Game of Thrones pushed to summer 2017, Season 7 drops to seven episodes

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Jul 18, 2016, 6:12 PM EDT

The next season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is going to be a little smaller — and it’ll also be showing up a little later.

The network has announced the seventh season of Thrones will not arrive until the summer of 2017, which comes later than the series’ typical spring debut. The episode order, something that had been teased previously, was also trimmed to seven episodes (the series typically produces 10 episodes per season).

As for the delay, the network said the later shooting schedule would be a benefit to the story, since it would literally allow for a change in the weather while shooting, so they decided to pull the trigger and bump things a few months.

“Now that winter has arrived on 'Game of Thrones,’ executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the story lines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, said in a statement via The New York Times.

Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have indicated the series could come to an end within two seasons, and the eventual eighth season will probably have a similar 6-7 episode order.

Another interesting tidbit: If the premiere pushes later than May, the show would not be eligible for next year’s Emmy Awards. That’s huge news for everyone who is not HBO, considering the series has scored more nominations than any other show the past three years. So, if the season really is that late, it could blow the Emmy race wide open.

(Via The New York Times)