Game of Thrones season 7: secrets from the trailer, episode guide, air date, and all you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • Game of Thrones season 7 release date: July 16, 2017 US / July 17, 2017 UK
  • Directors: Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa, Mark Mylod, Matt Shakman
  • Cast: Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Conleth Hill, Rory McCain, Sophie Turner
  • Writers: TBA

Game of Thrones season 7 - everything you need to know

Game of Thrones season 7 is almost here. It has been over a year since S6 smashed our emotions to pieces with its door holding and bastard battling, and now we’re ready for more of HBO’s epic fantasy TV show. The Game of Thrones season 7 air date is July 16, 2017 in the US and July 17, 2017 in the UK. That’s now less than a month away - winter is very much almost here. But what can you expect from the seven new episodes that make up this seventh season? Who will die in Game of Thrones season 7, and who will live to fight, drink, or get naked another day? Below is everything you need to know about GoT S7, including a look at the latest trailer, the teaser, the posters, the confirmed cast and… basically everything. In case you need to be warned: there are potential spoilers ahead, if you want to stay absolutely fresh going into the new season. If that’s the case, er, why did you click on this link?

Game of Thrones season 7 air date - when can I watch Game of Thrones season 7?

Game of Thrones season 7 will premiere on July 16, 2017 in the US. You can watch it on HBO, obviously, and you can expect it to be evening Pacific Time - likely 8 or 9pm PT. The UK release date for Game of Thrones season 7 is July 17, 2017, where it’ll premiere on Sky Atlantic. Sky is yet to confirm whether the show will air at the same time as the US version (about 4am, then) or whether it’ll screen at 9pm on the evening of July 17. Once the show has aired in the US it’ll be available on HBO Go, so you don’t necessarily need to stay up if you’re based on the East Coast. In the UK you should be able to catch up via Sky, and the episode will be available on Now TV too. Again, it’s unclear whether the latest episode will appear on Now TV straight after the US screening, or after the Sky Atlantic screening.

Read more: 15 Amazing fan theories for Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones season 7 trailer - where can I see the latest footage?

Want the latest Game of Thrones season 7 trailer? It’s right here. Click or tap here for a detailed trailer breakdown. This first proper trailer shows off plenty of action, and there’s little secret that the new season will have multiple battles and some of the biggest set-pieces the show has ever created. We already know that season 7 contains a battle that will be bigger than the one between the Bastards in S6, making it the largest ever. Although the same number of extras have been called in (500), there are more horses (an extra 70)... so it seems likely the Dothraki are involved. You can see this right at the end of this trailer.

Game of Thrones season 7 episodes - how many are there and how long are they?

It’s way too early to know what the Game of Thrones season 7 episodes are going to be called. After all, the season 6 finale was named after the book that isn’t even out yet. We do, however, know which of the season 7 directors will be handling each episode and how long each one is. Let's take a quick look:

  • Episode 1: Jeremy Podeswa (59 mins)
  • Episode 2: Mark Mylod (59 mins)
  • Episode 3: Mark Mylod (63 mins)
  • Episode 4: Matt Shakman (50 mins)
  • Episode 5: Matt Shakman (59 mins)
  • Episode 6: Alan Taylor (71 mins)
  • Episode 7: Jeremy Podeswa (81 mins)

What can we tell from this? Season 7, while having fewer episodes, isn’t that much shorter than other seasons. That final episode is practically feature length, and all the others are longer than almost everything that has gone previously.

In terms of what the directors will bring? Not all that much. Jeremy Podeswa did the two opening episodes from season 6, so is a steady hand to take us into S7. Mark Mylod handled 'No-One' and 'The Broken Man' from season 6, which are both great character episodes. Matt Shakman is a newcomer to Thrones, and has worked extensively in all kinds of TV, directing episodes of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Mad Men, Fargo, and um, Ugly Betty. Alan Taylor has worked on plenty of GoT episodes from seasons 1 and 2, and since then has directed Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys. Um, moving swiftly on, then... Jeremy Podeswa returns for the season finale.

Game of Thrones season 7 plot - what will happen in Game of Thrones season 7?

The Game of Thrones season 7 script has leaked online, if you really want to spoil things for yourself. It’s worth noting that this happened in the middle of last year, so the script has probably been through multiple tweaks since then, and much of the season could have changed. However, placed against the scenes shown in the trailer… it looks very, very legit.

We know that Jon Snow will meet Daenerys at some point, thanks to a leaked set photo of Kit Harrington shooting a scene with Emilia Clarke. They appear to be filming a scene and not just hanging out, but there are rumors that S7's showrunners are deliberately throwing some red herrings into the filming schedule to avoid potential spoilers leaks like this. Seems far-fetched, but Thrones has always delighted in the old bait-and-switch, so this could well extend to the filming process. However, this meeting between Jon and Dany is backed up by other set-photos (leaked, obvs) that show Jon confronting Theon on a beach in Westeros… Perhaps that’s near Dragonstone, where Dany will take up her old family seat.

Who else is meeting up? Looks like Davos and Tyrion are getting reacquainted in S7 too. That could be awkward, given how Tyrion burned up several of Davos' sons with wildfire at the Battle of the Blackwater. According to the trailer Melissandre is back too, and living in Dragonstone, so she’ll encounter Danaerys at some point.

