What Miguel Sapochnik Means For Game Of Thrones Season 8

A Guide To Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode Directors
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Will these two burn Westeros to the ground with the power of their love in Game of Thrones Season 8?
Will these two burn Westeros to the ground with the power of their love in Game of Thrones Season 8? HBO

There are only six more episodes of Game of Thrones, ever. And they might not even air until 2019. But now we know the directors, thanks to Entertainment Weekly, which can tell us a lot about the shape of things to come in Game of Thrones Season 8.

The Season 8 directors are David Nutter, Miguel Sapochnik and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

David Nutter

Season 3, episode 10, "Mhysa."
Season 3, episode 10, "Mhysa." HBO

David Nutter will direct two or three episodes of Season 8. Nutter is an experienced TV director, known most for launching new shows with splashy pilots, including Millennium, Roswell, Dark Angel, Smallville, Without a Trace, Supernatural, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Mentalist, Arrow and The Flash.

But, more importantly: how is he as a Game of Thrones director? Nutter has directed six episodes of the series, beginning with the Season 2 episodes, “The Old Gods and the New” and “A Man Without Honor,” which, goddamn has a lot changed on this show over the years. Theon executes Ser Rodrik Cassel at Winterfell. “Where are my dragons?” became a weird thing for a while. Jon Snow cuddles up next to Ygritte. Arya hangs out with Tywin at Harrenhal. Kind of unremarkable episodes.

Nutter also directed the worst of the finales, Season 3’s “Mhysa.” But “Mhysa” only really fails in relation to the episode before it: the shocking Red Wedding in “Rains of Castamere,” which… he also directed. So good job, Nutter, all those reaction videos are on you.

Most recently, Nutter directed the last two episodes of Season 5, including Daenerys’ escape from Daznak’s Pit and Cersei’s walk of shame, which gave protesters their favorite slogan since “no blood for oil.” Neither episode quite lives up to the antepenultimate “Hardhome,” but Shireen’s sacrifice in “The Dance of Dragons” remains one of the series’ most horrifying moments. Nutter has been a backbone director for the show, so it’s easy to see why he’ll be directing in Season 8.

Miguel Sapochnik

Season 6, episode 9, "Battle of the Bastards."
Season 6, episode 9, "Battle of the Bastards." HBO

Where Nutter has been part of the show’s DNA since its early seasons, Sapochnik has been the shot in the arm Game of Thrones needed in its sagging later seasons. Sapochnik directed four episodes, including “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards,” both of which stand alongside Season 2’s “Blackwater” (directed by Neil Marshall) at the pinnacle of Game of Thrones action. Sapochnik also directed the Season 6 finale, “The Winds of Winter,” which opens with Cersei blowing up Baelor’s Sept with seemingly half of the remaining cast inside. Game of Thrones turns to Sapochnik to direct show’s biggest moments. The same should be expected from the two or three Season 8 episodes he’ll helm.

David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

Season 4, episode 1, "Two Swords."
Season 4, episode 1, "Two Swords." HBO

But the finale will belong to Game of Thrones creators and showrunners, Benioff and Weiss. The duo have co-directed two previous episodes of the series: “Two Swords” and “Walk of Punishment.” Both are solid. “Walk of Punishment,” in Season 3, saw Jaime lose a hand. “Two Swords,” the Season 4 premiere, has Arya and Sandor Clegane teaming up, still one of the series’ best character pairings. But more than specific episode events, their two directorial efforts suggest that Game of Thrones won’t end with a spectacular battle or technically titanic sequence, but more human-level events. After a final two seasons of explosive bombast and comic book storytelling, it sounds like just the ending Game of Thrones needs.

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