Seven highlights to up the excitement in ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7
There is no denying that the original HBO series “Game of Thrones” is one of the most popular, if not the most formidable, series of modern entertainment. In fact, the American cable and satellite television network told Hollywood entertainment site deadline.com that the series’ sixth season alone drew in an average of 25.1 million viewers in 2016.
Interestingly, the creators of the Emmy Award-winning series acknowledged that digital viewing helped Game of Thrones get a five million boost compared to its fifth season. The latest season’s average was a combination of airings plus DVR, HBO on Demand and HBO Go/HBO Now figures.
The American production—based on George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, Song of Ice and Fire—has likewise penetrated pop culture and generated legions of hardcore fans from around 170 countries it has reached, the Philippines included of course.
Case in point, in 2015, telegraph.co.uk reported that the show has been “illegally downloaded more times than any other program on the planet.” Moreover, a few days before season 5’s pilot episode, the first four episodes had already been leaked. Critics called this one of the most prominent leaks in TV history.
Amusingly, according to torrentfreak.com, an online publication for all things about filesharing, the Philippines was among the Top 10 countries that downloaded Game of Thrones’s leaked episodes.
The ranking could have indicated several things, but one thing was clear, Filipinos are just as hooked on the series about two warring families playing a deadly game for ultimate power as the rest of the world.
As such, it was no longer a surprise when Game of Thrones instantly became a local trending topic on social networking sites when the series revealed July 17 as the worldwide airing date of the seventh season’s pilot. Filipinos were also among the most opinionated netizens when HBO further revealed there would only be seven episodes for the upcoming season.
Nevertheless, Game of Throne’s producers believe that seven episodes for its seventh season will provide more than enough excitement for the fans of the show with the following highlights shared with The Manila Times by HBO on Sky Cable and Sky Direct.
No. 1. It claims to hold the record of setting a lot of stuntmen on fire. One of the reasons why “Game of Thrones” has a large and loyal army of followers is because of its grand action scenes.
Showrunner David Benioff revealed to “Entertainment Weekly” (EW) that the upcoming season has set many stuntmen on fire simultaneously–a record-breaking feat ever done by an entertainment production.
According to EW, 20 stuntmen were engulfed by fire together in one shot for a battle scene, which teases that viewers should expect an unforgettable war that will air on television.
No. 2. The new season will run at a faster pace. The upcoming season will run at a quicker pace compared to previous seasons because of the war, according to D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.
The two showrunners shared to EW that the story is moving faster because the war is finally happening after years of many conflicts including the Night King’s army that poses a huge threat to the Seven Kingdoms.
No. 3. Winter is here for a reason. Some fans got upset last year when HBO announced that “Game of Thrones” will premiere in summer 2017 rather than its usual premiere in April.
HBO president of programming, Casey Bloys explained in a statement that both Benioff and Weiss decided to delay season 7 so they can start production just in time when the weather is changing. In short, fans should expect cold weather, snow, and grey skies in season 7 so the series can live up to its famous adage—winter is here.
No. 4. Ed Sheeran will make a cameo appearance. Benioff and Weiss spilled the details of British musician Ed Sheeran’s appearance during SXSW 2016’s panel for “Game of Thrones.” They further shared that they wanted Ed to appear on the series to surprise Maisie Williams who is a big Ed Sheeran fan.
No. 5. Harry Potter’s professor Slughorn will be part of the seventh season. A lot of “Harry Potter” stars have been part of the Game of Thrones, including Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Natalia Tena (Osha), and David Bradley (Walder Frey), among many others.
For the new season, another recognizable face from the Potter franchise, Jim Broadbent who played professor Horace Slughorn, will be joining the family.
Although he did not disclose his role, fans speculate that Broadbent will play Maester Marwyn, a character that is strongly associated with Sam Tarly who was last seen pursuing his dreams to become a maester in season 7.
No. 6 Change is coming for Jon Snow. Kit Harrington shared with that Jon Snow, who is one of the most loved characters of the show, will experience a ‘huge seismic shift.’
He teased, “I’m more happy with Jon that I’ve ever been before. This year there is this huge seismic shift where all of what he’s learned over the years, suddenly…He’s still the same Jon, but he grows up.”
No. 7. Season 7 will come in two parts. Everything ends even for this epic fantasy series.
According to Variety, the upcoming season will have two parts where seven episodes will air in July, while the remaining final episodes will air in either 2018 or 2019. No other details have been revealed, but the show runners are reported to have ‘full outlines’ for the show’s final episode.