Game of Thrones Season 7 Confirmed to Debut Later and With Fewer Episodes Than Usual

It's going to be a longer wait than we're used to for more Game of Thrones.

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As expected, the forthcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones will both start later and have fewer episodes than past seasons, HBO announced today.

Just seven episodes will comprise Season 7, three fewer than the standard 10 that every season has seen to date. This lines up with comments made by showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss, who had indicated their plan was to wrap the series up with two abbreviated seasons totaling about 13 episodes.

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The other key detail HBO programming president Casey Bloys revealed today was that Season 7 won't debut until summer 2017. Prior seasons had all premiered during April, save for Season 3, which came on March 31. The most recent season saw the series' latest-ever debut, but even that came on April 24.

"Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and DB 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," Bloys said in a press release. "Instead of the show's traditional spring debut, we're moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule."

The end of Season 6 officially marked the beginning of winter on Game of Thrones, where the length of the world's seasons can be erratic. As such, production for Season 7 will be based out of Northern Ireland, with some filming set to happen in Iceland and Spain.

HBO's press release also reaffirmed that Season 7's directors include Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman, and Alan Taylor. As when the list was announced in June, it's notably missing Miguel Sapochnik, who's regarded as one of the series' best directors. His credits include Season 6's final two episodes, "Battle of the Bastards" and "The Winds of Winter," as well as Season 5's excellent "Hardhome."

Sapochnik was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series just recently. That was one of the show's 23 nominations this year, giving it more than any other show for the third year running.

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