As Game of Thrones gears up to begin production on its eighth and final season next month, HBO has finally unveiled who will be at the helm of the last few episodes of the smash hit series. Unsurprisingly, the list is made up of familiar faces, and given that Season 8 will only consist of six episodes in total, the list is also small: Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, and creators and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be directing the final episodes of Game of Thrones.
Sapochnik made his Game of Thrones debut with the Season 5 episode “The Gift”, followed by the now-iconic “Hardhome”, also from the fifth season. He returned for Season 6 to direct “Battle of the Bastards” and that season finale—one of the show’s best episodes ever—“The Winds of Winter.” Given Sapochnik’s proclivity for well-constructed battle sequences, one imagines he’ll be at the helm of some/one of the action-heavy installments in Season 8, and it’ll be a welcome reunion as he took Season 7 off. The filmmaker’s other credits include many episodes of House, an episode of True Detective Season 2, and the Iron Fist episode “Eight Diagram Dragon Palm” as well as the 2010 film Repo Men.
Nutter is also a Thrones regular and a veteran of sorts, having made his GoT debut on the Season 2 episodes “The Old Gods and the New” and “A Man Without Honor.” He’s also the guy behind the classic “The Rains of Castamere” in Season 3, and he helmed the final two episodes of Season 5, “The Dance of Dragons” and “Mother’s Mercy.” Like Sapochnik, he took Season 7 off, and indeed no directors from Season 7 are returning for this final season.
And then there’s Benioff and Weiss, who THR reports will likely be helming the Game of Thrones series finale. The duo have only directed one episode of the series, Season 4’s opener “Two Swords” (which was credited to Weiss per DGA rules stating no co-directing credits), but they are a constant on-set presence as they write all of the scripts before filming begins, so it’s not like they’re new to this.
As with past seasons it’s likely that each of these directors will be helming two episodes in total, since Game of Thrones’ production schedule is such that all of the episodes are shot at once instead of in sequence—they may be filming scenes from the series finale as early as next month, depending on how the schedule shakes out.
But HBO and Benioff & Weiss are going to great pains to keep the ending under wraps. It was recently revealed that they’ll be shooting multiple endings to the series so no one knows what the true ending of the series will be if one of them happens to leak. HBO still hasn’t announced a premiere date just yet, but it’s looking more and more likely that the show won’t return until 2019 in order to hit an ideal premiere window.
For now, though, it’s interesting to see the filmmakers that Benioff and Weiss have enlisted to bring this show to a close, and it’s hard to argue with these choices.