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Game of Thrones (season 7)

The seventh season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on July 16, 2017, and is scheduled to conclude six weeks later on August 27, 2017.[1][2][3] Unlike previous seasons that consisted of ten episodes each, the seventh season consists of only seven.[4] Like the previous season, it largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and also adapts material Martin revealed to showrunners about the upcoming novels in the series.[5] The series is adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

Game of Thrones (season 7)
Game of Thrones Season 7.jpg
Promotional poster
Starring See List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 5
Release
Original network HBO
Original release July 16, 2017 (2017-07-16) – present
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 6
List of Game of Thrones episodes

HBO ordered the seventh season on April 21, 2016, three days before the premiere of the show's sixth season, and began filming on August 31, 2016. The season was filmed primarily in Northern Ireland, Spain, and Iceland.

Game of Thrones features a large ensemble cast, including Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Kit Harington. The season introduces several new cast members, including Jim Broadbent and Tom Hopper.

Contents

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by [6] Written by Original air date [3] U.S. viewers
(millions)
61 1 "Dragonstone" Jeremy Podeswa David Benioff & D. B. Weiss July 16, 2017 (2017-07-16) 10.11[7]
At the Twins, Arya fatally poisons the remaining lords of House Frey. The White Walkers march toward the Wall, where Tollett allows Bran and Meera inside. At Winterfell, despite Sansa's disapproval, Jon secures the loyalties of Houses Umber and Karstark, who fought alongside Ramsay in the Battle of the Bastards. At the Citadel, Samwell steals books that reveal a large reservoir of dragonglass in Dragonstone, and sends word to Jon. He later finds Jorah in a cell. In the Riverlands, Arya meets a group of friendly Lannister soldiers, who take her intention to kill Cersei as a joke. Thoros shows Sandor a vision in the fire. The revelation leads him to believe in the Lord of Light. In King's Landing, Jaime tells Cersei of the crucial need for allies. She welcomes Euron, who proposes marriage to her in exchange for his Iron Fleet and a chance to kill Theon and Yara. Cersei declines citing trust as a concern, so Euron promises to return with a "gift" to prove his loyalty. Daenerys arrives at Dragonstone, the home of House Targaryen once occupied by Stannis, with her army and dragons.
62 2 "Stormborn" Mark Mylod Bryan Cogman July 23, 2017 (2017-07-23) 9.27[8]
Daenerys sends the Dornishmen with Yara's fleet to Sunspear and the Unsullied to Casterly Rock, deciding to place King's Landing under siege. She questions Varys' loyalty and threatens to burn him alive if he ever betrays her. Melisandre arrives and encourages her to invite Jon Snow to Dragonstone. Grey Worm and Missandei consummate their relationship. Cersei gathers several lords, asking for their fealties and elevating Randyll Tarly as Warden of the South. Qyburn shows Cersei a prototype ballista capable of killing dragons. Arya meets with Hot Pie and learns of Jon's ascension to King in the North, halting plans to travel to King's Landing and instead setting course for Winterfell. After receiving Samwell's letter, Jon leaves for Dragonstone in hopes of convincing Daenerys to support the fight against the White Walkers. He leaves Sansa in charge and aggressively warns Littlefinger to keep his distance. Samwell applies a forbidden treatment on Jorah's Greyscale infection. Euron's fleet attacks Yara's. Obara and Nymeria are killed, while Ellaria, Tyene, and Yara are captured. Theon shows flashes of his time as Reek, hesitating to challenge Euron before fleeing the carnage by jumping into the sea.
63 3 "The Queen's Justice" Mark Mylod David Benioff & D. B. Weiss July 30, 2017 (2017-07-30) 9.25[9]
