If you were one of the millions who tuned (or torrented) in to watch the tense, thrilling finale of Game of Thrones Season 6, then prepare yourself for some disappointment. Fresh off the back of an incredible 23 Emmy nominations, it seems that Game of Thrones fans are slowly losing the show they hold so dearly. Turns out, Game of Thrones Season 7 won't be the usual 10 episodes long, it will only have 7 episodes, and - wait for it - it will arrive to screens later than usual. Gulp.
While it's no secret HBO are aiming to wrap up the epic medieval-fantasy series soon (any fool who watched the Season 6 finale could see the end is looming for the folks in Westeros and beyond) - over the last five years we've grown accustomed to receiving a 10-episode delivery around April each year. But according to Variety, HBO has confirmed that a later shoot date for Season 7 means new episodes won't be ready until the next Northern Hemisphere summer. Additionally, Season 8 will only have somewhere between 6 and 8 episodes.
"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 Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming. "Instead of the show's traditional spring debut, we're moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule."
While shooting schedules are hard to argue with, this split-season finale isn't entirely a new concept, especially when you're talking about highly addictive TV shows that attract an obsessive viewing. Breaking Bad and Mad Men both split their final seasons into two, airing 8 and 7 episodes for each respectively. And, lo and behold, it was a major ratings success for the network, even if we had to wait longer for the payoff. Hollywood is clever like that.