FIRE & ICE

‘Game of Thrones’ Announces Season 7 Premiere Date

HBO on Thursday announced that the hotly anticipated new season of Game of Thrones will premiere on July 16, 2017. The network chose to unveil the date on a Facebook Live video, which featured a block of ice melted over more than an hour with a flame. The glitchy debut was extremely unpopular among the at one point 135,000 viewers, who had to type "FIRE" and "DRACARYS" to light the flames. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced months ago that Season 7 wouldn't begin until summer 2017 and that it will include only seven episodes, as opposed to its typical 10. Rumors had long been swirling about the final two seasons' shortened length, and Benioff and Weiss said last July that the eighth season will include only six episodes. Season 7 has reportedly been shot in Spain, Iceland, and Northern Ireland; Weiss and Benioff said the storylines required that production be started later than usual so that the weather was more appropriate for the show's long-awaited "winter."