Days following the season six finale, “The Winds of Winter,” HBO has confirmed four of the directors bringing season seven to life. EW reports that series veterans Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa and Mark Mylod will once again helm episodes for the show’s seventh season. They’re joined by Thrones newcomer Matt Shakman, best known for directing 39 episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
For Taylor, season seven serves as a homecoming of sorts, returning to the series for the first time since helming the second-season finale. Taylor directed four episodes in season two, and also served as director on the final two episodes of the show’s first season — casting him as the man who oversaw the execution of Eddard Stark and the historic birth of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons, among other highlights. Since his time away from Thrones, Taylor’s credits include feature films Thor: The Dark World and Terminator: Genisys, starring Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor.
Both Podeswa and Mylod are recent fixtures in the Game of Thrones universe, directing episodes in the show’s fifth and sixth seasons. Podeswa was responsible for the Melisandre transformation in “The Red Woman,” the season six premiere, as well as Jon Snow’s resurrection in the subsequent “Home,” an episode that featured numerous epic moments, including Euron Greyjoy’s stormy debut. Mylod, meanwhile, directed this past season’s “The Broken Man” and “No One,” the two episodes serving as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane’s reintroduction into the world of Game of Thrones, not to mention Arya Stark’s violent resignation from the House of Black and White.
Notably absent from the list: Miguel Sapochnik, director of season six’s massive final two installments, “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter.” He also helmed “Hardhome,” season five’s epic eighth episode, featuring Jon Snow at war with the Night King and his White Walkers. In a recent interview with THR, Sapochnik spoke about the difficulties involved in bringing a show like Game of Thrones to life.
“It may sound silly, but as a director on this show and with so little time, getting ill is the worst because you can’t just stop and take the day off,” he said. “You have to suck it up and keep going. And usually that means putting your waterproofs on and your wellies and getting back out there come rain, sleet or snow.”
For his part, returning director Podeswa spoke to THR earlier in the year about the responsibilities involved in establishing the tone of a season, as he did with the first two episodes, “The Red Woman” and “Home.”
“Every episode is very dense,” he said. “They’re very full. You’re servicing so many characters and stories. There’s so much anticipation coming back into all of these stories because people are so invested in them. You just want to make sure that everything lands and that the wait people had between seasons, you’ve honored that. You’ve honored the waiting. Now they’re back to watching, and they can pick up the stories where they left off, and that things are advancing and moving and are exciting and interesting.”
Watch the video below for highlights from the season six finale.
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