game of thrones is finally here, Season 7 returns to Sky Atlantic on July 17 at 2 am in the UK to simulcast with HBO in America. If you can’t sit up that late then you can catch it again at 9 pm.

With the long wait almost over here is everything you need to know about the series so far including; the season 7 premiere, recap of seasons 1-6, spoilers, predictions and more.

Season 7 – Release Date

Usually, seasons premiere in April of each year, however, due to production time increases for each episode fans have waited an extra four months for their favourite show to return.

The season premieres in the USA on July 16 on HBO and Sky Atlantic in the UK will simulcast on July 17 at 2 am.

Production began in August 2016 in some stunning locations including Croatia, Iceland and Ireland.

Another change this season is the number of episodes. In previous seasons each consisted of ten episodes but season 7 will see a decrease in just seven episodes. This is because show creators say it just isn’t possible to film ten episodes in the production time frame. DB Weiss explaining: “It’s crossing over from a television schedule to more of a mid-range movie schedule.” Along with this news, fans were also disappointed to hear that season 8 will not premiere until 2019, leaving a two-year gap between the final two seasons.

Nonetheless, a possible upside is that the shows sound designer Patricia Fairfield gave a hint at this year's Con of Thrones convention in Nashville that in the final season episodes will be film-length giving fans extra to look forward to. Of course, this is unconfirmed.

Recap of the series so far

There are hundreds of fan made recap videos out there but HBO has released an official series trailer giving a recap of seasons 1-6 in anticipation of the return of season 7.

The video is good at avoiding major story lines and character deaths - thus no spoilers. Instead it focuses on the main characters, the Starks and the Lannisters, and how Daenerys claimed the throne. We also see the White Walker invasion and the build-up to the Great War.

It’s a pretty good look at the storylines of Game of Thrones from the start.

HBO have edited it to a professional degree giving it a blockbuster movie feel. It certainly will get you excited about the premiere tomorrow.

There are some others out there that give a more in-depth analysis of the series so far including one from Games Radar which goes into quite a bit more detail.

Here’s a reminder of what went down in season 6

Cersei killed pretty much everyone in a massive explosion getting rid of all her enemies in one fell swoop. Her son Tommen, the King, jumped from a window to his death allowing her to retake the throne. However, she is short on allies so is unlikely to keep the Iron Throne for long.

Jon Snow reunited with his long lost sister Sansa Stark who helped make him King of the North.

Together they formed an army consisting help from Lady Lyanna Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane and Davos Seaworth. Let’s not forget the soldiers from The Vale that Little Finger helped secure. The army won the epic Battle of the Bastards allowing Jon Snow to reclaim Winterfell.

Ramsay Bolton sent Snow's little brother running then shot an arrow through him sparking a rage that caused Snow to bash Bolton’s skull.

Arya Stark has now returned to Westeros after her near fatal conflict with the Waif while completing her Faceless Man training. Her long awaited revenge for the death of her family is on its way.

Daenerys and her army set sail across the narrow sea to Westeros to claim the Iron Throne with the help of her army consisting of the Greyjoys, Dothraki, the Unsullied, Tyrells and the Dorne.

Oh, and let’s not forget her three dragons. Cersei better watch out.

Bran Stark discovered that Jon Snow is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark giving him claim to the throne.

A few other things worth mentioning;

  • The White Walkers killed Hodor.
  • The Hound is alive
  • Tormund Giantsbane has a crush on Brienne of Tarth.

Season 7 – Spoilers and Predications

Right, now that we are all caught up let’s get into the upcoming season and what it’s going to bring.

First thing is that the Game of Thrones team have confirmed that Ed Sheeran will be making a guest appearance this season, however, there are no clues on what the singer will be doing on the show.

There are rumours that Sansa Stark is to be killed off this season, but we hope these aren’t true.

A war is coming. We’ve been hearing this since day one and it seems the war is upon us. With so many characters trying to lay claim to the Iron Throne it is inevitable the next two seasons will be action packed.

Kit Harrington who plays Jon Snow told Entertainment Weekly “This season is really different than any other season because it’s accelerating toward the end, a lot of stuff collides and happens much much quicker than you’re used to seeing on Thrones … it’s so different than what everybody is used to. It’s quite exciting.”

Showrunner D.B Weiss said: “Things are moving faster because in the world of these characters the war that they have been waiting on is upon them.”

Season 7 will see characters who have never interacted before come together and this will be something quite special to watch.

It has been suggested that Arya Stark will be reunited with a character that she hasn’t seen since season 1, her direwolf Nymeria. Maisie Williams was spotted in Canada, a location previously used by the show for shooting against a green screen using real wolves. Another clue that this may be true is the wolf training company Instinct Animals for Film posted on social media using the hashtag #winteriscoming.

Game of thrones spin off

The show’s creators David Benioff and D.B Weiss have confirmed four spin off series which go into the back stories of some of the show’s most notable families. However, these are still years away.

Game of Thrones season 7 on Sky Atlantic on July 17 at 2am and 9pm.