With HBO announcing the premiere date for the highly anticipated seventh season of Game of Thrones, the series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss joined an anxious crowd today at SXSW in Austin, TX, to talk about what’s to come.
Normally, fans are treated to new seasons of the show in April soon after SXSW is held. However, due to a more intense filming schedule that required utilizing seasonal weather, we’re having to wait until July for Season 7. As such, to the folks attending this panel it felt much like a support group (e.g., “Hi my name is Tom, and it’s been 10 months since I consumed fresh episodes of Game Of Thrones.”)
Also joining the panel were actresses Maisie Williams (Arya) and Sophie Turner (Sansa), who served in the roll of panel moderator, asking a slew of questions from fans as well as Benioff and Weiss themselves. As such, the responses were a bit more fun than usual — as both actresses tried on a number of occasions to get the showrunners to respond with spoiler-ish information about the upcoming season.
There was one instance where it very nearly succeeded. When asked which House within Game of Thrones they felt they identified with the most, Benioff and Weiss said “Greyjoy,” followed by some joking back and forth about “the Turtle” house (aka House Estermont).
But the pair of writers remained mum on big details, instead recalling what the plans are for the approaching Season 8 that’s currently in the works. The men confirmed that Season 8 will have 6 episodes. Benioff explained that he, Weiss, and two other writers ended up fighting over who gets to do which of the final six episodes in the series — and compromising by splitting up specific scenes amongst them.
They also reiterated their stance on a potential Game Of Thrones spinoff series, saying “There’s always going to be this urge, this temptation to keep doing it”¦ the spinoff show or the sequel show. And I think HBO might well do one — which I’m looking forward to sitting at home and watching. But I think it’s better for them to get new blood.”
The Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones will air on HBO on July 16, 2017.