Game of Thrones season 7 trailer, release date, locations, cast, and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • Game of Thrones season 7 release date: Summer 2017
  • 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 can’t come soon enough

Winter is here but the next season of Game of Thrones is still months away. Sigh. At the end of season 6, everything had changed. A Lannister was on the Iron Throne (and a Queen at that!), Daenerys has finally left Meereen and is now on her way to Westeros, and Jon Snow has been declared King of the North. Plus, you know, that whole R+L=J thing. To keep us going until the new season, we’ve compiled everything we know about Game of Thrones season 7 so far, and we’ll keep updating it as more is revealed so make sure you check back. 

Game of Thrones season 7 release date isn’t confirmed, but winter isn’t coming until summer 2017

HBO hasn’t announced when season 7 of Game of Thrones will debut in 2017, but we know it will be much later than normal. Unlike past seasons, which typically have debuted in April, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said season 7 won’t arrive until next summer at the earliest, because winter has to get here first.

“We have to shoot in places where there are trees, so we have to wait for the leaves to fall off,” Benioff told a panel at San Diego Comic Con. “That means we don’t finish shooting until February, and there’s no way of finishing post. There’s no way to get the show out there until summer.”

Game of Thrones has already started pre-production at some of their colder spots, but other locations won’t start shooting until October or later. It sucks that we won’t get the next season of Game of Thrones until summer, but it is refreshing to see the show rely more on natural settings instead of just using special effects to simulate winter. Plus, more time to re-binge seasons 1-6! 

Game of Thrones season 7 episodes will be limited to seven

Winter isn’t the only thing that makes time shorter. Game of Thrones is only going to have seven episodes for season 7. Benioff and Weiss said they’re looking to do about 13 total episodes for the rest of the series, because that’s the total story they have left to tell. In addition, fewer episodes means bigger potential budgets. Given that Battle of the Bastards cost $10-million, we could be seeing even higher price hikes once winter actually arrives.

Of course, it’s way too early to know what the episodes are going to be called. After all, the season 6 finale was named after the book that isn’t even out yet. However, some people on Reddit have started speculating possible episode titles, and they’re pretty good. These include ‘The Lion and the Dragon,’ to represent Dany’s conflict with Cersei, as well as ‘Valonqar,’ for when the eventual sororicide happens. 

Game of Thrones season 7 locations are cold, colder, and coldest

HBO has confirmed several of the locations for season 7 of Game of Thrones, and it’s going to get real chilly for our Westerosi. 

Northern Ireland, per the usual, is the hub for season 7, with pre-production already underway. We even spotted Iain Glen and Gwendoline Christie en route to Belfast last month, going over the script for the next season. And if Maisie Williams’ tweets are anything to go on, it was some pretty fantastic in-flight reading material. 

We’ve also learned about several locations in Spain, including the cities of Seville, Cáceres, Almodóvar del Río, Santiponce, Zumaia, and Bermeo. Several of the cities have beaches and cliff-sides that would be perfect spots for Dany’s army to land. However, the coolest Spanish stop would have to be Almodóvar del Río, because it’s got a gorgeous castle that fans are speculating will be turned into Highgarden. And since HBO doesn’t start filming in the town until November, expect to see some snow on the buttresses.

Finally, it looks like we’re heading back to Iceland. But not just any Iceland, it’s Super Duper Mega Cold Iceland. HBO confirmed that it’s filming in Iceland in January 2017, where average temperatures reach -0.3°C (31.5°F) below freezing. Local newspapers are reporting that the Iceland scenes will involve six major characters, though we don’t know which ones yet. While we can assume Jon and Sansa are gonna be there, we could see Arya’s return to Winterfell. Brienne and Podrick might turn back up. Or we get more Lyanna Mormont, because I’ll watch that queen slay any day.

Game of Thrones season 7 trailer predicts Cersei’s reign, Dany’s invasion, and Sansa’s chair

Given the fact that filming won’t finish until February 2017, we’re likely not going to get a new-footage trailer until sometime next spring. That hasn’t stopped HBO from giving us a taste of what to expect. HBO released an “In Production” trailer at San Diego Comic Con, showing fans that season 7 may be several months away, but it’s not too early to get amped up.

