Tread carefully, humble reader. You are entering an article which is ridden with spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 4. If you've read the original books, you'll be safe, but if you're riding in with no additional knowledge, expect to get spoiled (not in the good way). Proceed at your own peril.
So the news is that , who directed an episode of Game of Thrones Season 2 is due to return for Season 4. I know what you're thinking, "Oh big deal, some dude is returning to direct an episode...". Sure, I hear you, but this guy didn't direct just any old episode of Game of Thrones. No, Neil Marshall is the medieval mastermind behind Season 2's penultimate episode, Blackwater. As you'll no doubt remember, Blackwater featured the major battle in King's Landing where Stannis attempted to take the throne. It was unique in the sense the entire episode was solely set in King's Landing and was basically entirely action. It was like Saving Private Ryan crossed with Braveheart.
The word is that Marshall will return to direct another major episode in Season 4. According to Empire, Marshall will helm an episode which takes place "at The Wall, with Mance Rayder". Now, if you've read A Storm of Swords, you'll no doubt know what that means. Mance will finally attack the Wall with an army of Wildlings, Thenns and giants mounted on frickin' mammoths. This triggers the Battle of Castle Black, a conflict that lasts several days and goes through several dramatic stages.
In the book, it is Castle Black's one armed blacksmith Donal Noye which leads the defense, however this role has never been cast. Perhaps Jon Snow will leap in and take command straight away?
Although Marshall was quickly brought in at short-notice to direct Blackwater, it seems he's been given more time to develop the Battle of Castle Black. He's already been moving between London and Northern Ireland and filming is expected to begin later in the year.
Empire, who were contacted by the production source, have described Marshall as directing the 'finale'. Now, I would actually be surprised if the battle did form the last episode of Season 4. Game of Thrones has already established a tradition of delivering the big moments on episode 9 of the series, leaving the finale to clean up the mess and wrap up some storylines. However, even Episode 9 seems quite late in the series to feature the Battle of Castle Black.
What do you think? Was Blackwater one of your favorite episodes of Game of Thrones so far? Let me know which is in the comments section below.
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