Warning: This post will contain spoilers for Game of Thrones season six.
Following an impressive sixth season, and arguably the best season since its shocking third, Game of Thrones is preparing for its seventh season next year, which will be the first forray into really, what is the final chapter in the show. With Daenaerys finally on her way to Westeros, Jon now the King of the North, both Arya and Bran close to Winterfell again, and Cersei named the queen in King’s Landing, it’s looking more and more like the final triumphs are about to be decided, until the battle against the Night’s King anyways.
After two gloriously directed final episodes as well, both helmed by Miguel Sapochnik, the directors for the show’s seventh season have been revealed, and it looks my somewhat selfish and unrealistic wish of having Sapochnik direct every one of the remaining 13 episodes has been proven wrong. Unfortunately.
EW is reporting that season seven’s episodes will be directed by Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa, Mark Mylod, and Matt Shakman, with notable exclusions including Sapochnik, and David Nutter, who helmed a number of notable Thrones episodes, including the infamous Red Wedding episode in season three. Taylor will be returning to the show for the first time since 2012 though, while Podeswa will be returning as well after directing season five’s controversial “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and this season’s “Home,” which brought Jon Snow back to life.
Mark Mylod is very familiar with the show as well, who has directed four previous episodes of Thrones, including this season’s “No One.” Shakman is the only newcomer this season meanwhile, a longtime directing vet known primarily for his work on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but it should be interesting to see how he adapts to the unique and well-known look and tone of Thrones.
It’s possible that some of the show’s biggest directors, like Nutter, Sapochnik, and even Neil Marshall (“Blackwater,” “The Watchers on the Wall”) may be planning to return for the final eighth, and likely massive season of the series, though I imagine season seven will be fairly large in its own right too. Having Taylor return though, a director who helped form the earlier seasons of the show, is perhaps the most welcome surprise here.
Benioff and Weiss also talked about the last two seasons with EW as well, teasing the beginning of the end:
“Once she gets on those ships and crosses West, that’s when the clock on the end game starts ticking. The question has been: When is she going to get back across the Narrow Sea? When is she going to take back her homeland? It’s been a long time for her, and it’s been something that’s such an imperative for people watching. You know she’s not going to go there for a beach vacation.”
Perhaps the reason that the season finale was so well-received by fans and critics as well, was that it not only managed to perfectly tie up loose ends and storylines from season six, but also managed to set up entirely new chapters and directions for the final two seasons also. Daenaerys returning to Westeros, is as Weiss puts it, “the first domino,” and the dominoes are indeed beginning to fall for, what will sadly, be the last time.
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