After the success of the sixth season, many Game of Thrones enthusiasts (myself included), are on the edge of their seats, awaiting the arrival of season seven. Be warned that this article may contain spoilers.

When will season 7 of GoT arrive, and how long will it last?

The intense final episode of season six had fans asking this very question.

However, many viewers of the show may be disappointed to know that Game of Thrones won't be airing in April, as almost every season has until this point. HBO have confirmed that the show will be airing in the summer months of 2017.

Writer David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said the reason for this is because "Winter is here, and that means the sunny weather doesn't really serve our purpose anymore". This means we can expect a longer wait than usual for next season.

Earlier in the year, Benioff and Weiss also announced the length of run time that will be shown for the final two seasons. A total of 13 episodes are all that remain in the show. Season seven will be seven episodes long and season eight, six. This will put the overall show run time at 73 hours, right in between Weiss and Benioff's intended 70-75 hours.

Who can we expect return next season?

According toDigitalSpy, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau have all apparently signed up for season seven, though knowing Game of Thrones as we do, this gives no guarantee that any of these characters will last the full season.

The Hollywood Reporterstated back in 2014 that Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Natalie Dormer signed up for season seven also. However we all know what happened to Dormer's character Margaery in the season six finale, so it's tough to say who will be returning as well as surviving.

New upcoming characters in GoT

HBO have made clear a number of new characters to be revealed in season seven, but their involvement is still unknown.

However, what we do know is that Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent is set to play a major role, and Dickensian actor Joseph Quinn will play a character separate from Martin's books called Koner.

In classic Game of Thrones fashion, some new characters have been given only the codenames such as 'Yound lord' and 'Lovely Lady'.

There have even been rumours that a certain Rhaegar Targaryan will make his on screen debut. These names have left many GoT fans speculation and developing theories about characters in the book that may be coming to life on screen.

Season six of Game of Thrones was one of the most unpredictable, exciting and tense ever. With Jon Snow being crowned King of The North in Winterfell, Cersei taking the iron throne by force, and Danaerys setting sail towards Westeros with a massive army, It's hard to argue that season seven will be even better than the last. So if you're not currently watchingyou should be.