Week in 'Game of Thrones': Winter is Coming Next Summer

'Game of Thrones' Season 6 Finale 17 - Publicity - H 2016

The white ravens flowing forth from the Citadel of Oldtown, and pouring all over the realms of Westeros, finally fulfilled the promise of House Stark's famous words: "Winter is here." But for fans of Game of Thrones, it's going to take a good bit of time before the snow finally falls.

This week, HBO revealed that Game of Thrones' seventh season would premiere later than usual. In the past, seasons of the Emmy-winning show have launched in the March and April months; but for the upcoming seventh year of the fantasy series, fans will have to wait until the summer of 2017.

As the amount of time between seasons grows, the actual time spent within Westeros shortens. As part of the announcement, HBO confirmed the rumors that Game of Thrones season seven would feature a shorter episode order than ever before, clocking in at seven installments. That marks seven kingdoms, seven gods, and seven episodes for season seven — with still a little way to go when the season ends, based on what showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have previously expressed: "We're looking at somewhere between 70 and 75 hours before the credits roll for the last time."

Here's what else happened this week in the world of Game of Thrones:

Thrones is a No Snow at Next Year's Emmys

With Game of Thrones waiting until next summer to begin airing its seventh season, the show finds itself unable to compete in next year's Emmy awards. The development comes hot on the heels of Thrones earning a walloping 23 nominations at the Emmys this year, including first-ever acting acknowledgments for Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).

The Growth of Thrones

While fans will have to wait longer than usual for the further adventures of King Snow and the others, it's now known that more viewers than ever before are in on the wait. This week, HBO released audience statistics showing that an average of 25.1 million viewers watched the sixth season of Thrones, nearly five million more than the amount of viewers plugged in for season five. We'll go ahead and call that the "Jon Snow Resurrection Bump."

While Season Seven is Delayed…

…the return of season six looms closer than ever. HBO will release the sixth season box set on November 15, just in time for the holiday season, and a pivot away from the show's typical home video release in the first quarter of the new year. Features on the box set include extensive histories and lore about the Iron Islands, the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and even the Tourney at Harrenhal — the place where Jon Snow's parents first fell in love, according to legend.

Speaking of Jon Snow's Parents…

The season six finale's reveal that Jon is secretly the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark shocked many viewers, but not all of them. Several fans have been following the clues about Jon's true origin for years now. For those who didn't see it coming, this YouTube video (via io9) artfully outlines all of the hints, explicit and otherwise, that led to the big reveal — all to the tune of Max Richter's haunting score from another HBO show, The Leftovers.

A Clash of Cons

The cast and crew of Game of Thrones are set to hit the San Diego Comic-Con stage on Friday (July 22), with attendees including David Beniof, D.B. Weiss, Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran), Liam Cunningham (Davos), Sophie Turner (Sansa) and more — including the late Hodor himself, Kristian Nairn. Stay tuned to THR for more details about the panel once it's completed.

Watch our season seven predictions in the video below:

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