On Thursday “GOT” fans finally learned the information they have awaited for months. GOT Season 7 will arrive on July 16 this year. But for this reveal, they waited over 2 hours and watched the ice melt.
It was a misguided marketing gimmick; HBO revealed the premiere date in a live video but made fans work for it, concealing the information in a block of ice and asking viewers to comment “Fire” as a torch heated it.
Fans watched ice melt for more than 15 minutes, and then the video stopped working.
It returned after a few minutes and then malfunctioned again, a cycle it would repeat several times. Finally at around 3:09 p.m., after over an hour of stops, starts and countless derisive tweets, the date was revealed.
All told, the ice gimmick lasts longer than an average episode of “Game of Thrones.”
Whatever mockery the show inspired on Thursday, all will no doubt be forgiven by July. Over six seasons, the dense fantasy saga, based on novels by George R.R. Martin, evolved from a big ticket gamble into one of the most celebrated pop culture franchises in the world. The series, with an average of 10.6 million viewers per episode in Season 6, has become the most watched ever on HBO. (The network says actual viewing is more than twice that number when alternate platforms are included.)
Watch the teaser here:
The announcement of the Season 7 premiere date is bittersweet for fans, which are eager for the show’s return but aware that it will be the beginning of the end. The creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have confirmed that there will only be 13 more episodes of the show, split over two abbreviated seasons — seven this year, six in 2018. The first six seasons had 10 episodes each.
“Game of Thrones” seasons have historically debuted in the spring, but the production pushed back the shooting schedule to allow for colder weather at the show’s outdoor locations. (Winter, long promised in the story, is finally arriving.)
This means that the show, which has won the most Emmy Awards of any scripted series in history, including best drama in each of the last two years, will not qualify for the awards in 2017. (May 31 is the cutoff date for 2017 Emmy eligibility.)
Last season wrapped up (spoiler alert) with the cruel but cagey Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) seated on the Iron Throne, with other disparate elements of the sprawling story beginning to converge for a final (sure-to-be-violent) clash.