LOS ANGELES • The premiere date of HBO's mediaeval fantasy series Game Of Thrones was announced with fiery fanfare on Thursday, as a block of ice was melted live online to reveal the July 16 start of the new season (9am on July 17, Singapore time).
In a gimmick described by The New York Times as "memorably misguided", HBO revealed all in a Facebook Live video showing the ice which viewers had to melt by commenting "Fire" to reveal the date. The process was supposed to take under 15 minutes - already a long time to be concentrating on a block of slowly melting ice - but the video malfunctioned several times, drawing out the process to more than an hour.
The debacle sparked snarky posts on Twitter, where #GoTS7 remained one of the top trending hashtags worldwide for hours after the announcement. "Whoever is in charge of the @GameofThrones S7 premiere date reveal is getting a visit from Septa Unella," tweeted one frustrated fan, invoking the brutal nun of the Emmy-winning show's fifth and sixth seasons.
The highly anticipated seventh season of Thrones, taglined "The Great War Is Here", has been moved to summer from its usual spring air date this year as filming of the show was delayed to capture scenes of winter for the show's fictional realm of Westeros.
A teaser trailer released by HBO on Thursday shows the crests of the show's warring families crumbling to ash, with voices of key characters, including resurrected Night Watch leader Jon Snow, heard speaking phrases from past seasons in a timeline of events that have led to the battle.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE