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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Likely Delayed

The “Game of Thrones” Season 6 finale finally confirmed what Ned Stark has long been warning us about — winter is here — but unfortunately for fans of HBO’s hit drama, that means Season 7 probably won’t be for a while, since our weather patterns aren’t quite as consistent as those in Westeros.

Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recently told the UFC Unfiltered podcast that due to winter’s much-anticipated arrival in the world of the show, production on Season 7 will be delayed in order to capture the chilliness of the change, even in some of the show’s hotter filming locations.

When asked if the series will return in April, the producers admitted, “No … we don’t have an airdate yet, but this year it’ll probably be a bit later, ’cause 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 anymore. 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.”

HBO had no comment on a potential airdate for Season 7. The April 24 premiere date for Season 6 wasn’t announced until January 2016, only a few months before the show returned.

Fans are already coming to terms with the fact that our time in Westeros is limited; as Variety first reported, Benioff and Weiss are considering shorter seasons to end the show’s run, perhaps as little as 13-15 more episodes in total before the series ends, although an exact number has yet to be determined.

“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” Benioff told Variety before Season 6 premiered. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

HBO recently announced the directors for Season 7, with only four helmers on board for the new year; the last three seasons have utilized five directors per year, each shooting two episodes in the season. Season 1 was the last season to utilize only four directors spread across 10 episodes, furthering speculation that next season will have a reduced episode count.

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