HBO Finally Announced The Official Return Date For ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 7

Winter is just about over, but that doesn’t mean HBO is putting their Game of Thrones hype on ice. Or maybe it does. Literally.

Using Facebook Live, today HBO announced the hit show will return on July 16, 2017. The live reveal utilized a television screen encased in ice that melted away — slooooowly, for over an hour, it was a whole thing — to show the premiere date. While previous seasons have aired in March or April, fans have been braced for this announcement almost a year. HBO dropped the disappointing news about the premiere in July of last year, citing production delays while executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss got the storylines in order. Now that the show has flown past author George R.R. Martin’s source material, the season isn’t as simple as adapting A Song of Ice and Fire to the screen. Despite knowing the gist of where Martin plans to end his series, it is now up to HBO’s scribes as to how their version of the story will get to the same conclusion.

So while it may test our patience having to wait an extra few months for a truncated season only to see what the the wheel of fate has in store for both the denizens of Westeros and Essos (and maybe even a detour into Asshai finally please?), at least now we have a solid date.