Westeros is ready to throw its vast population into the chaos of Winter, and with that comes a delayed Game of Thrones Season 7. Shooting is starting later than normal, with a summer 2017 premiere date planned for new episodes. This is to take advantage of the colder winter months during production. This next year will also see a much shorter season for the hugely popular HBO fantasy series. But star Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, thinks all of this is for the best. Unlike some other shows on TV, the plot line is not going to be stretched thin. Which will be better for the story in the long run. The actress explains.

"It sucks for the audience because they love the episodes, but what we'll never do on this show is drag it out, and I'm so thrilled about that. Too many shows start out about making a great show, and by season 6 it's about making money and all they want to do is write more episodes and make more money. This show makes a lot of money, and it would be easy for HBO to be like "we're gonna do four more seasons and we're gonna extend them to 12 episodes." I really respect David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] for holding their ground and for HBO to be like "no... we're gonna tell this story and we're gonna end it and that'll be final."

Pre-production on Game of Thrones Season 7 is in full swing. And Maisie Williams has read some of the scripts. She claims that nothing will prepare fans for what is about to happen. And things will get much darker before there is any light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking with Variety, the actress went onto say this about the series' ultimate climax.

"Good things must come to an end or they're not good anymore. It doesn't last forever and we've done what we came to do, it's time to wrap this up, and it will have the ending it was always supposed to have, and that's very special. David and Dan started writing this show knowing the end, not knowing that it might actually come around and we might be allowed to make that many [seasons] - at the beginning we were just willing to make one [season]. They started this with an end in sight, and so it's exciting to be closing it..."

George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books still have two more volumes to go, and it is now clear that the show will wrap things up before he gets a chance to. It still isn't known when the sixth book will hit retail shelves. Season 6 was the first to go off script. And many fans are now anxiously waiting to see how this whole story is going to wrap itself up. Though Martin assures that the book ending will be much different than what plays out on the small screen.

Game of Thrones Season 7 will arrive with just seven episodes, down from the usual ten. And Game of Thrones Season 8, which is expected to premiere in 2018, will only be 6 episodes long. In the long run, while they may be disappointed at the shorter episode run, fans will probably come to appreciate the succinct way the story wraps itself up. And they will always have the books to look forward too. At this time, HBO is still considering a spin-off series, but that won't happen until this first series plays out. And there is always the possibility of a movie.

B. Alan Orange