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Season 3 Directors

HBO’s press release confirming Morocco as a fourth shooting location (pretty sure that’s unprecedented for a regular hour-long series, though I suppose there may be some European television series or mini-series that have managed something similar) and no changes to the writing staff from last season also included the full list of directors involved in this new season, and there’s a mix of returning and new names that’s worth taking a closer look at.

  • David Benioff & D.B. Weiss: Well, this one’s certainly a surprise! It’s not unknown for various people—producers, even actors—to eventually try their hand behind the camera, but we hadn’t realized Benioff & Weiss were interested in giving direction a go.
  • Alex Graves: Also new to the Game of Thrones fold, Graves is an award-wining producer (for his work in The West Wing), and has also been nominated multiple times for directing awards (again, thanks to The West Wing). Most recently, Graves directed the pilot to new drama 666 Park Avenue, and directed the first two episodes of the big budget (and now cancelled) Terra Nova.
  • Michelle MacLaren: Having very recently gotten into (and through) Breaking Bad, this is the new name that excites me most. An executive oroducer of Breaking Bad‘s fourthseason, as well as a director of multiple episodes including the amazing “Salud” and “Madrigal”, she’s a fantastic addition to the directorial crew. She has also directed episodes of The X-Files, Lie to Me, The Walking Dead, and Hell on Wheels.
  • Dan Minahan: A returning name, and a very welcome one. Not from season 2, but from season 1, where he directed “A Golden Crown”, “You Win or You Die”, and “The Pointy End”. We had particular praise or the way he handled scenes of violence, with a very visceral shooting style when combat was going on. Should be well-suited to this new season.
  • David Nutter: As we’ve previously reported, Nutter will be directing the final two episodes of this new season, with the help of cinematographer Robert McLachlan. Nutter previously directed “The Old Gods and the New” and “A Man Without Honor”. Now, we did have some… issues with direction choices with those two episodes, but hopefully that won’t be an issue with this new season.
  • Alik Sakharov: Another season 2 alumni, in the first season Sakharov served as director of photography. This season, he directed the outstanding “What is Dead May Never Die”, considered one of the best episodes of the second seasons by many fans, behind only the tour de force that was “Blackwater”.

So, six directors (or director teams, unless D&D are going to surprise us and each direct an episode individually, which would make seven)—and Nutter handles two episodes. With no sign that the new season has any more episodes than the prior seasons, that leaves 8 episodes for 5 directors.  Far too early to speculate and who is directing what, but we’re rather curious as to who will be handling the premiere episode of the season, and who may be tackling George R.R. Martin’s episode, “Autumn Storms”.

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