Most shows would just send out a press release or tweet announcing their season premiere date. But not Game of Thrones, which spent 69 minutes on Thursday afternoon melting a giant block of ice on Facebook Live—a stunt gone wrong, given that the livestream was interrupted twice and stretched for more than an hour—to learn that Season 7 of the show will debut on July 16.
But more than 162,000 people were still watching the livestream when the date was finally revealed.
Earlier in the day, HBO directed fans to its Facebook Live stream at 2 p.m. ET to reveal the date of the Season 7 premiere. As the livestream started, users were asked to type “FIRE” in the comments to help melt the block of ice and reveal the premiere date encased in it.
But 15 minutes later the livestream ended with no premiere date revealed.
HBO started another Facebook Live feed 15 minutes later, at 2:30 p.m., explaining, “The fire in the realm was overpowering, but we’re back.” That video, too, ended after 15 minutes.
Cast members like Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Nikolaj-Coster Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) popped up on the stream to encourage fans to type “FIRE” in the comments, but that didn’t speed up the process.
Fans started to get upset when it became clear it was going to take a long time for the ice to melt.
The third and final Facebook Live feed began at 2:55 p.m. with two giant flames directed at the ice in a effort to finally melt it, and the premiere date was finally revealed at 3:09 p.m., followed by this teaser for Season 7:
HBO had announced last year that Game of Thrones would not be returning until this summer instead of its usual spring run, because Season 7 production required shooting in winter locales. The season will be seven episodes long.
The premiere date reveal’s snafu was reminiscent of the steaming failure BuzzFeed had last May during its Facebook Live interview with President Obama.