Update (7/18/16): At last we have an answer: HBO has officially confirmed that season seven of Game of Thrones will be delayed until the summer of 2017 in order to film in real winter, with HBO’s president of programming Casey Bloys explaining that, “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”
Previously: The night is dark and full of terrible news, Game of Thrones fans: news you’re not going to want to hear. News that is even worse than that whole “we’re probably only getting another 13 – 15 episodes of the show” thing. Because though winter has been officially announced by the Citadel maesters via the white crows of Oldtown, it’s not coming fast enough for the series to record the epic snowy-ness of Westeros’ long-awaited winter for David Benioff and Dan Weiss to actually film the series. In fact the lack of actual winter is forcing the HBO series to delay its usual March/April premiere date.
According to the boys’ chat with the UFC Unfiltered podcast—brought to our attention by the good folks at HitFix—the Game of Thrones showrunners explained that, because we’re going full-winter next season, production has to get pushed back in order for, y’know, actual winter to arrive. This will, in turn, delay the beginning of season seven.
From the mouths of the masterminds themselves (from about the 41:22 mark):
We don’t have an air date yet but this year will probably be a little bit later. 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.
UUUUUUUUUGH. Right? Nerdist reached out to HBO for further confirmation, but the network had nothing to add outside of what Dave and Dan themselves said on the podcast. So all we have to do is wait and see. Sigh.
If the series is getting pushed, though, it’s the rest of the television world that should be scared: it’s no secret that Game of Thrones is one of the most-watched series in the history of the medium, and pushing it from March/April (when it has, traditionally, always premiered) a few months COULD push it into the fall, meaning the cable and networks’ biggest tentpole shows will have to go up against the behemoth in the ratings grab in a way they never have before. Undead battle between The Walking Dead zombies and Game of Thrones‘ walkers, anyone?
The whole interview is excellent—they discuss George R.R. Martin’s response to their televising of Jon Snow’s death (they said admitting it would be a spoiler for the books —Ooh!), and even some of that Gendry business! (“He’s still rowing.”)—and worth a listen if you’re a fan of Thrones.
What do you think of this terrible, awful, no good, very bad news that is bumming us the heck out even if it is totally reasonable and makes complete and utter sense? Let us know in the comments below!
And here’s where the cast thinks Gendry rowed off to:[brightcove video_id=”4850855347001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]