HBO’s Game of Thrones is arguably the most famous TV show in the world right now, and it’s also one of the most secretive. After months of saying the show’s seventh season would debut later than normal and refusing to announce a premiere date, HBO botched its premiere date release stunt.

July 16th, 2017 is when Game of Thrones season 7 will debut, but before fans knew that date, they spent an hour commenting “fire” on a Facebook Live video that crashed twice.

HBO announced this morning it would be announcing the premiere date with an interactive Facebook Live video.

At 2 PM EST, fans logged onto Facebook and began typing “fire” faster than any plot line in the show moves. Sadly for the fans, it didn’t work as HBO hoped it would, as the block of ice melted extremely slowly and the video went out twice.

You’ll notice in the above tweet there was a flame with an illuminated circle around it in the top right corner of the video. During the first two attempts before the video went down a second time, the illuminated circle would get smaller and when it ultimately went out, the fire would stop. To get the circle back up, fans would have to comment “fire.”

After the video went down a second time, the circle stayed illuminated, either because so many people were commenting or HBO knew the whole thing was taking too long. The reveal started at 2 PM EST and the premiere date was not unveiled until 3:09 pm EST.

Naturally, a lot of people took to Twitter to express their frustration with how long it took for the date to be unveiled:

To entice fans to keep watching, HBO inserted videos of different actors from the hit series throughout the live stream.

Above, you can see Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) cheering fans on. Also included in the video were Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy). After the video ended, the date was revealed, a short teaser was shown, and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) thanked fans for watching.

The entire stunt was ridiculous and took extremely long. However, no show could do this to their fans and be okay with the backlash. For all the flack HBO is sure to get today over the stunt, how long it took, and the technical difficulties, many more people will praise them.

For the majority of the time, there were over 100,000 people watching FB Live Stream, which doesn’t seem like a lot in theory, but it is when you think about it more in depth. This video was shown during a work day in the United States and also was simply ice melting. Most fans of the show probably saw the stunt for a brief second and then thought, I can just wait and find out when it premieres later, noo need to watch ice melt.

I will admit, I watched a good chunk of the video, and I was disappointed. However, the ending teaser and release date made it all worth it. Winter is Coming, and I am ready.

Along with announcing the show’s release date, HBO also made it official, confirming that season seven will only feature seven episodes. The show’s final season, season eight, is expected to be eight episodes long.

“HBO has confirmed that GAME OF THRONES will return for its seven-episode seventh season SUNDAY, JULY 16 (9:00–10:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Based on the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, this hit Emmy®-winning fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom. Members of the ensemble cast for the sixth season included Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Diana Rigg, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Jonathan Pryce. Season six credits: executive producers, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin.”

You can read all of our Game of Thrones content, including recaps from season six, right here.

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.