Jon arrives at Dragonstone. Daenerys demands his fealty by asking him to bend the knee. He refuses and focuses instead on convincing her that the Army of the Dead is real. Following advice from Tyrion, a skeptical Daenerys grants him access to mine the island's dragonglass. Melisandre hides her presence from Jon and leaves for Volantis. Bran arrives at Winterfell and reveals his newfound role as the Three-Eyed Raven to Sansa. In King's Landing, Euron returns with Ellaria and Tyene as a gift for Cersei, who promises to marry him after the war is won. She also awards him co-control of her military alongside Jaime. Cersei administers the same poison to Tyene used to kill Myrcella, forcing Ellaria to helplessly watch her daughter's impending death. In Oldtown, a healed Jorah leaves to find Daenerys. Ebrose decides to forgive Samwell. Grey Worm and the Unsullied attack Casterly Rock, only to find the area to be mostly abandoned. Jaime led most of the Lannister forces in an attack on Highgarden, while Euron's fleet ambushes and destroys the Unsullied's unprotected ships. The Lannister forces easily overwhelm Olenna's army. Jaime induces Olenna to drink poison, offering her a quick and painless death that he explains is merciful compared to what Cersei had planned. After drinking it, she confesses to poisoning Joffrey and demands he tell Cersei.
64 4 "The Spoils of War" Matt Shakman David Benioff & D. B. Weiss August 6, 2017 (2017-08-06) 10.17[10]
Arya returns to Winterfell, where she reunites with Sansa and spars with Brienne, both of whom are unnerved by her exceptional fighting skills. Bran unemotionally bids farewell to Meera, divulging that he is no longer the boy she accompanied through the North. Littlefinger presents Bran with the dagger that was previously used in his attempted assassination. Cersei assures the Iron Bank a full return on their investment, as a train carrying gold from Highgarden is on its way to King's Landing. In a cave filled with dragonglass, Jon reveals ancient paintings to Daenerys depicting the First Men and the Children of the Forest joining forces against the undead. Later, Daenerys learns of the sacking of Highgarden by Lannister forces and realizes her attack on Casterly Rock was a distraction. Despite Tyrion's protests, she decides to take action. Led by Daenerys riding Drogon, the Dothraki cavalry catches the Lannister army by surprise and decimate or capture its remaining forces. Drogon is wounded during the fight by a spear fired from the scorpion ballista being manned by Bronn. Jaime mounts a desperate charge on horseback at a vulnerable Daenerys, but Drogon spews fire in time to thwart the attack. Bronn tackles Jaime into the river in time to save him.
65 5 "Eastwatch" Matt Shakman Dave Hill August 13, 2017 (2017-08-13) 10.72[11]
Jaime and Bronn return to King's Landing. Against Tyrion's advice, Daenerys burns Randyll and Dickon alive for remaining allegiant to Cersei, forcing the other captives to pledge fealty to the former. Jorah arrives at Dragonstone and reunites with Daenerys. Maester Wolkan alerts Jon and the Citadel about the approaching wights to the Eastwatch by the Sea. Jon decides to travel beyond the Wall and capture a wight in order to convince Cersei for a temporary alliance. Davos smuggles Tyrion inside King's Landing, where he secretly meets with Jaime and offers an armistice, which Cersei accepts, informing Jaime that she is pregnant. Davos rendezvouses with Gendry and returns him to Dragonstone. With the Citadel ignoring Wolkan's letter, Samwell steals several books and leaves with Gilly and Little Sam. At Winterfell, Littlefinger notices Arya spying on him and leads her to take a letter written by Sansa from his room. Jon, Jorah, and Gendry, joined by the Hound, the Brotherhood, and a group of the Free Folk led by Tormund, leave Eastwatch and pass the Wall, intending to capture a wight as evidence for Cersei that the Army of the Dead is real.
66 6 "Beyond the Wall"[12] Alan Taylor David Benioff & D. B. Weiss[12] August 20, 2017 (2017-08-20) TBD
67 7 TBA Jeremy Podeswa TBA August 27, 2017 (2017-08-27) TBD

