Set your calendars for next year’s monolithic cultural conversation! Variety reports that the seventh season of Game of Thrones will start shooting towards the end of this summer, but that it presumably won’t have as much to shoot as usual, because it’ll be three episodes shorter than all of the previous seasons. (Seasons 1-6 had 10 episodes each, while there’ll reportedly be seven episodes in Season 7).
Not only will there be fewer episodes to anticipate: the anticipation will also last longer. It’s not expected to air until Summer 2017, as opposed to April, when it usually begins.
The president of programming at HBO, Casey Bloys, said in a statement:
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.