Waits between seasons of Game of Thrones are always rough for those of us who feel that only a handful of episodes each spring is not nearly enough to survive on. Unfortunately, it looks we may have to wait longer than the usual early spring for the Season 7 premiere, as production for the seventh season is already being delayed. But according to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the delay was inevitable for story purposes, rather than anything indicating major problems.
We don't have an air date yet. We're starting a bit later because, you know, at the end of the season, winter is here, and that means that sunny weather doesn't really serve our purposes any more. We kind of pushed everything down the line so we could get some grim, gray weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss stopped by the UFC Unfiltered podcast to chat about the past, present, and future of Game of Thrones, and their reasoning for the delay of Season 7's production makes so much sense that it's hard to grumble about possibly not getting more Thrones until later than March/April of 2017. The Stark words finally came true in the season finale, and now winter is no longer coming, because winter came, and we can't expect the show to get away with any gorgeous summer scenery for a winter in Westeros.
Earlier seasons of Game of Thrones split filming units all over the globe, with some of the actors stationed in the home base in Northern Ireland while others have gone as far as Malta and Croatia. Now that Daenerys and Tyrion are returning to the Seven Kingdoms, we presumably won't get to see much more of the sun-drenched shores of Essos, and even King's Landing should be grayer. We should expect a lot of snow and mud in the Seven Kingdoms in Season 7 thanks to a Northern Ireland winter.
This is what we get for wanting Dany to get a move on and sail for Westeros already. No more Dany in Slaver's Bay, combined with a whole lot of incoming snow for most of the Seven Kingdoms, means a visually bleak seventh season. There should finally be snow in other regions of the Seven Kingdoms than just the North and the Eyrie, and hopefully there will be enough narrative awesomeness to make up for the delay in production. Who knows? Maybe each episode will feature a scene in Dorne of Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell eating oranges and lounging outdoors to get a few rays of sunlight shown.
Season 7 is already set to have fewer episodes than Seasons 1 - 6, so it's possible that the smaller episode count will mean that the production delay won't push the premiere date too far back into 2017. Check out our breakdown of what we know so far about Season 7 for a peek at what's to come next, and take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch while you wait for more Game of Thrones.