Winter is finally here, and a loooooong winter it will be, since Season 7 of Game of Thrones won't be premiering until summer 2017, instead of its usual April release. With only about 13 hours of story remaining, Benioff and Weiss don't have any time to waste wrapping up the complicated yarn they and George R.R. Martin have woven. While there's a lot of plot to pack into the remaining mini-seasons, what does this later premiere date mean for the end of our beloved Thrones?
Sunshine Is So Last Season
While GOT might rely heavily on magnificent CGI, there are some things that just can't be faked — like 80 live horses galloping straight for Kit Harington, or the weather. Creators Benioff and Weiss told UFC Unfiltered:
"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."
The filming locations for Season 7 include Northern Ireland (Winterfell and the North), Spain (The South) and — for the first time since Season 3 — Iceland. Iceland provides the setting for those scenes north of the Wall, including the parts with Jon, Ygritte and the Wildlings traversing across the frozen tundra, and Sam and Lord Commander Mormont getting attacked by the White Walkers. Does this mean we can count on another attack from the wight army in Season 7? Or maybe an ice dragon?!
What Will The Emmys Be Without GOT?
Game of Thrones and the Emmys have always gone together like peas and carrots, but this new schedule is about to break up the dream team. The eligibility period for the Emmys each year is from June 1st until the end of May the following year (i.e., any series that aired between June 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016 would be eligible for the 2016 Emmy Awards). With Season 7 not slated to start until summer 2017, it looks like GOT will be forfeiting its annual set of nominations and sitting this round out.
Since its inception in 2011, the fantasy series has nabbed a nomination for Best Drama series every year, taking home the title last year in 2015. It's also earned Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) six nominations and two well-deserved wins for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He's up again this year, along with first-time nominee Kit Harington (Jon Snow), and three-time nominees Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), and first-timer Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).
The only chance that Thrones could have of joining the 2017 Emmy season would be if they invoked something called the "hanging episodes" rule. That means that the majority of the episodes (i.e., four) of the season would have to air within the eligibility time frame, before May 31. So — if we're lucky — "Summer 2017" might be a little sooner than we thought.
The Winds Of Winter Is Coming (Maybe?)!
Winter might have finally arrived in Westeros in the Game of Thrones season finale, but we're still waiting on the next installment of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, The Winds of Winter. The last book, A Dance With Dragons, number six in the series, came out way back in 2011, which means Martin's had about five years to work on this next story. Let's just hope that with a little extra break from the television series, he'll be able to put the finishing touches on The Winds of Winter in time for summer 2017.
In any case, an entire year should give you plenty of time to get caught up reading the six existing ASOIAF books if you haven't had a chance.
What do you think will happen in Game of Thrones Season 7?