We got lots of amazing tidbits with that trailer. We saw Cersei’s throne room being set up, hinting that we can expect big (and scary) things from her reign as the first Lannister on the Iron Throne. The props department gave us a peek at some spears and shields for the North’s united forces, which could mean a conflict with the White Walkers or, possibly, with Cersei herself. Sansa’s getting a chair (foreshadowing her rule of Winterfell), and Dany’s forces could be hitting Dorne first on the way to conquering the Seven Kingdoms. In short, it’s the year of the Ladies of Winterfell.

Game of Thrones season 7 poster is far, far away

Game of Thrones has often used its posters as a way to clue us in about what’s going on with the next season. Season 6 gave us the wall of faces, hinting at Jon Snow’s return from the grave, while season 5 awed and amazed with a shot of Tyrion face-to-face with Drogo. And of course, can’t forget the signature shot of Ned Stark on the Iron Throne from season 1. 

We still have no idea when the poster and character photos for season 7 will arrive or what kind of story they’ll hint at, but someone on Reddit gave us a pretty gorgeous fan-made poster in the meantime. Fire and Blood, has such a nice ring to it. Also, while waiting for some season 7 wall art, might I recommend Robert M. Ball, who creates gorgeous posters for many major deaths on Game of Thrones in the appropriately titled series, Beautiful Death.

Game of Thrones season 7 directors include veterans and newbies, but again, no women

HBO announced four directors for season 7, including GoT veteran Alan Taylor (who’s been busy with Thor: The Dark World and Terminator: Genisys) and newcomer Matt Shakman. In the past, HBO has tended to hire five directors to direct two episodes each, so either these four directors are taking on more work, or there are fewer episodes for them to direct. 

Sadly, even though season 7 is being helmed as the “Rise of the Matriarchy,” HBO is continuing the disturbing trend of having no female directors. All four directors this season are men. In fact, the show has only had one woman in the director’s chair, and her last episode was in season 4. Call me crazy, but I think you’d want women around when you’re writing about women.

Game of Thrones season 7 cast brings back the gang, plus a new “warrior”

The gang’s all here for season 7 of Game of Thrones. Pretty much everyone who’s still alive is expected to turn up next season, with a few exceptions. The biggest mystery surrounds Melisandre, who was told “never to return” at the end of season 6. Actress Carice van Houton is currently pregnant, so it may affect her role next season. 

Several actors have already been seen en route to Belfast, including Gwendoline Christie and Iain Glen. We got a hint that (maybe) Jason Momoa would be reprising his role as Khal Drogo, after Momoa shared a picture of him with Benioff and Weiss in Northern Ireland, where the show is being filmed. Also, maybe Gendry’s coming back? Probably not, but we can hope. Keep on rowing, buddy.

We’re also seeing a bunch of new roles being cast for next season. Most of them appear to be one-off characters, like a priest, a young lord and a “lovely lady” (because of course we need more naked women on this show). However, HBO is currently looking for a “top-end actor” between 35 and 45 to play a warrior who will have a “considerable” amount of dialogue. No confirmation yet, but rumors are circulating that this could be Rhaegar Targaryen, and we’ll see some cool flashbacks as we find out more about Jon Snow’s past.

For a full breakdown of the Game of Thrones cast, check out our cast guide.

Game of Thrones season 7 predictions hint at Jon Snow discovering his roots

Winter has come to Game of Thrones, but it’s nowhere close to arriving in A Song of Ice and Fire, so we’re pretty much on our own here. The show could take us anywhere, but there are clues as to what we can predict will happen next season. We’ve got a full list here, but here are a couple of samples of what we can expect.

