6. Winter will delay Season 7’s premiere date

Typically, Game of Thrones premieres in April of each year. 2017 will buck this trend, thanks to one simple fact: Winter is here. Said showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, “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.” Basically, sunny shooting locations like Dubrovnik, Croatia will need more cloud cover to properly portray a Westeros Winter, leading to a later, less summer-y start date for production. Sorry fans, you’ll have to wait a bit longer than usual to find out what happens.

5. We’ll be getting a much shorter season next year

Breaking from tradition seems to be a developing trend for Game of Thrones. Season 6 was the first time the show has ever outstripped the source novels. Season 7 will debut later in the year than any other. The icing on the cake: The new season will only run seven episodes long. The plan from HBO right now is to drag this out as long as possible, albeit with a compromise in place with the showrunners.

Benioff and Weiss both have no intention of dragging Game of Thrones out past its expiration date, making two more 10-episode seasons more than a little excessive. The middle ground they seem to have arrived at with the network is for 13 more episodes divided over two seasons. As of now, it looks like Season 7 will run for seven episodes, wrapping up with six final installments a year later.

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