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'GoT' season 7 premiere date, teaser revealed via fan torture

Fans watched a block of ice melt for over an hour on Facebook Live to glimpse a teaser and learn there are still four months until new episodes drop on HBO.

Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

Watching ice melt, and melt, and melt.

Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

Even if you live somewhere where winter is almost over, we can now officially tell you winter is coming back soon. The seventh season of the hit fantasy show "Game of Thrones" will premiere July 16, HBO said Thursday during a Facebook Live event that crashed twice in the process.

The news came via a video of a very slowly melting block of ice. The footage was delayed when the live stream suddenly cut out about 15 minutes in, leaving fans in the dark for another 15 minutes until an already uneventful video started again, only to then cut out and start again.

Over an hour after the Facebook Live video first started streaming, the ice finally "melted" enough to reveal the premiere date, and we got a nifty little audio montage hinting at battles to come.

You know you have a hit on your hands when millions of total Facebook Live viewers are willing to spend part of their day literally watching ice melt just to be the first to know how long they get to wait to watch the show again.

Hints about what's to come for Westeros and its many, many characters -- including a few who haven't yet been killed -- have so far been maddeningly vague.

A new poster that hit this week simply shows the hashtag #GoTS7 over some ice and fire, a rather lazy reference to the George R.R. Martin series of novels that inspired the show.

The whole experience of the prolonged and painful reveal naturally sent plenty of fans running to Twitter. The hashtag quickly rocketed to the top of the platform's trending topics.

Looking ahead to July, there's been a lot of gossip lately about potential guest stars on the series, even though the show hasn't really been known for such appearances thus far.

There's been unconfirmed buzz about UFC fighter Conor McGregor joining the cast, and apparently New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has already shot his cameo. Martin said he'd love to get Barack Obama on the show, but he's probably still enjoying the afterglow from his recent epic vacation with Richard Branson.

Here's hoping some of our top picks for cameos also make the cut and that their role doesn't involve the cutting off of anyone's head (but it probably will).

First published March 9, 11:57 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:14 p.m. PT: Premiere date added.

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