The biggest prediction is that Jon Snow will find out who his real parents are by the end of the season. We know that Bran is heading to The Wall, and we can only expect that his first stop will be his childhood home of Winterfell (assuming he knows it’s a safe location by that time). Bran knows that Jon needs the truth about his lineage, especially as a way to rally Westeros against the White Walkers. We also think Daenerys is definitely going to land in Westeros by the end of the season. As we’ve revealed above, several Spanish locations they’re filming in for next season include beaches and cliffs that could be used for landing scenes. Plus, given how quickly Varys was able to travel between Dorne and Dany, I don’t imagine she’s going to spend the whole season on a boat… hopefully. 

Game of Thrones season 7 theories cover everything, from Greyscale to mermen

Just there are tons of predictions regarding the next season of Game of Thrones, there are also plenty of more bizarre theories as to what we can expect. We’ve gone into 15 of the most interesting Game of Thrones season 7 theories in detail, but here are a few tidbits about what could happen next season. 

A lot of the theories surround Cersei, the newly crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. There’s a lot of speculation that she will inherit the madness that plagued the previous Targaryen ruler and become the Mad Queen. In regards to our Dragon Queen, rumors are spiraling that we’ll see her arrive at the Dragonpit sometime next season, the old building in King’s Landing that housed the Targaryen dragons.

There’s speculation that Bran is going to be responsible for bringing the White Walkers to Westeros by crossing the Wall to tell Jon Snow who his real father is, and that Jorah will be healed of Greyscale and return to Dany’s side. Of course, the best one of all is the rumor that Varys is actually a merman, and is plotting to melt the Seven Kingdoms with dragon fire so his fellow mermen can rise again. That one’s my favorite.

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

We might have almost a year until Game of Thrones season 7 hits our screens, but you can guarantee that by the time it does, we'll need a refresher on where everyone in Westeros is and what they're up to. Now, you could just watch season 1-6 again (who would blame you?), but you'd actually need to start now to get done in time... Game of Thrones is a lot like the Golden Gate Bridge in that way. So instead, let us help you out with our season recaps. 

Game of Thrones season 7 spoilers can be easily avoided

There are plenty of us who don’t want Twitter, Facebook, or the virtual water cooler that is Internet 2016 to ruin the next season of Game of Thrones for us. Luckily, there are ways to avoid spoilers, if you’re willing to put a little time in. Here’s a list of ways to mute and filter Game of Thrones out of your social media sites like Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. If you’re wanting something more specific, GameofSpoils is a Chrome extension that will automatically block out all mentions of Game of Thrones. If you want an extension you can also use for The Walking Dead, there’s also Unspoiler, which will put a solid red bar over every mention of something you don’t want to see, like Game of Thrones. After all, the night is dark and full of spoilers.

Game of Thrones season 7 story is going to get a lot worse before it gets better

George R.R. Martin can’t save us now. Game of Thrones is well past the books, and now that the white raven has arrived, winter is officially upon us. Most of the cast and crew have been pretty tight-lipped about what to expect in season 7. Before he read the script, though, Kit Harington told The Hollywood Reporter that the show is going to get a lot darker over the course of the next season. 

"I think it's going to get very bleak before if there is a happy ending. If there's any sort of win or heroic moment for Jon and everyone else, I think it's going to get very dark before it gets better. I think what we might see this season is those White Walkers and that Army of the Dead really come into force. So that's going to be exciting to see. I don't know what it means. I think with the whole ‘winter is finally here’ business, it means everyone is going to have a really bad time," Harington said.

Maisie Williams has also chimed in on Twitter, and she’s telling us to buckle up.

Related Game of Thrones season 7 news

Game of Thrones could be adding Murder, She Wrote's Angela Lansbury to its season 7 cast

Game of Thrones season 7 just cast its first new "significant" role

Game of Thrones asks "Who would you vote for?" with political campaigns

Game of Thrones season 7 casting call is after generals, lieutenants, and a nude courtesan because reasons

Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams has read the script for season 7 and she is HYPED

Game of Thrones' Kit Harington says "it’s going to get very dark before it gets better" 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth Elderkin is a freelance journalist based in Chicago, and co-hosts Shark Jumping on Channel Awesome. Follow her on Twitter @BethElderkin.
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