It’s hard to knock HBO’s selections.
Game of Thrones is without a doubt television’s most ambitious show. No other series offers the same combination of sprawling cast, gripping storylines, and visual spectacle. It’s a small miracle that a show with as many moving parts as Game of Thrones has gone on for seven seasons without a major hitch. With the series final closing in fast, HBO is going all in to make sure Game of Thrones sticks the landing and they’ve announced who will direct the final six episodes. Not surprisingly, they’ve brought back the directors behind the series’ best and most shocking episodes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Miguel Sapochnik and David Nutter will be joining showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in directing the final six episodes of Game of Thrones.” The list only contains four names because with Game of Thrones’ complicated production schedule it’s easier to cast fewer directors and have them shoot back-to-back episodes. Benioff and Weiss have barely stepped behind the camera, directing only two episodes throughout the series’ entire run but it appears that the duo will take the reigns for the final episodes. While they aren’t seasoned directors, after so many years navigating Game of Thrones through television’s choppy waters, it makes sense they would like to steer their ship home.
Nutter and Sapochnik are a couple can’t miss choices. Nutter has six episodes under his belt including the soul-crushing, “The Rains of Castamere” aka the Red Wedding, which will go down as one of television’s most painful swerves. Sapochnik is responsible for what are arguably the series’ most thrilling episodes in “Hardhome,” and “Battle of the Bastards.” People praise Game of Thrones for its cinematic aesthetic and “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” are two major reasons why. “Hardhome” features Jon Snow’s first menacing encounter with The Night King. The episode is as visually stunning and emotionally gripping as TV gets. “Battle of the Bastards” depicts the long-awaited clash between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton’s armies. The episode is the culmination of years of build up which comes to a head during a battle that’s so impressively shot it could have been ripped from a summer blockbuster.
With only six episodes to go and an undead horde (plus one ice-dragon) marching their way south, it’s certain that Game of Thrones is calling in Sapochnik to deliver at least one balls-to-the-wall battle. It’s also a lock that not all the show’s beloved characters will survive until the final credits roll, and we know that Nutter has no qualms about dishing out generous portions of heartbreak.
Benioff and Weiss’ lack of reps behind the camera shouldn’t be a concern. These are the men responsible for adapting the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series’ dense fictional universe and maintaining the essence of the books while also making the story their own. They’ve taken a deep fantasy mythology loaded with murder, rape, and incest and transformed it into a pop culture phenomenon and one of television’s most successful shows ever. I think Benioff and Weiss will be alright.