The upcoming season–which premieres on July 16– will be shorter, with seven episodes as opposed to the usual 10. It is also expected to be the penultimate season, with the final, Season 8, being even shorter still with six episodes.
Still, HBO appears to have packed it with enough drama to thrill loyal fans of the epic series. The video teaser above released on Thursday, which features house sigils ominously crumbling to ash, ends with an epic quote from Jon Snow: “There is only one war that matters. The Great War. And it is here.”
There’s also talk of a prequel series after Thrones ends, reports Entertainment Weekly:
HBO is also exploring ideas for launching a potential prequel series based on the world created by George R.R. Martin. The author is also working on his next Thrones novel, The Winds of Winter, which seems unlikely to come out by July given that a publication date has yet to be announced.
The announcement comes as Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss and stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner prepare to head to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, for a featured speaker panel on Sunday.
HBO also dropped this poster for Season 7 for the SXSW conference, which appears to set up a “great war” of fire and ice: