorite characters, at least we can take solace in the fact that Benioff and Weiss have yet to let us down.
Relive the epic conclusion to Game of Thrones Season 6:
What do you think will happen in the seventh season of Game Of Thrones? Tell me in the comment section below.