Game Of Thrones delayed by winter shoot
GAME Of Thrones showrunner David Benioff told fans at Comic-Con International on Friday
a delay in screening the new series had been unavoidable because "winter is here".
The hit fantasy epic has been teasing winter's arrival since its pilot episode, and with the season six finale entitled The Winds Of Winter, the camera crew has been forced to wait for colder weather.
"Winter is here, and we've got to shoot in places with trees and wait for the leaves to turn," Benioff told Comic-Con's packed 65,000-seat Hall H.
He was joined by cast members including Liam Cunningham, Sophie Turner and the departing Kristian Nairn, as well as director Miguel Sapochnik.
HBO has confirmed season seven will return in the summer of 2017. The show usually premieres in April.
But Benioff said the show would not finish shooting
until February and that "there's no way to get the show out there until summer".
Game Of Thrones tells the story of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne, while keeping one eye on the "White Walkers" leading hordes of the undead.
It enjoyed a record-breaking season six with more than 25 million viewers a week.
Nairn received a standing ovation from the crowd
who chanted "Hodor, Hodor" in honour of one of the show's best loved characters.
"I did not expect it to be so crazy, I'm really, really flattered - it's blown my mind," the 40-year-old Northern Irish actor said.
The panel were asked who would win the Iron Throne and Iwan Rheon, who plays the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, got cheers when he said he would "melt the thing down and have a democracy".
The Comic-Conners were treated to teaser footage showing a Lannister flag unfurling, the crew preparing for season seven by building
a new set and a line-up
of weapons - but no