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HBO is kindly giving Game of Thrones fanatics a little extra time to emotionally prepare for the series' impending seventh season. The network announced Monday that Game of Thrones will eschew its usual spring debut in favor of a summer 2017 return, with the seven-episode batch of heart-wrenching Emmy bait set to begin production soon.
"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," Casey Bloys, HBO president, said in a press release. "Instead of the show's traditional spring debut, we're moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule."
The production will take the Thrones team to Northern Ireland, Iceland, and Spain. According to Bloys, specific shooting locales in Spain will include Caceres, Santiponce, Zumaia, and more. Mark Mylod (Minority Report), Jeremy Podeswa (True Detective), Alan Taylor (Mad Men), and Matt Shakman (Fargo) are among the directors tapped to helm various episodes.
Just last week, Thrones nabbed a mind-numbing 23 Emmy nominations against some stiff competition from relative newcomers Mr. Robot. Following last season's heavy resurrection vibes, the show is opting for a leaner approach heading into its final years. Speaking with Variety in April, Benioff theorized that the show may very well bow out after the eighth season. "I think we're down to our final 13 episodes after this season," Benioff said. "We're heading into the final lap. That's the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that's what we're looking at."