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Entertainment Weekly

TV

Game of Thrones season 8 directors revealed: Fan favorites return

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The directors for the final hours of Game of Thrones can now be revealed — and the list includes some very exciting names.

First: Miguel Sapochnik will return for the eighth-and-final season of Game of Thrones (which will consist of six episodes total). Sapochnik won an Emmy for his work on season 6, where he helmed two of the hit drama’s finest hours — “The Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter.” Sapochnik then took a break from GoT for season 7 to shoot the pilot for Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi drama Altered Carbon, and is now back to focus on Thrones for at least the next year.

Next up is the great David Nutter — the show’s other Emmy winner for best direction. Nutter is a revered industry veteran, dubbed “the pilot whisperer” for his ability to successfully launch new shows. His credits range from The X-Files to ER to The Flash. Nutter helmed six previous GoT episodes, including season 5 finale, “Mother’s Mercy,” and season 3’s infamous Red Wedding episode, “The Rains of Castamere.” (Yes, that the director of The Red Wedding is returning has us a bit worried about some of our beloved characters too).

Helen Sloan/HBO (2)

Yet neither Sapochnik nor Nutter will direct the show’s final episode. That honor is going to GoT showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who previously directed a couple other episodes early in the show’s run (“Walk of Punishment” and “Two Swords”). The decision continues a tradition of creators of acclaimed serialized cable dramas helming their own finales — such as David Chase for The Sopranos, Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad, and Matthew Weiner for Mad Men.

When Benioff and Weiss have directed episodes in the past they’ve switched back and forth on who gets the actual on-screen credit (since director’s guild rules permit only one director can be credited for an episode of television). It’s unclear how this one will sort out.

Now those three teams represent all the directors for season 8. Now you might ask yourself: If the Ds are directing the finale together, and Sapochnik and Nutter are also directing episodes, yet there are six episodes … then how many episodes is each person directing? In the past, visiting GoT directors have helmed two episodes each. We heard Sapochnik will direct at least two, possibly even three episodes. But as of now, we have no official intel on who will helm which episodes aside from the showrunners tackling the finale.

Thrones begins production on its final season in October and will continue into the spring of next year. HBO has not announced if the show will return in 2018 or, quite possibly, 2019.

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