In a recent HBO press release, programming director Casey Bloys announced that Game of Thrones season 7 is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2017. Filming for the hit series is slated to begin during the second half of 2016. Casey confirmed that the Game of Thrones season 7 will consist of seven episodes instead of the usual 10. Previous reports by the show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, indicate that HBO’s television show is heading into its final two years and its final 13 episodes.

The future of GOT.

After a seven-episode seventh season, there will be a six-episode final eighth season, according to the show’s creators.

“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” said Benioff. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

In regard to the delay of season 7 airing in the summer of 2017 instead of the usual April spring date, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stated that since winter has arrived on the show, the timing of the shooting has been adjusted to cooler weather conditions. The new season is featuring seven directors total and also includes Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman and Alan Taylor. The filming locations for GOT season 7 include Northern Ireland, Iceland, and Spain’s Sevilla, Caceres, Almodovar del Rio, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo.

What is happening right now.

While Benioff and Weiss -- along with director Miguel Sapochnik and actors John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Isaac Hemptstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Faye Marsay (The Waif), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) -- are enduring a record-breaking heat wave at San Diego’s Comic-Con, the production of Game of Thrones is in full swing.

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HBO released its “Welcome home my queen” production video on July 22, and GOT fans are amazed by the design work that is happening right now for the new season. From the daunting and dark sets to the props, the sound, and the costumes, the work completed by the art departments is stunning.  

The details, perfection, and meticulous preparation seen in the behind-the-scenes video explain why HBO’s television show has drawn in record numbers of viewers. GOT’s season 6 broke HBO ratings records with more than 23 million viewers. The original complete series is based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series. However, in contrast to season 6 (which was based on The Winds of Winter and elements from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons), season 7 of Game of Thrones will be based on The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.