The Royal News delivered to thou via the Royal brains to the Royal thoughts to the Royal lips to the Royal voices to the Royal servants to the less-than-Royal ears to the not-Royal brains to the not-in-anyway Royal hands to the Royal feather pen used by non-Royal scribes to the Royal parchment is generally delivered once a month in the form of a Royal Decree. Being that the Royal Decree for the month of September hath already been Royally delivered to the Realm, the Game of Thrones news reported yesterday must needs be Royally decreed as a Royal mini-Royal-Decree in this decreed Royal-mini-Royal-Decree.
It was a pleasant surprise to get any news on Season 8, which will be Royally referred to as ‘The Final Episodes‘ from here on out. It was a shocker to learn that the pleasantly surprising news revealed the directors of The Final Episodes, and that wasn’t the only news!
The six rumored-to-be feature-length episodes will have director duties split between David Nutter, Miguel Sapochnik, and the super-friends-team of series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Basic math says that 2 is the answer when a series of 6 episodes is divided amongst 3 directors (with one director being two people). It’s the same principle as 6 bananas being divided among 3 monkeys (with one monkey being two tiny baby monkeys). Another way to look at it would be 6 copies of George R. R. Martin’s allegedly forth-coming novel The Winds of Winter were divided between three readers- two editors of Westeros.org and George R. R. Martin himself. No matter how you divide 6 things amongst 3 things, the answer is always 2 things.
The truly hard-hitting question is: will The Final Episodes be evenly divided amongst these directors? We won’t know for sure until much closer to the broadcast date and right now we can’t even speculate what that date will be. The Royal guess is that The Final Episodes will transmit in the Spring of 2019 but it’s just a guess.
Miguel Sapochnik‘s return to Game of Thrones has #TPTWP most excited. We won’t go so far as to say that his absence from Season 7 was a detriment as the series relies on Benioff and Weiss for about 84% of its success and good old GRRM for 8% of its success. That leaves 8% of the series success that can sink or swim with other people and honestly, Cogman is probably responsible for 90% of that 8%. Still, the return of Miguel Sapochnik is a reason enough to be optimistic.
Consider the Sapochnik episodes thus far- The Gift (5.7), Hardhomme (5.8), Battle of The Bastards (6.9), and The Winds of Winter (6.10). Three of those episodes are in TPTWP Quality Rating Top Ten, with The Winds of Winter being the highest rated. Sapochnik won an Emmy for his effort on Battle of The Bastards. Prior to Season 7, The Winds of Winter had the highest viewership for any HBO episode ever. Mechanically, Battle of The Bastards featured a big-budget battle scene that was grittier, more realistic, and more exciting visually than any sequence in the series; the Royal opinion still places it above the Ice Lake sequence in Beyond The Wall (7.6). Perhaps most important, Sapochnik followed up the epic scope of Battle of The Bastards with incredible visual dynamics, and subtle, nuanced performances in The Winds of Winter. As a cherry on top, Sapochnik was responsible for the most work with The White Walkers prior to Beyond The Wall with Hardhomme (5.8). Hardhomme is without a doubt one of the best episodes in every way and would have been recognized more if not for the inconsistent lead-up in Season 5 and the big-event episodes that followed and perhaps over-shadowed it.
David Nutter is a funny name, no doubt, but David Nutter is a professional pro of a pro-director. Before we even discuss his work on Game of Thrones, let it be Royally noted that Nutter directed the 90’s Not-Quite-Classic-In-Anyway film Disturbing Behavior. That fact is funny because SeannieWan just watched that textbook 90’s outcast kids vs. straight-up evil adults movie just last week. This was Nutter’s only feature film work, but he has a lengthy television resume that includes a metric-ton of Prestige TV. His television directorial work includes 21 Jump Street and its spin-off, Booker, 15 episodes of The X-Files, the pilot for Fox’s big-big-budget Dark Angel, HBO‘s Band of Brothers, The West Wing, ER, the big-budget pilot episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Showtime‘s Homeland back when it was Emmy bait, HBO‘s follow-up to Band of Brothers– The Pacific, the pilot episodes of both Arrow and The Flash (which are a winnable argument better than Batman vs. Superman), the pilot for CBS‘ The Mentalist (and it must needs noting that CBS doesn’t fuck around), the pilot for Eastwick, the pilot for Supernatural, and lastly of note but certainly not least, the second episode of Season 6-A of The Sopranos (and late series The Sopranos is still the best television ever).
In addition to all of those accomplishments, David Nutter‘s directorial work on Game of Thrones is the following: The Old Gods and The New (2.6) and A Man Without Honor (2.7) from the barely re-watchable Season 2, two of TPTWP Quality Ratings Top Ten Episodes: The Dance of Dragons (5.9) and Mother’s Mercy (5.10) from Season 5, and Mhysa (3.10) the finale of Season 3 which was one of the few high-points of that super-dull season. Oh… right… yeah, David Nutter also directed an episode called… shoot…. what was that totes forgettable episode called… Oh! The Rains of Castamere (3.9). That’s the episode where Jorah gets friend-zoned and viewers get the final appearance of Rickon Stark until he returns in Season 6 as a whiny pre-teen that can’t zig-zag. Did anything else happen in that episode? Duh! We totes forgot about what is now universally considered one of the greatest if not the greatest moments in scripted television history- The Red Wedding. David Nutter is responsible for the beautiful swerve pacing of The Rains of Castamere and the gloriously horrific slaughter of House Stark at the hands of the Freys and the Boltons.
