Even with less episodes in Game of Thrones' seventh season, the night is still long and full of terrors — at least if you take a look at the Season 7 filming schedule.
Actor Iain Glen — better known to fans as Sir Jorah Mormont — explained in a recent interview with RadioTimes that even though Season 7 only consists of seven episodes, three down from the normal ten per season, the show is still keeping to a five month filming schedule.
"They are taking the length of time it takes to shoot 10 episodes to shoot just seven this year, and six next year," Glen said. "There are 15 more hours left in Thrones as we understand it, but that may change, but that's as far as we know. I think the scale and size of the set pieces, the world that is being created it's just getting more and more extraordinary and they feel they need that time to shoot seven hours as opposed to 10."
What does keeping the same film period for fewer episodes mean, though? As Glen points out, it gives the crew, editors and special effects teams (and to a certain extent the writers) more time to perfect the episodes before they're delivered to HBO, which should make for a better quality show all around. It could also mean that while there are fewer whole episodes in Season 7, the episodes themselves could be longer. So far, the Season 6 finale is the longest ever episode of Thrones, at a whopping 69 minutes. It's followed closely by the "Battle of the Bastards," which also aired in Season 6, at 60 minutes long.
Taking five months to shoot also explains why the show has a delayed premiere date this year, even if there are fewer episodes. Game of Thrones usually films from July to December, but production was pushed back to September to get the weather they need now that Winter has officially arrived in Westeros.
Ironically, that means fans will have to wait until Summer 2017 before they find out what happens when Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finally arrives in King's Landing with her dragons (if she doesn't get waylaid at sea first).