'Game of Thrones' Season 6 Premiere Date Revealed

Game of Thrones Villains: Nights King - H 2015
Courtesy of HBO

This year, winter is coming in the thick of spring.

HBO used its platform Thursday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to reveal the season six premiere date for Game of Thrones. The new season of the epic fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels will arrive on April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. That will be followed by the returns of Silicon Valley and Veep at 10 and 10:30 p.m., respectively.

Past seasons of Game of Thrones have rigorously adapted Martin's source material, leaving out certain plot lines but faithfully adhering to many of the major trials and triumphs facing the heroes and villains in the world of Westeros. But season six marks a significant sea change, as it will begin revealing important plot developments currently unpublished by Martin. Indeed, the author has confirmed that the sixth book in his series, The Winds of Winter, will not arrive before Game of Thrones begins its next season, despite his best efforts to the contrary.

Among the characters whose fates both show-only and book-reading viewers know nothing about: Jon Snow, last seen betrayed and stabbed by members of the Night's Watch; Daenerys Targaryen, last seen surrounded by a horde of Dothraki warriors, with only her irascible pet dragon Drogon as an ally; Bran Stark, last seen living with a wise old tree wizard who plans to teach the young lord how to perfect his skills as a body-hopping "warg"; and many more.

Readers have wondered about the fates of those characters since the release of 2011's A Dance With Dragons, while those who only watch the show have been hanging onto those questions for six months and counting. Now, it's official: The answers for everyone are only four months away.