Dear Lifehacker, what is the release date for Game Of Thrones Season 7 in Australia? I've heard rumours of production delays and a lower episode count, but haven't been able to find a concrete answer. Will it start sometime in April, or do we have to wait even longer? Also, does Foxtel still have the rights or can I actually avoid pirating the show for once? Thanks, Faceless Man
Production of Game Of Thrones Season 7 was postponed due to issues with the weather. In short, the filmmakers needed to wait for real snow to fall while shooting on location. (Winter is coming, remember?) This held back production significantly and forced a change in the broadcasting schedule.
HBO has yet to reveal a premiere date, but the network confirmed the seventh season will be broadcast in "the summer". In Australia, this translates to sometime in June, July or August. Our money is on mid-to-late June.
Season seven will also be shorter at just seven episodes long (this is unrelated to the scheduling delay.) Personally, we think this will make for a stronger whole. In previous seasons, there were always one or two episodes that felt a bit slow and contributed little to the overall plot. By cutting these filler episodes out, we should have a much tighter and exciting season on our hands.
As to the second part of your question, the answer is yes: Foxtel still has the rights to Game Of Thrones stitched up in Australia. If you want to watch the show legally without paying Foxtel, you will need to subscribe to HBO Now via a VPN or wait for the digital release on Android/iOS at the end of the season.
With that said, Foxtel is likely to offer some kind of discount as part of its Game Of Thrones Season 7 promotion. The death of Presto and revised pricing for Foxtel Go should also make things a bit cheaper.
As in previous years, we'll be breaking down all the ways to watch Game Of Thrones in Australia closer to the release date. Watch this space!
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