Cast

Main cast

Guest cast

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 7. They are listed by the region in which they first appear.

Production

Crew

Series creators and executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss serve as showrunners for the seventh season. The directors for the seventh season are Jeremy Podeswa (episodes 1 and 7), Mark Mylod (episodes 2 and 3), Matt Shakman (episodes 4 and 5) and Alan Taylor (episode 6). This marks Taylor's return to the series after an absence since the second season. Shakman is a first-time Game of Thrones director, with the rest each having directed multiple episodes in previous seasons.[13] Michele Clapton returned to the show as costume designer, after spending some time away from the show in the sixth season. She previously worked on the show for the first five seasons, as well as the end of the sixth season.[13]

Writing

Depending upon the release of George R. R. Martin's forthcoming The Winds of Winter, the seventh season may comprise original material not found in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.[14][needs update] According to previous reports, some of the show's sixth season had consisted of material revealed to the writers of the television series during discussions with Martin.[15]

Filming

 
The shores of Gaztelugatxe were used as a location for filming Season 7.

Filming began on August 31, 2016, at Titanic Studios in Belfast,[16] and ended in February 2017.[17][18][19] In an interview with the showrunners, it was announced that the filming of the seventh season would be delayed until later in the year due to necessary weather conditions for filming. The showrunners stated "We're starting a bit later because, you know, at the end of this season, winter is here, and that means that sunny weather doesn't really serve our purposes any more. We kind of pushed everything down the line so we could get some grim, gray weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot."[20]

Girona, Spain did not return as one of the filming locations.[21] Girona stood in for Braavos and parts of King's Landing.[21] It was later announced that the seventh season would film in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland, with filming in Northern Ireland beginning in August 2016.[4][17] The series filmed in the Spanish cities Seville, Cáceres, Almodóvar del Río, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo.[22] Spanish sources announced that the series would be filming the seventh season on Muriola Beach in Barrika, Las Atarazanas, the Royal Dockyards of Seville and at the shores of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet belonging to the city of Bermeo.[23][24][25] The series returned to film at The Dark Hedges in Stranocum, which was previously used as the Kingsroad in the second season.[26] Some scenes were filmed in Iceland.[27] Filming also occurred in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is used for location of King's Landing.[28] The scene where Arya was reunited with Nymeria was filmed in Alberta, Canada.[29]

Casting

Deadline reported on June 21, 2016, that the five main cast members, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Kit Harington had been in contract negotiations for the final two seasons. It was reported that the cast members have increased their salary to $500,000 per episode for the seventh and eighth season.[30][31] It was later reported that the actors had gone through a renegotiation, for which they had increased their salary to $1.1 million per episode for the last two seasons.[32] On April 25, 2017, it was reported by Daily Express that the actors' new salary made them each earn £2 million ($2.6 million USD) per episode.[33][34][35]

On August 31, 2016, Entertainment Weekly reported that Jim Broadbent had been cast for the seventh season in a "significant" role.[36] It was announced that the role of Dickon Tarly has been recast, with Tom Hopper replacing Freddie Stroma, who had previously played the role in "Blood of My Blood".[37] The seventh season sees the return of Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris, who did not appear in the sixth season.[38], and Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie, who last appeared in the fourth season. After some speculation, UFC President Dana White announced that Conor McGregor would appear in a cameo role in the seventh season.[39][40] However, in January 2017, McGregor confirmed it was a rumor.[41] Members of the British indie pop band Bastille were reported to have filmed cameo appearances.[42] British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran also makes a cameo appearance in the season.[43] Guitarist/vocalist of American heavy metal band Mastodon, Brent Hinds, has also revealed he would have a cameo appearance. This is Hinds' second cameo in the series, following his appearance (along with bandmates Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher) in the fifth season.[44]

Episodes

On April 21, 2016, HBO officially ordered the seventh season of Game of Thrones, just three days prior to the premiere of the show's sixth season.[45] According to an interview with co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, the seventh season would likely consist of fewer episodes, stating at the time of the interview that they were "down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We're heading into the final lap."[46][47] Director Jack Bender, who worked on the show's sixth season, said that the seventh season would consist of seven episodes.[48] Benioff and Weiss stated that they were unable to produce 10 episodes in the show's usual 12 to 14 month time frame, as Weiss said "It's crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule."[46] HBO confirmed on July 18, 2016, that the seventh season would consist of seven episodes, and would premiere later than usual in mid-2017 because of the later filming schedule.[4] Later it was confirmed that the season would debut on July 16.[49] According to a report by Entertainment Weekly, the seventh season of the series includes its longest episode, with the finale running for 81 minutes. The penultimate episode also runs for 71 minutes – around 16 minutes longer than an average Game of Thrones episode. The first five episodes mostly run longer than average (55 minutes), at 59, 59, 63, 50, and 59 minutes respectively.[50] The previous longest episode in the series was the sixth season finale, "The Winds of Winter", which ran 69 minutes.[51]

Promotion

On July 23, 2016, a teaser production trailer was released by HBO at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. The trailer mostly consisted of voice overs, and shots of crew members creating sets and props.[52] The first footage from the season was revealed in a new promotional video released by HBO highlighting its new and returning original shows for the coming year on November 28, 2016, showcasing Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Arya Stark.[53][54]

On March 1, 2017, HBO and Game of Thrones teamed up with Major League Baseball (MLB) for a cross-promotional partnership. At least 19 individual teams participate with this promotion.[55] On March 8, 2017, HBO released the first promotional poster for the season ahead of the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, which teases the battle of "ice vs. fire". Showrunners Benioff and Weiss also spoke at the event, along with fellow cast members Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams.[56]

