Here's when 'Game of Thrones' season 7 will finally premiere

Game of thrones season seven hboHBOThe photo that accompanied HBO’s season-seven premiere announcement on March 9, 2017.

HBO created an event out of the premiere-date announcement for season seven of “Game of Thrones.”

Though plagued with technical difficulties, more than 100,000 fans waited for a painfully long amount of time before HBO revealed via Facebook Live that “Game of Thrones” will be back on July 16.

In the lead-up to the announcement, HBO released two pieces of artwork teasing the potential “Fire and Ice” battles to come. Accompanying the premiere-date announcement was a photo of a block of ice on a platform surrounded by fire (at right).

In the Facebook Live video, the block of ice was melted by sudden bursts of fire to reveal the premiere date. More then 100,000 fans tuned in for the reveal.

And earlier on Thursday, HBO released a poster ahead of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. It shows the elements of cold and heat intermingling, once again a reference to the “Fire and Ice” theme.

Here it is below:

HBOHBO’s SXSW poster.

While the announcement of season seven’s premiere date will thrill fans, that doesn’t erase the facts that the wait for a new season will be longer than usual and the number of episodes will be fewer than in other seasons. Due to the fabled winter finally arriving in Westeros for next season, the show delayed production to wait for the appropriate cold weather for filming. The later premiere date also means that the show will miss the entry date for the 2018 Emmy Awards.

Additionally, there will only be seven episodes on the show’s penultimate season as opposed to the typical 10. Presumably the shows eighth and final season will also be a shorter one.

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