Following a truly surreal (and partly disorganised) premier date reveal that emerged out of a melting block of ice, HBO finally confirmed that the first episode of the new Game of Thrones season will air on July 16. The penultimate season of the super hit TV series has also been teased via a sigils graphics trailer with select lines of dialogues from prominent characters in the background.

 

The announcement comes in as a bittersweet update for ardent fans who are well aware of the fact that this is going to be the beginning of the end for the show, which has won the most Emmy Awards for any scripted series in TV history.

The creators David Benioff and DB Weiss have confirmed that there will only be 13 more episodes of the show, spread out over two more seasons – seven this year and the remaining six in 2018. As is obvious, these two seasons will be starkly different from the previous ones that had 10 episodes each.

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They will be a combination of original stories and elements from creator George RR Martin’s eagerly awaited novels The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, according to several reports in the media.

The premier date of the upcoming season of the show, which has historically debuted every spring, is also one of the notable alterations this time. The production pushed back the shooting schedule to allow for colder weather at the show’s outdoor locations that will finally depict the long-awaited ‘winter’ this season.

Over the past six seasons, the dense fantasy saga has evolved from being another fiction gamble to one of the most celebrated pop culture franchises globally. The previous season had an average viewership of 1.06 crore per episode, helping the show to become the most watched ever for HBO.

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