Game of Thrones season seven will premiere on July 16, HBO announced on Thursday via an unusual Facebook Live presentation, that featured a literal block of ice melting. The summer date, as opposed to the regular spring time for all the past seasons, comes due to the scheduling requirements of the show, which needed gloomier, more wintery conditions in the locations used to portray Westeros.
Note: spoilers ahead, for season six.
The reason for that, of course, is because winter has come in the Seven Kingdoms, after six seasons of the Starks reciting their house motto. The seventh season will be the show’s penultimate, and will have as many episodes, HBO revealed last year.
In season six, the Starks restored themselves to power in Winterfell, with the northern men aligning themselves behind Jon Snow. After spending a couple of seasons in Braavos, the other Stark family member – Arya – has returned in style to Westeros as well, taking revenge on House Frey for the Red Wedding.
Meanwhile, Cersei Lannister rules as the new Queen at King’s Landing, after a wildfire plot that blew up her enemies, and most of the city’s nobles into the sky. But that act has also put her in great peril; Highgarden and Dorne are now backing the incoming Daenerys Targaryen, who’s determined to take back what she believes rightfully belongs to her. Interestingly, Cersei’s little brother – Tyrion – is on the opposite side. It’s a weird family dynamic, as you probably know.
But all of that may ultimately be secondary to the greatest threat that lies beyond the wall, in White Walkers. While HBO’s Facebook Live video may come off as weird, it could be a nod to the impending collapse of The Wall, which keeps the Seven Kingdoms safe from their undead neighbours.
HBO also released a teaser video (above) post that, which doesn’t have any footage from the new season. Instead, it features the sigils of the various houses, with dialogues from past seasons setting up what’s to come. “There’s only one war that matters,” Jon Snow narrates towards the end, “the Great War. And it is here.”
Game of Thrones’ seventh season arrives July 16 on HBO. In India, Hotstar will have it available on July 17, with Star World Premiere airing the show first on July 18.