HBO’s sprawling fantasy-drama hit “Game of Thrones” will begin shooting its seventh season later this summer and will start airing in the summer of 2017.
The cable network announced Monday that the series — which last week received 23 Emmy nominations, the most of any nominee for the third year in a row — will have a seven-episode season with production based in Northern Ireland and additional filming to take place in Iceland and in Spanish locations including Sevilla, Caceres, Almodovar del Rio, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo.
“Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys in a statement. Alluding to the show’s popular tagline “Winter is coming,” he added that, “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.”
Season-seven directors include Jeremy Podeswa, who was nominated for an Emmy for directing an episode last year; “GoT” veterans Mark Mylod and Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”), the latter of whom won a directing Emmy for HBO’s “The Sopranos”; and series newcomer Matt Shakman.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling fantasy book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the TV adaptation explores the royal and political intrigue surrounding two powerful families on the continents of Westeros and Essos, vying for control of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Its 26 Emmy Awards since premiering in 2011 include the most recent for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Peter Dinklage, as Tyrion Lannister, has won two Emmy Awards for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.