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Game of Thrones Season 8 Directors Announced

By Brian Gallagher — September 26th, 2017

With Game of Thrones gearing up to start production on Season 8 next month, the series has set the directors for the final six episodes. A new report has confirmed that series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will both direct the series finale together. While both filmmakers have directed one episode apiece, with Benioff directing a Season 3 episode and Weiss directing a Season 4 episode, this will mark the first time that the creators have directed an episode together.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news this morning, revealing that the series creators will be joined by longtime Game of Thrones directors Miguel Sapochnik and David Nutter. With the eighth and final season confirmed to be six episodes, it seems likely that Sapochnik, Nutter and the Benioff/Weiss team will direct two episodes apiece, which falls in line with most of the directors that came aboard for the seven-episode Season 7. Another report from Entertainment Weekly claimed that Sapochnik could direct three episodes, though, potentially leaving Nutter to direct two episodes and Benioff/Weiss to direct the finale. That report also reveals that Director's Guild of America rules prevent more than one filmmaker from being credited for directing an episode of television, so it remains to be seen how that will be worked out.

Miguel Sapochnik returns to the show after his absence in Game of Thrones Season 7, since he directed the pilot for Netflix's upcoming series Altered Carbon. He has directed four episodes of Game of Thrones, all of which are considered to be some of the show's best. He directed two episodes in Season 5, The Gift and the epic Hardhome, where viewers got their first glimpse at the Night King, and his resurrection powers. He also directed the final two episodes of Season 6, The Battle of the Bastards, where Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) helped take back Winterfell from the Bolton clan, and the finale The Winds of Winter, which brought all of the key players back to Westeros for the final two seasons. Miguel Sapochnik's other directing credits include Iron Fist, Masters of Sex, True Detective, Extant and the 2010 feature film Repo Men.

David Nutter has directed six episodes of Game of Thrones, and if he directs two episodes or more in the final season, he will pass Alan Taylor, who has directed seven Game of Thrones episodes, as the show's most prolific director. Still, he hasn't directed an episode since Season 5, but, much like Miguel Sapochnik, his episodes are also considered the best in series history. He started off by directing two Season 2 episodes, which both featured Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) taking control of Winterfell, and both Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) escaping from their home. He also directed the final two episodes of Season 3, The Rains of Castamere and Mhysa, the former of which featured one of the show's defining moments: The Red Wedding. After taking Season 4 off, he returned in Season 5 with the final two episodes, The Dance of Dragons, where Jon Snow returns to Castle Black with the Wildling army, and Mother's Mercy, where Jon Snow is murdered in cold blood by his Night's Watch brothers.

The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale set the stage for what will surely be an epic final season. After narrowly escaping the Night King's army, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Jon Snow and others from The North brought proof that the white walkers do exist to Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). While it seemed that Cersei agreed to send her forces north to help battle this army of the undead, Cersei's true colors came through, telling her brother/lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that she actually plans to just let everyone kill each other up North. HBO still hasn't announced when in fact this final season will air, although it seems likely to debut either in late 2018 or possibl early 2019.

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