On March 9, 2017, HBO hosted a live stream on the Game of Thrones Facebook page that revealed the premiere date for the seventh season as being July 16, 2017. It was accompanied by a teaser trailer.[2] On March 30, 2017, the first official promo for the show was released, highlighting the thrones of Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Cersei Lannister.[57] On April 20, 2017, HBO released 15 official photos shot during the season.[58] On May 22, 2017, HBO released several new photos from the new season.[59] On May 23, 2017, HBO released the official posters featuring the Night King.[60] The first official trailer for season 7 was released on May 24, 2017.[61] The trailer set a world record for being the most viewed show trailer ever, being viewed 61 million times across digital platforms, in the first 24 hours.[62] The second official trailer was released on June 21, 2017.[63] The season premiere was screened at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on July 12, 2017.[64]

Music

Ramin Djawadi returned as the composer of the show for the seventh season.[65]

Reception

Critical reception

On Metacritic, the season (based on the first episode) has a score of 77 out of 100 based on 12 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[66] On Rotten Tomatoes, the seventh season has a 98 percent approval rating from 29 critics with an average rating of 8.2 out of 10. The season also received a 96% episode average score on Rotten Tomatoes, the site's consensus reading "After a year-long wait, Game of Thrones roars back with powerful storytelling and a focused interest in its central characters -- particularly the female ones."[67]

Game of Thrones (season 7): Critical reception by episode
 

Ratings

The series premiere surpassed 30 million viewers across all of the network's domestic platforms weeks after its release. The show's numbers is continuing to climb in other countries as well. In the UK, the premiere got up to 4.7 million viewers after seven days, setting an new record for Sky Atlantic. Compared to the previous season, HBO Asia saw an increases of between 24 percent to 50 percent. HBO Latin America saw a record viewership in the region, with a 29 percent climb. In Germany, the show went up 210 percent; In Russia it climbed 40 percent and in Italy it saw a 61 percent increase.[68]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Dragonstone" July 16, 2017 4.7 10.11[7] 1.1 2.62 5.8 12.74[69]
2 "Stormborn" July 23, 2017 4.3 9.27[8] 1.4 3.08 5.7 12.37[70]
3 "The Queen's Justice" July 30, 2017 4.3 9.25[9] 1.1 2.72 5.4 11.97[71]1
4 "The Spoils of War" August 6, 2017 4.6 10.17[10] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Eastwatch" August 13, 2017 5.0 10.72[11] TBD TBD TBD TBD

^1 Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

Game of Thrones: U.S. viewers per episode (millions)
 
Season Ep. 1 Ep. 2 Ep. 3 Ep. 4 Ep. 5 Ep. 6 Ep. 7 Ep. 8 Ep. 9 Ep. 10 Average
1 2.22 2.20 2.44 2.45 2.58 2.44 2.40 2.72 2.66 3.04 2.52[72]
2 3.86 3.76 3.77 3.65 3.90 3.88 3.69 3.86 3.38 4.20 3.80[72]
3 4.37 4.27 4.72 4.87 5.35 5.50 4.84 5.13 5.22 5.39 4.97[73]
4 6.64 6.31 6.59 6.95 7.16 6.40 7.20 7.17 6.95 7.09 6.84[74]
5 8.00 6.81 6.71 6.82 6.56 6.24 5.40 7.01 7.14 8.11 6.88[75]
6 7.94 7.29 7.28 7.82 7.89 6.71 7.80 7.60 7.66 8.89 7.69[76]
7 10.11 9.27 9.25 10.17 10.72 TBD TBD N/A TBD
Source: Nielsen Media Research[79]

Release

Broadcast

The season is simulcast around the world by HBO and its broadcast partners in 186 countries. While in some countries, it aired the day after its first release.[68]

Home media

The season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on December 12, 2017.[80]

Illegal distribution

The season premiere was pirated 90 million times in the first three days after it aired.[81] On August 4, 2017, it was reported that, two days before its original broadcast, the fourth episode of the season was leaked online from Star India, one of HBO's international network partners.[82] The leaked copy has the "for internal viewing only" watermark. On July 31, 2017, due to a security breach, HBO was the victim of 1.5 terabytes of stolen data.[83] However, "this was not related to this episode leak", according to The Verge.[84] On August 16, 2017, four days before its intended release, it was reported that HBO Spain and HBO Nordic accidentally allowed the sixth episode of the series on-demand viewing for one hour before being removed.[85]

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