Alright, team, it’s time to start talking about the Game of Thrones season 7 release date. Sure, the paint isn’t even dry yet on Game of Thrones season 6, but we’ve got to look to the future, eh? Well, Game of Thrones season 7—which will come out next April, in all likelihood—is going to be a bit of a different beast. It’s not official yet, but there are prominent, well-sourced rumours that the next two seasons are both going to be shorter—six or seven episodes each instead of ten. It’s sad news, but that seems to be the way things are going for next April.
So when will be getting new episodes? Officially, HBO has only said that the next season will come out in 2017, but the current schedule is clearly working. Don’t expect them to disrupt a good thing. However, judging by the past six season premieres (17 April, 1 April, 31 March, 6 April, 12 April, 24 April) it’s a pretty safe bet that the show will return in late April, or possibly early May.
The bigger question is whether the next season really is shorter than the others. The rumours have been flying for a while that the next two seasons would only be six or seven episodes each; Hollywood industry magazine Variety launched the rumours, when showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss warned us that there would only be 13 episodes left after the sixth season. One of the show’s directors has basically confirmed the rumours as well.
There’s a reason for the shorter seasons: As Weiss told Variety, “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.” The time and production values allotted to each episodes will increase, even if we end up with fewer episodes than we’d like. Is it worth the trade-off, or will the story feel even more rushed as a result? It could well be the latter, but it’s not really up to us, is it? After tonight’s finale, there are probably just 13 episodes of Game of Thrones left. And we’ll get the first set of them with the Game of Thrones season 7 release date next April. It feels like a long, long wait.