The wildly successful HBO show "Game of Thrones" will not air its next season until summer of 2017, and will feature only seven episodes.

A fan made poster by Youtube user Cantrous
A fan made poster by Youtube user Cantrous (TRT World and Agencies)

Winter is coming… late

Sad news for "Game of Thrones" fans who have been eagerly expecting the next installment of the series. Now that the sixth season aired its finale June 26 this year, the next season will not only start months later than usual, but will be shorter than previous seasons.

Regular audience members may be familiar with the show's schedule, which usually begins airing its 10 episode run in April of each year through till June. 2017's season is slated to begin airing in the summer instead, and will only consist of seven episodes, according to the show's producer HBO.

Season 6 Poster for HBO's Game of Thrones
Season 6 Poster for HBO's Game of Thrones (HBO)

Traditionally, G.O.T. began it's filming in early summer, but with the show's long-awaited ‘winter' finally upon us, the showrunners are waiting for more "grim, gray weather" to fit the next season's theme.

While speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss told listeners, "We're starting a bit later because, you know, the end of this season, winter is here, and that means sunny weather doesn't serve our purposes anymore, so we pushed back everything down the line to get some grim, grey weather, even in the sunnier places that we shoot."

The ‘sunnier places' refer to Northern Ireland, where the crew is said to set up it's base, as well as locations in the Republic of Ireland and Spain.

With global warming affecting the weather, we're seeing longer, hotter summers and more intense winters. This could also be a reason as to the push in the production schedule.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has stated that since 1997, we've seen 10 of the hottest years on record. This is also delaying the start of the winter season in many parts of the globe.

Game of Thrones led Emmy contenders with 23 nominations overall, including nods for best drama series, two for best supporting actor and three for best supporting actress.

This means, when winter finally does arrive in Westeros, the cast and crew should still be feeling the warmth of their overwhelming success.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies