When is Game of Thrones season seven released on TV?
Everything you need to know about the penultimate series of the HBO drama, including UK and US release dates, storyline rumours and more
Game Of Thrones season seven is released in 2017 – although, frustratingly, fans will have to wait a little longer than usual for new Game of Thrones episodes.
The HBO series, which airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK, is set for a summer 2017 release rather than the drama's usual April slot.
Here's everything you need to know, including release date, key series storylines and casting rumours. We'll update this page as soon as more details come through.
The series aired in the US on Sunday 16th July. Because Sky Atlantic show the series at the same time as the US broadcast, the first time UK fans could watch season seven's first episode was Monday 17th July at 2am. But don't worry, the episode is repeated at the more UK-friendly time of 9pm. The episode is also available to watch NOW via Sky on Demand.
Why has Game of Thrones season seven been delayed?
The show has been pushed back because of a necessary shift in filming schedules. Basically, although the series will be released in the summer, season seven is going to be seriously chilly.
“Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. 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,” said president of HBO programming Casey Bloys.
What's going to happen in Game of Thrones season 7?
HBO recently revealed the episode titles and plot details for the first few episodes, giving us some concrete information about the arc of the upcoming season. Check out what we learned here, and what to expect from season seven based on the information revealed so far.
And, just in case you need reminding, here's a recap of where we left all the Game of Thrones characters at the end of season six.
How many episodes will there be in Game of Thrones season seven?
Season seven will be a shorter run, with just seven episodes instead of the usual ten. Season eight will be even shorter, with just six episodes.
However, fewer episodes doesn't necessarily mean less action. “They are taking the length of time it takes to shoot ten episodes to shoot just seven this year and six next year," Game of Thrones star Ian Glen told RadioTimes.com.
"There are 15 more hours left in Thrones as we understand it, but that may change, but that’s as far as we know," he added. “I think the scale and size of the set pieces, the world that is being created it’s just getting more and more extraordinary and they feel they need that time to shoot seven hours as opposed to ten.”
That opinion was backed up by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister; he says that the plot of season seven will move much quicker now: “Everything happened quicker than I’m used to… a lot of things that normally take a season now take one episode."
What's the running time for each Game of Thrones episode?
The running time has yet to be confirmed, but if Ian Glen above is correct in his assertion that there are 15 hours of Game of Thrones left, that means some episodes will have to be longer than the typical 50 minute running time.
If there are 15 hours split into 13 episodes, that averages out at just over 69 minutes an episode.
In fact, the final episode of Game of Thrones season seven is set to be the "longest episode ever" with a reported run-time of 81 minutes.
The universe is expanding – now there are rumours that Game of Thrones season eight could be made up of SIX feature-length episodes.
Who's joining the cast for Game of Thrones season seven?
Oh, loads of people. Perhaps the most exciting is Jim Broadbent, who will have a "significant" role to play in the final two series. Click here if you want to find out more about his character.
Merlin star Tom Hopper is also joining the show, and there are numerous other rumours about who will be filling those key final character slots.
And in cameo news, singer Ed Sheeran is set to appear in season seven as a treat for Sheeran superfan Maisie Williams.
Meanwhile, Joe Dempsie's appearance at the season seven premiere appeared to hint that the Skins actor is set to make a long-awaited return.
Is there a new Game of Thrones season seven trailer?
Next up came this more sombre affair, as Daenerys and the Seven Kingdoms prepared for war.
It also has a fleeting scene that suggests Jon Snow is about to finally learn who his true parents are...
Most recently, we had this thrilling new trailer, released less than a month before the series hits our screens.
What about new Game of Thrones pictures?
But wait one second, if you zoom in closely to another picture, there could be a more concrete hint about where season seven is going next...
Furthermore, pictures from the opening episode appear to hint at a major reunion happening surprisingly early in the new season.
What else is out there?
Meanwhile, star Maisie Williams is teasing that the upcoming series will feature a "huge cliffhanger" – although not necessarily at the series finale.
And just in case you were a little too caught up in all the drama, here's a little light relief showing how Emilia Clarke actually becomes Mother of Dragons – thank heavens for CGI.
Will Game of Thrones finish after season 8?
Almost certainly not. George RR Martin has frequently discussed possible Game of Thrones 'projects' in the works, saying recently that there were five ideas being worked on as we write.
Writers Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Brian Helgeland (Legend) and Carly Wray (Mad Men) are all involved in working on more stories set in George RR Martin's world. It's unlikely all these ideas will come to fruition, but it's clear Thrones broadcaster HBO is working hard to ensure a legacy is in place...
Meanwhile, Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says she's 'losing sleep' over her character's final scenes. What is there to worry about?
Game of Thrones season seven news – release dates, trailers and more