Meanwhile leaked pics show Pilou Asbaek - aka Euron Greyjoy - arriving in King's Landing. He seems to have formed an alliance with Cersei, and his 'gift' for her is both Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand as prisoners. What’s the bet he fancies her hand in marriage too?

More speculation suggests that Jorah Mormont may have cured himself of Greyscale (and the outstretched hand in the trailer seems to suggest this). Good for him. This leaked set story shows him totally free of any signs of the disease, although it could just be added in post-production. Still, we like Jorah, so we're rooting for him.

Finally, Kit Harrington has been extensively photographed (by fans) while filming scenes in Iceland. Hot rumors suggest it's a battle between a small party of Snow's forces and the Whitewalkers, but it's the King in the North's allies that interest us most. Harrington has been spotted with the actors who play Thoros of Myr and Gendry (remember him? The bastard son of Robert Baratheon), suggesting they're assisting in some way. We also know The Hound is with Thoros and The Brotherhood Without Banners so... is he joining forces with Jon Snow too? The scene in the trailer with the small group heading north of the wall certainly suggests this.

Game of Thrones season 7 cast - who is new and who is out?

We know that a new character from the books is appearing in season 7, albeit briefly. Alys Karstark will be played by Megan Parkinson, and is set to appear in at least one episode of the new season. She's a key part of Jon Snow's final weeks as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch in the books, but was skipped in season 5 of the TV show. Many speculate she's a love interest for Snow but... that seems unlikely given that she's only slated for a single episode, and that she has appeared so late in the day. More likely she becomes a key ally in Jon's fight for the realm.

Rumor has it that Arya's direwolf, Nymeria, will return for season 7. If you remember, she's separated from her wolf and its fate is never explained (although, in the books we know she has a psychic connect to Nymeria). Aside from Ghost she's the only remaining direwolf in the Stark family, so her return could be quite... emotional. Everyone loves a massive dog, right? This rumor comes courtesy of the fact Instinct Animals for Film - a company that supplies animals for filming (duh) - Tweeted out some pics of its wolves with the line 'ready to work' and the hashtag #winteriscoming. Seems pretty likely that Nymeria is back, especially now Arya has returned to the mainland and is heading back to Winterfell to reunite with Sansa.

Randyll Tarly - Sam's father - is definitely back in season 7, along with his son Dickon, who has had a change of actor. Tom Hopper (from Merlin and Black Sails) is the new Dickon. We also know that the Tarly army will fight alongside the Lannisters in season 7, thanks to leaked set pics, and that during this battle Jaime Lannister will be using Widow's Wail, the sword fashioned for his son Joffrey.

Watchers On The Wall is reporting that Brendan Cowell has been spotted on set, and will be playing new character Harrag the Ironborn. He's likely to be travelling with Euron Greyjoy, who is rumored to be teaming up with Cersei for a pitched battle against Daenerys' forces. Oh my... it's all heating up.

Weirdly, Walder Frey actor David Bradley has been filming scenes for S7 but... don't expect a return of his character. It's likely Arya will be using his face to infiltrate her next assassination target.

It seems a bunch of actors are clamouring to get in on the Game of Thrones action, though. A recent article revealed the weird bribes sent to the show's casting directors, including Kit-Kats, personalized playing cards, and... a life-sized Storm Trooper. Yes. Ed Sheeran will be making a brief appearance in the show, and we can only hope he sees fire and is dispatched swiftly while defending the castle on the hill. Sorry.

Read more: The current status of every Game of Thrones character

Game of Thrones season 7 photos and poster - where can I see them?

HBO has released a bunch of new set pics from Game of Thrones season 7, which you can see right here. They show plenty of characters looking cold, thoughtful, and ready to avoid as many spoilers as possible. As for the poster? It’s right here, and is fairly minimal. Its theme is fire and ice, which represents both the clash between Dany’s dragons and the Lannister armies, and the scrap happening north of the wall between Jon and the Whitewalkers.

Game of Thrones recap will get you caught up just in time

It's a little late to start watching all the previous seasons of Game of Thrones again right now, so if you're not caught up by now... you're in trouble. However, don't worry - not only have we recapped the entire show in the videos above, we've also done it in article form. Check out these links below: 

Game of Thrones season 8 is shorter than season 7

You all know that there are two seasons of Game of Thrones left, right? Game of Thrones Season 7 is due in July 2017, but HBO has already set a date for the filming of GoT8. Expect that to start in September, and expect it to be six episodes long (likely with a feature-length opener AND finale). What does that tell us? Well, it certainly implies that 7 and 8 will feel like one long season, with a big break half way through. That's no surprise - it's all about tying up plot threads and resolving character journeys now. Oh, and great big battles too. What we know for sure is that there are only 13 episodes of Game of Thrones left in total, which is a sobering thought. Speaking to NME, Liam Cunningham - who plays Ser Davos - says: "That’s seven episodes and then we start [filming] again in September and there’s a final six." This also implies we'll see Davos in S8, so don't expect his demise in season 7…

However, although Cunningham seems to know what he's talking about, HBO Programming President Casey Bloys suggested this may not be the case, if the show can't be wrapped up in such a short time. "“[Benioff and Weiss] are still figuring out the shape of the season, what they want to do… I’ll take as many as they want to do. If they give me eight, I’ll want 10.”

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