Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

Despite a shorter upcoming seventh season, Game of Thrones promises more time with fan favorites this summer.

According to showrunner Dan Weiss, "You kill a couple dozen characters [and] the people who are left by default need to carry more dramatic weight."

Thus, the seven-episode season 7 will likely result in more screen time for familiar faces.

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) noted she was initially surprised by the new scripts. "When I first read this season I thought: ‘Damn, I gotta learn some lines,'" she told Entertainment Weekly.

Likewise, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) revealed he's "worked more days this season than I have in quite some time." From Kit Harington's (Jon Snow) perspective, it means "everyone gets a bigger slice of the pie" this time around.

That could be bittersweet, however, as the smaller cast and the looming series finale next year suggests no one is safe as the long-running HBO juggernaut approaches its end.

Game of Thrones returns for its seventh season July 16 on HBO.