WARNING! Contains Game of Thrones spoilers from seasons one to six.
The new season of Game of Thrones can’t come soon enough! The series is an absolute phenomenon. It has broken HBO's record for highest viewing figures, is the most illegally downloaded show of all-time has more than 38 Emmy awards under its belt, and like most people, we already can't wait for its return this summer. Here's everything you need to know about the return of the hit fantasy show…
When is it back?
The seventh series will premiere on July 16, 2017. Watch the first trailer here:
How many episodes will there be?
Unlike the first six seasons, the seventh will consist of only seven episodes, while season eight will have just six. That's right – there are only 13 episodes left! Speaking about the decision to shorten the series, showrunner David Benioff said: "It's not just trying not to outstay your welcome. We're trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end. We've known the end for quite some time and we're hurtling towards it. Those last images from the [season six finale] showed that."
The storyline so far…
If you needed to be reminded about the events of the season six season finale – let us fill you in on your favourite characters! After Margaery, Loras and the High Sparrow were murdered in the Sept by Cersei (which led to the death of her third child, King Tommen), the Lannister was crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, just in time for her twin brother Jaime to arrive and watch in terror.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau opened up about Jaime and Cersei's relationship in the new series, telling Daily Beast: "He's not like his sister and brother, but he's been on the battlefield his whole life, and knows about people's weaknesses and loving someone unconditionally because he loves his sister unconditionally. Plus, there are no other suitors. Well, that's not true… but he has to step up and take his father's place. Wow, I was about to reveal something from season 7 and thought, 'What am I doing?'"
Meanwhile in the Stark family, Jon Snow and Sansa have taken back Winterfell, Bran finds out that Jon is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (confirming a long suspected theory) and Arya is making her way back to the North. Meanwhile across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen is (finally) sailing to Westeros with Tyrion, Theon and Yara Greyjoy and the houses of Martell and Tyrell by her side.
There have already been plenty of spoilers
No spoilers here, but several of the storylines from the upcoming series have already been spoiled by leaks and fans using drones to spy on the sets. Speaking about the spoilers, Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos) said: "They're low-lifers. In Spain, we were being live-streamed while we were filming, from drones. Everything we've done has been infiltrated, which is terrible."
They are going all out with CGI
Director Matt Shankman revealed that Daenerys's dragons are going to be simply huge in the new series. He told EW: "The dragons this year are the size of [planes]. Drogon is the biggest of the bunch - his flame is 30-feet in diameter." Kit Harington (Jon Snow) also revealed that the new episodes would be to a grander scale. He said: "There are [fewer] episodes this year, so they spent more money on those episodes. So, the whole scale of it is up."
The cast plan to celebrate if they make it to season eight
Game of Thrones is perhaps best known for the rate in which characters, including the main characters, are killed off. So it makes sense that the gang will celebrate in style should they survive until the end! Speaking to Vulture Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, said: "I think the plan is for everyone to get matching tattoos if we survive to season eight. That's the plan. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm in there!"