Well, seven hells, this takes some of the wind out of our Narrow Sea-crossing sails.
"Game of Thrones" Season 6 just ended -- and ended STRONG -- and Season 7 is about to start filming. HBO has still yet to announce the number of episodes, but the showrunners confirmed there are only two seasons left, and we're expecting the episode count to be shorter. That was confirmed further by the new list of directors for Season 7. Usually, there are 10 episodes to each season, and each director does two episodes, meaning they need five directors. But the list Entertainment Weekly just shared only has four directors. Not a big surprise, but more of a hint that we're still looking at seven episodes or, at most, eight.
But the really disappointing news is that lack of episodes for the absolute genius that is Miguel Sapochnik. Is he too busy, or expensive, for "Game of Thrones" now?
Sapochnik directed Season 6's stunning Episode 9, "Battle of the Bastards," and the supersized finale, "The Winds of Winter" -- and both, by the way, have 10/10 ratings from IMDb users. He also directed last year's popular "Hardhome" battle, and "The Gift." He's not good at this, he's great. He should do every episode. But he's not on the list.
Here's the list, from Entertainment Weekly:
Taylor is the OG who directed the last two episodes of Season 1 (including "Baelor," the big Ned Stark ep) and four episodes in Season 2. As EW noted, this will mark his first return to GoT since 2012.
Got himself an Emmy nomination for directing Season 5's controversial (Sansa rape, Sand Snakes fight) "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken." In Season 6, he did the premiere and Episode 2, "Home."
Four-time director for GoT, he most recently brought back The Hound in "The Broken Man," and did Arya's chase scenes in "No One."
As EW wrote, he's new to GoT and "best known for his work on FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a comedy loved by Benioff and Weiss (the showrunners even wrote an episode, "Flowers for Charlie," although it's not one of the 39 episodes Shakman has directed). Shakman has also helmed episodes of AMC's Mad Men, CBS' The Good Wife and FX's Fargo."
No offense, but if Miguel Sapochnik can't do all/any, why not Jack Bender, who did Hodor's big hour, "The Door," or David Nutter, Michelle MacLaren, or Neil Marshall? Instead, we have a newbie, the guy who did "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" (which has the lowest IMDb rating at 7.8), and the guy who made the also not-very-popular "No One" (which still doesn't make sense for the Arya storyline).
But, anyway, it's the writing that really makes or breaks the show, and that's on showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Let's hope their plan for Season 7 and Season 8 stays the course of "The Winds of Winter" and doesn't get bent or broken along the way.
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