It feels as though Game of Thrones’ fifth season just ended, but already the production is getting ready to start filming Season 6 in a little over a month’s time. It’s a brutal schedule, as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss spend 12 months of the year in a state of pre-production, production, post-production, or some combination of the three, but they’ve finalized a very important piece of the Season 6 puzzle: the directors.
Per EW, the full list of directors for what could be the show’s penultimate season is as follows:
Jeremy Podeswa (Episodes 1 & 2) – Podeswa made his GoT debut with Season 5’s “Kill the Boy” and “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and his other credits include The Pacific, The Walking Dead, and Boardwalk Empire.
- David Sackheim (Episodes 3 & 4) – One of two Game of Thrones newcomers this season, Sackheim’s filmography includes a number of episodes of The X-Files, House, M.D., and The Americans.
- Jack Bender (Episodes 5 & 6) – The second newcomer, and the most exciting name on the list. Bender was the principal director throughout the tenure of Lost, helming the show’s series finale. He came close to making the jump to features with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and has recently been helming episodes of Under the Dome and The Last Ship.
Mark Mylod (Episodes 7 & 8) – Mylod directed the Season 5 episodes “High Sparrow” and “Sons of the Harpy”, and also helmed plenty of episodes of Shameless and Entourage.
- Miguel Sapochnik (Episodes 9 & 10) – If this name sounds familiar, it should. Sapochnik directed the Season 5 highpoint “Hardhome”, featuring the now-classic ice zombie battle, and now he’s being given the honor of directing the final two episodes of the season. Could this mean a return of the Night King or a battle on the scale of Hardhome, or even a return of a presumed-dead character? Let the speculation begin.
As for striking absences from this list, Neil Marshall appears not to be making his return the series this year after helming Season 2’s “Blackwater” and Season 4’s “The Watchers on the Wall”, and though Alex Graves expressed interest in coming back after taking a break for Season 5, he’s not in this mix this year either.
And for those wondering why each director takes on two episodes at a time, I suggest reading Steve’s lengthy chat with Graves, where he explained that they essentially film multiple episodes at the same time in various locations, so the length of time it takes a director to complete a single episode could stretch on for months.
Season 6 of Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO next spring, likely in April.