Winter is coming. It’s the phrase bookmarking dozens of Game of Thrones conversations, the motto for the Stark family itself, and now the fans anxious for bane of Season 7. A new interview sees showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirming Game of Thrones Season 7 will both shoot, and likely premiere later than usual, owing partially to a need for more wintery landscapes.

Where the Season 6 finale saw an official, Maester-sanctioned start to that dreaded Winter everyone on Game of Thrones has warned against for years, an interview on the UFC Unfiltered podcast (via HitFix) brought even more dire news for fans. According to Benioff and Weiss, a need for colder weather will push Season 7 production later into 2016, resulting in a premiere later than the March-April dates we’re used to:

We don’t have an air date yet … We’re starting a bit later because at the end of this season, ‘Winter is here’ - and that means that sunny weather doesn’t really serve our purposes any more. So we kind of pushed everything down the line, so we could get some grim, grey weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot.

That would at least make sense for Northern Ireland, where a great deal of production has been centered, but we wouldn’t necessarily expect sunny Kings’ Landing to be drenched in snow by the time Season 7 opens. Either way, it’s a harsh blow for fans, considering HBO has yet to announce an official episode order for Season 7, last suggested at seven episodes, to Season 8's likely six.

We’ll learn more from Comic-Con 2016, but is a Game of Thrones delay worth it, to more accurately reflect the wintery war on the horizon?

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