The showrunners of Game of Thrones tease how the threat and urgency of war will help fuel season 7's story. Battles and wars have long been at the forefront of Game of Thrones. Like the source material, much of the story focuses on political intrigue and the various gruesome ways change often occurs. On HBO's adaptation, the violence has been amped up even more, sometimes to the detriment of the characters. Still, the many skirmishes and all-out assaults of the series have helped to shape the storytelling and have altered the characters in powerful ways.
That focus on the brutality and consequences of war doesn't look to be changing anytime soon. From what we've seen so far of the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones, the action will very much be driving things. From the latest trailer for the series to the promise of long-desired confrontations such as Cleganebowl, there likely won't be much time to stop and chat this season. With so many characters finally colliding, conflicts will arise. Not to mention Daenerys is bringing an army of dragons, Dothraki, Ironborn, and Unsullied to the shores of Westeros. Naturally, all that action will ratchet up the pace of the season.
EW spoke at length with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss about the pacing and action of season 7. And while they admitted that war will be in the driver seat, Weiss promises it will be in service to the plot.
"The scope of the story naturally has increased season to season. That also probably feeds in a little bit into the pacing, that things are coming to a head and the war is here. It’s this urgency from within the story that drives the pace rather than any external decision. Things are moving faster because in the world of these characters the war that they’ve been waiting for is upon them, the conflicts that have been building the past six years are upon them and those facts give them a sense of urgency that makes them move faster."
The showrunners also made sure to emphasize that the growing urgency has been building for a long time. For years now, we've been hearing about the great war to come. For Benioff, that conflict is now here. Whether it's the return of the Sand Snakes, the inevitable showdown between Sansa and Littlefinger, or the White Walkers descending from the North, things are finally going to boil over in this season of the show. Not to mention, there will be plenty of smaller plots coming to a head.
The showrunners also discussed how the death of certain characters has given the living protagonists more time in the spotlight. It's even allowed more secondary characters to rise up to more prominent roles. It could be some of these lesser characters that eventually make it to one of the many Game of Thrones spinoffs, but only if they survive all the battles on the way to Westeros.
Without the books to guide viewers anymore, it's anyone's guess as to what will happen in the final two seasons of Game of Thrones. Luckily, with the penultimate season right around the corner, we all should know more soon enough.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on Sunday, July 16 at 9 P.M. on HBO.