In case you hadn't heard, a little show called Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) is shooting what appears to be (opens in new tab) its most epic season yet. It will arrive a little later than normal (end of Summer 2017) and that's definitely a good thing; we'll at last be able to witness this blasted winter that everyone's been going on about for years. Aside from the inclement weather, season 7 promises some crazy plot turns and long overdue rendezvous.
That's why the news about who's directing the season is pretty darn important. This season is going to be a turning point for the entire series. You did see the season 6 finale, right? Here's the rundown on who's bringing us all seven episodes of the next season.
Jeremy Podeswa: Episodes 1 and 7
Die-hard Thrones fans may recognise Podeswa's name. If you don't? Outside of the show, he's directed episodes of Six Feet Under, Dexter, True Blood, American Horror Story, and The Walking Dead. This guy knows genre telly. He also steered some of Thrones' most divisive stories. The Canadian director helmed the nail-bitingly good season 5 (opens in new tab) episode Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken (opens in new tab) (yes *that* one with Sansa) and kicked off season 6 (opens in new tab) with a bang in The Red Woman (opens in new tab).
Oh, and it's Podeswa who brought back Jon Snow. Yep, he had the task of resurrecting the Lord Commander - and did it rather well, considering we all knew it was going to happen. This is a director who can handle the episodes that will rattle fans. The fact that he's on board for the opening and closing episodes suggests we're in for some major events.
Mark Mylod: Episodes 2 and 3
Mylod's no stranger to the Seven Kingdoms, either. He's had a decent stint working on the show in seasons 5 and 6, introducing us to the High Sparrow (in the episode called High Sparrow (opens in new tab)) and then unleashing holy hell in Sons of the Harpy (opens in new tab). Mylod's not scared of a little blood-letting. He delivered the superb season 6 episode, No One (opens in new tab), that saw Arya remove Waif's face and defiantly tell Jaqen H'ghar to go stuff it in one of the biggest punch-the-air moments ever on the show.
Okay, so he's fine with gore, but that's not to say he's without a blacker-than-night wit. The British director has won BAFTAs for his work on a bunch of UK TV comedies like The Fast Show. Expect some black comedy in with your gore.
Matt Shakman: Episodes 4 and 5
The new kid on the block. Shakman's a TV veteran making his Game of Thrones debut in season 7. Prior to landing one of the sweetest gigs ever with HBO he made his mark on the small screen with a wide-ranging bunch of credits. He's touched upon the comedy market with things like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Ugly Betty. His main love appears to be a mix of comedy and drama. He's directed episodes of House, Brothers and Sisters, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, Fargo, The Good Wife... yeah, they're not straight dramatics.
If I were to hazard a guess I'd say we're going to get deeper character dives in his episodes of GoT, and perhaps a lighter tone overall. Considering the darkness of season 6 that might be just what the doctor ordered.
Alan Taylor: Episode 6
Alright, alright. Yes. This is the man who directed Thor: The Dark World (opens in new tab) and then went on to give us Terminator: Genisys (opens in new tab). Not exactly a home run on either fronts, BUT, let's not forget the massive difference in shooting a movie vs a TV episode. Taylor's already proven that Game of Thrones is where he shines.
He's largely responsible with setting the tone for the entire series with his work in season 1 (opens in new tab). Episodes 9 and 10 of the premiere season, Baelor (opens in new tab) and Fire and Blood (opens in new tab) are proof of his abilities to really hammer home the jaw-dropping moments of the show. Taylor directed Ned Stark's beheading in episode 9, setting the tone for Thrones' habit of offing the unexpected. You might be pleased to hear that for season 7 he'll be directed the penultimate episode: bring your tissues, folks... someone's getting offed.
Images: HBO, Marvel