Basically, Game of Thrones:The Final Episodes will feature the two directors responsible for the biggest moments and the biggest episodes that have most-directly led to the series being the most-watched in premium cable history. It will also feature the Boys, the Super-friends, the Bro-mancers: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. They have spent the better part of a decade creating and producing Game of Thrones and in that time, they have brought worldwide attention to A Song of Ice and Fire. They have also been directly or indirectly responsible via their adapted series for padding George R. R. Martin‘s pockets with more money than he can ever hope to spend, pushing the most prestige of all television networks up a great many rungs of the Prestige Ladder to be even more prestigious and absolute must-see TV, inspiring a ton of Game of Thrones clones such as The Shannara Chronicles, The Expanse, Westworld, and Marco Polo just to name a few (and will be responsible for a shit-ton more over the next decade), creating a TV-viewing culture of anything can happen, and creating a television narrative device of protagonists or main characters being killed or written out long before their time.
In terms of writing, production, and viewer word-of-mouth, there has not been a series such as Game of Thrones in recent history and it is very likely that there never will be again. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have become the most powerful players in television at a time when Hollywood feature-film directors and producers are flocking to television in order to tell better stories and have stronger creative control. Basically, the guy that wrote X-Men Origins: Wolverine; the guy that made Ryan Reynolds with no mouth and the ability to teleport the first cinematic version of Deadpool; and that guy’s Dungeons and Dragons buddy from college have become the two guys responsible for the direction of scripted television production for the foreseeable future. It’s only deserving that they get to direct the finale of their decade-long odyssey. It’s only deserving that they get the benefit of the doubt going into The Final Episodes. It’s only deserving that they both get to be recognized by the Television Academy for directing the Series finale and nominated for a directing Emmy should they stick the landing (the Emmy Awards only accepts the nomination of one director per episode at this time).
A Royal guess at The Final Episodes directors at the moment would be: Episodes 8.1 and 8.2- David Nutter, Episodes 8.3 and 8.5- Miguel Sapochnik, Episodes 8.4 and 8.6 (finale)- Benioff and Weiss, OR Episode 8.4- D.B. Weiss and Episode 8.6 (finale)- David Benioff, OR Episode 8.4- David Benioff and Episode 8.6- D.B. Weiss.
We can’t know for sure until the episodes are in the can. For all anyone knows, J.J. Abrams may jump ship from Disney after jumping ship from Paramount and direct each of The Final Episodes, adding lens flares and reworking classic material in a way that makes fans of the material very angry. For some that wouldn’t be much different than what Benioff and Weiss have been doing all along, minus the lens flares. It must be stated, however, that it is never too late for a director to add Lens Flares to his or her arsenal and if Benioff and Weiss going to try to win a Directorial Emmy Award, they may want to start working on their flares.
In other news, on the same day that the directors for The Final Episodes of Game of Thrones were announced, Kit Harrington attempted to over-shadow the news. It is Royally believed that he was urged to over-shadow the news by his fiancee Rose Leslie… and therein layeth the news! Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie are engaged to be married, which also means that they are one step closer to breaking up, and Kit Harrington is one step closer to dating some Hollywood hotties and Hollywood headcases. Way to go Jon Snow! Er… Aegon Targaryen! It brings new meaning to the term ‘Aegon’s Conquest.’ Zing!
The final news of note for September 26th, 2017- a day that will forever be known as ‘Game of Thrones News Day‘- is that production is set to begin this coming October… as in next week. Production of Season 7 took about 6 months so it is safe to assume that The Final Episodes will take about the same amount of time (although given how anxious Benioff and Weiss are to be done with the series, it may take less time). Estimating a six-month production, that puts us in March of 2018 for post production.
It is possible that The Final Episodes could begin broadcasting in the Fall. November 2018 may be the most opportune for a six feature-length episode season. If HBO is worried about the pirating and hacking that has plagued the last two seasons, November 2018 may be the best time to air The Final Episodes. That said, the pirating and hacking had little to no effect on Season 7 with leaked episodes achieving record viewers. If anything, the hacking seemed to create buzz. The Royal thinking is that HBO is far more concerned with hanging on to the title of being the home of Game of Thrones for as long as it possibly can, preferably until the network finds a successor that can reach at least somewhat close to the same viewership that GoT reaches.
The Royal thinking is that HBO is far more concerned with hanging on to being the home for Game of Thrones for as long as it possibly can, preferably until the network finds a successor that can reach at least close to the same viewership that GoT reaches. With that in mind, and considering the great lengths of time between late series seasons of The Sopranos, it is more likely that we will see The Final Episodes broadcast anywhere between March and May 2018. This would also give HBO time to nail down one or two of the fucking FIVE Game of Thrones prequel series currently in development (all with George R. R. Martin helping out way too much). If no show has organically become the new anchor series for HBO, at least the network will have more television set in Westeros on the horizon (we were Royally not very excited for any prequel series until news of the series being developed by The Cogman with George R. R. Martin).
Thus and so thou hath herein been delivered thine Royal news vis a vis these Royal words thou hath read. Shareth thy words with thine blood and thine allies so that thy Promised Princes do not geteth pissed offeth.
The Princes That Were Promised
Born amidst salt and smoke, just off the Long Island Expressway, and beneath a bleeding star…