The seventh and penultimate season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on 16 July 2017, and concluded on 27 August 2017.
Unlike previous seasons, which consisted of ten episodes each, the seventh season consisted of only seven episodes.
Like the previous season, it largely consisted of original content not found in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, while also incorporating material that Martin revealed to showrunners about the upcoming novels in the series. The series was adapted for television by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
HBO ordered the seventh season on 21 April 2016, three days before the premiere of the show’s sixth season, and began filming on 31 August 2016. The season was filmed primarily in Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia 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.
The series received 22 nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, and won for Outstanding Drama Series and Dinklage won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
The penultimate season focuses on the convergence of the show’s main plotlines in preparation for the final season.
Daenerys Targaryen arrives in Westeros with her army and three large dragons and begins to wage war against the Lannisters, who have defeated her allies in the south and west of Westeros.
Jon Snow leaves Sansa in charge of Winterfell and visits Daenerys to secure her help to defeat the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead. He mines the dragonglass at Dragonstone and begins a romance with Daenerys.
Meanwhile Arya and Bran (now the Three-Eyed Raven) return home to Winterfell; the Starks execute the treacherous Littlefinger.
Tyrion persuades Daenerys not to destroy King’s Landing, reminding her that she does not want to be simply a queen of ashes.
Jon goes North above the wall to capture a wight to prove to Cersei that the fearsome army of the dead exist and are coming; in doing so, his group is pinned down and nearly killed. Daenerys rescues them with her dragons, but the Night King kills one of her dragons and makes it part of his army. The undead dragon later destroys part of the Wall, and the dead march through.
Bran learns that Jon is really his cousin, Aegon Targaryen, the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.
- Main Cast:
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister.
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister.
- Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister.
- Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen.
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow.
- Aidan Gillen as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.
- Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth.
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark.
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei.
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth.
- Conleth Hill as Varys.
- John Bradley as Samwell Tarly.
- Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark.
- Hannah Murray as Gilly.
- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane.
- Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane.
- Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont.
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre.
- Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand.
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy.
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn.
- Joe Dempsie as Gendry.
- Guest Cast:
- The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 07.
- They are listed by the region in which they first appear.
- In the North, including the Wall:
- Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion.
- Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr.
- Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett.
- Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed.
- Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont.
- Tim McInnerny as Robett Glover.
- Megan Parkinson as Alys Karstark.
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne.
- Richard Rycroft as Maester Wolkan.
- Rupert Vansittart as Yohn Royce.
- Beyond the Wall:
- Vladimir Furdik as the Night King.
- Joseph Mawle as Benjen Stark.
- Neil Fingleton as giant wight.
- Ian Whyte as giant wight.
- In the Riverlands.
- David Bradley as Walder Frey.
- Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie.
- In King’s Landing:
- Pilou Asbæk as Euron Greyjoy.
- Anton Lesser as Qyburn.
- Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Gregor Clegane.
- James Faulkner as Randyll Tarly.
- Tom Hopper as Dickon Tarly.
- Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris.
- In Oldtown:
- Jim Broadbent as Archmaester Ebrose.
- At Dragonstone:
- Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm,
- Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell,
- Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy,
- Jessica Henwick as Nymeria Sand,
- Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand,
- Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand,
- Brendan Cowell as Harrag,
- Staz Nair as Qhono,
- In Flashbacks:
- Aisling Franciosi as Lyanna Stark.
- Wilf Scolding as Rhaegar Targaryen.
- Robert Aramayo as Eddard Stark.
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 01 and 07), Mark Mylod (episodes 02 and 03), Matt Shakman (episodes 04 and 05) and Alan Taylor (episode 06). 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. 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.
The seventh season contains original material not found in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Some of the show’s sixth season also consists of material revealed to the writers of the television series during discussions with Martin.
Filming began on 31 August 2016, at Titanic Studios in Belfast, and ended in February 2017. 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.”
Girona, Spain, did not return as one of the filming locations. Girona stood in for Braavos and parts of King’s Landing. 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. The series filmed in the Spanish cities Seville, Cáceres, Almodóvar del Río, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo. 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. The series returned to film at The Dark Hedges in Stranocum, which was previously used as the Kingsroad in the second season. Some scenes were filmed in Iceland. Filming also occurred in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is used for location of King’s Landing. The scene where Arya was reunited with Nymeria was filmed in Alberta, Canada.
Deadline reported on 21 June 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. 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.
On 31 August 2016, Entertainment Weekly reported that Jim Broadbent had been cast for the seventh season in a “significant” role. 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“. The seventh season sees the return of Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris, who did not appear in the sixth season, Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie, who last appeared in the fourth season, and Joe Dempsie as Gendry, who last appeared in the third season and maintains his status as starring cast member. Members of the British indie pop band Bastille were reported to have filmed cameo appearances. British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran also makes a cameo appearance in the season. Frontman 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. New York Mets baseball pitcher Noah Syndergaard made a background cameo as a javelin-throwing Lannister soldier in “The Spoils of War.”
On 21 April 2016, HBO officially ordered the seventh season of Game of Thrones, just three days prior to the premiere of the show’s sixth season. In a June 2016 interview with Variety, co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed 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.” Director Jack Bender, who worked on the show’s sixth season, said that the seventh season would consist of seven episodes. 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.” HBO confirmed on 18 July 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. Later it was confirmed that the season would debut on 16 July. The seventh season includes an 81-minute finale; this was the series’ longest episode until it was surpassed by the Season 08 episode “The Long Night”, which is 82 minutes. Season 07’s 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. The previous longest episode in the series was the sixth-season finale, “The Winds of Winter”, which ran for 69 minutes.
Ramin Djawadi returned as the composer of the show for the seventh season.
The season was simulcast around the world by HBO and its broadcast partners in 186 countries. In some countries, it aired the day after its first release.
The series premiere surpassed 30 million viewers across all of the network’s domestic platforms weeks after its release. The show’s numbers continued to climb in other countries as well. In the UK, the premiere got up to 4.7 million viewers after seven days, setting a new record for Sky Atlantic. Compared to the previous season, HBO Asia saw an increases of between 24% to 50%. HBO Latin America saw a record viewership in the region, with a 29% climb. In Germany, the show went up 210%, in Russia it climbed 40% and in Italy it saw a 61% increase. In the US, the finale was watched by 12.1 million viewers on its first airing on television, and 16.5 million when viewings on HBO Now and HBO Go apps are included. Over the season, the viewer numbers averaged at over 30 million per episode across all platforms.
The season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on 12 December 2017.
Game of Thrones Series
You can find an overview of the Game of Thrones franchise here.
You can find a full index of the Game of Thrones TV Series here.
- Episode 01: Dragonstone.
- Episode 02: Stormborn.
- Episode 03: The Queen’s Justice.
- Episode 04: The Spoils of War.
- Episode 05: Eastwatch.
- Episode 06: Beyond the Wall.
- Episode 07: The Dragon and the Wolf.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman, Mark Mylod.
- Writer(s): David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, and Dave Hill.
- Release Date: 16 July 2017 to 27 August 2017.
- Running time: 59-81 minutes (approximate, per episode).
- Rating: 15/18 (depends on season).
- Country: US.
- Language: English.