We may have to wait a bit longer than usual for the next season of Game of Thrones, and there's a very good reason: The show needs winter to actually show up first. The HBO series normally debuts every new season in April, but season seven will likely launch later in 2017, as showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed in a podcast interview with UFC Unfiltered:
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.
This implies we'll see some of our more traditionally sunny lands of Westeros in entirely new ways. We're used to the chilly environments of Winterfell and the Wall, but imagine seeing King's Landing or Highgarden covered in clouds, rain or even snow. And where are the people of Dorne supposed to go, since their entire kingdom seems to be made of nothing but porches and patios?
Game of Thrones is looking to have just two more shortened seasons before the series ends. The good news is that even if these final two seasons begin later that usual, they could still end in June, as per usual. It all depends on when, exactly, winter is coming ... in the real world.