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Game of Thrones will return next summer with just seven episodes

The next season of Game of Thrones will officially debut later than usual and with fewer episodes. HBO now confirms that season seven will air next summer with seven episodes, three fewer than the usual 10.

"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," said HBO programming president Casey Bloys in today's announcement. "Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule."

"We're moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule"

Benioff and Weiss revealed on the UFC Unfiltered podcast earlier this month that shooting had been pushed back due to the weather. "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," they said at the time.

That season seven will have only seven episodes also jibes with what the showrunners recently said about the final stretch of the acclaimed show. In an interview with Deadline, Benioff stated that the show had 15 episodes left in it at most. All this means that the final season will have up to eight episodes to show who will win the Iron Throne.

Learning the Game of Thrones theme song on a futuristic keyboard