*Warning: This post contains mild spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6. And Season 1, but you've definitely seen that by now, right?*
While George R. R. Martin gave birth to the Known World (not literally, that'd be painful) and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss adapted Game of Thrones for a TV audience, a wealth of directors have brought the dialogue, plots and settings to life.
The challenge with TV is maintaining a consistent look and feel, while also allowing each director their own interpretation of the script. This is something #GameOfThrones has succeeded at over and over again, with some of the best in the business taking turns to match the high level of expectation that comes along with the fantasy epic.
The directors for Season 7 were announced back in June, but fansite Watchers on the Wall have pieced together the individual episodes each will be responsible for. Perhaps surprisingly, there's no involvement for Miguel Sapochnik (who won this year's Emmy for "Battle of the Bastards") or Jack Bender (Emmy nominated for "The Door").
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Noticeably, there's also a distinct lack of female representation, a disappointment considering Michelle MacLaren — who directed four episodes across Season 3 and Season 4 — is the only woman to have directed a Game of Thrones episode across its six season, 60 episode run.
So who will be responsible for steering the direction of the penultimate season of one of the finest shows on TV? Check out the full low-down below:
1. Jeremy Podeswa
Episodes: 1 & 7
Directing both the opening episode and the final episode of the season is a great responsibility, but there aren't many directors out there more suited to handle the pressure with professional ease.
Podeswa has directed four episodes of Game of Thrones, including the opening two episodes of Season 6 along with "Kill The Boy" and "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" of Season 5. The latter — which depicted Ramsay Bolton's brutal sexual assault of #Sansa — received an Emmy nomination for direction, despite being the lowest rated episode on Rotten Tomatoes.
Away from Game of Thrones, Podeswa has worked on shows including Six Feet Under, Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead.
2. Mark Mylod
Episodes: 2 & 3
For fans of the show, the appointment of Mylod for two episodes in Season 7 may be seen as controversial. The director has received criticism for last season's "No One" episode, and in particular the chase scene involving Arya and The Waif. There was even a petition on Reddit to prevent him for working on the show again due to his handling of the #Arya storyline.
However, some of the criticism of Mylod may be unjust; he also directed "The Broken Man" in last season, which ushered the return of The Hound. In Season 5, he directed "High Sparrow" and "Sons of the Harpy" — which received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series.
3. Matt Shakman
Episodes: 4 & 5
Shakman makes his Game of Thrones debut directing the mid-point of Season 7. He's best known for his work on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, for which he was also Executive Producer. His credits include some of the best TV has to offer, including Mad Men, Six Feet Under and Fargo.
4. Alan Taylor
Game of Thrones Season 7 will see the welcome return of veteran Taylor, who worked on episodes way back in the first and second seasons. His debut was the episode "Baelor," which saw the tragic demise of Eddard Stark, as well as the final episode of the first season, "Fire and Blood."
He then went on to direct four episodes of Season 2, including the opening and closing episodes, but hasn't been involved since 2012. His direction of the penultimate instalment of the season is an exciting prospect, with those episodes often going all-out in the build up to the season's conclusion.
Is Mark Mylod's inclusion a good decision?
(Source: Watchers on the Wall)