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HBO confirms season three directors and writers

HBO has confirmed to us the full roster of directors and writers for season three. Without further ado, here is the list.

Ep. 21
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: Dan Minahan

Ep. 22
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Director: Dan Minahan

Ep. 23
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directors: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

Ep. 24
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: Alex Graves

Ep. 25
Writer: Bryan Cogman
Director: Alex Graves

Ep. 26
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: Alik Sakharov

Ep. 27
Writer: George R.R. Martin
Director: Michelle MacLaren

Ep. 28
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: Michelle MacLaren

Ep. 29
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: David Nutter

Ep. 30
Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: David Nutter

Winter Is Coming: Not too many surprises here. D&D are back to writing 7 out of the 10 episodes this season, after penning 6 last season. Plus they are sitting in the director’s chair for the first time. Episodes I’m looking forward to based on the writing/directing team? Well, ep. 7 for sure, with Martin and MacLaren. I’m also really looking forward to ep. 6, as I loved what Sakharov did last season. What about you?

77 Comments

  • Really hoping GRRM took care of the Queenscrown ep. Almost looking forward to that as much as the RW.

  • David Nutter directing the Red Wedding??? Noooooooo! He’s the worst director of all Game of Thrones episodes!

  • Disappointed that Vanessa Taylor only got one episode. She brought the heat last season.

  • Peter,

    The episodes that Nutter was handed last year didn’t have the greatest material in them but that’s not really something that’s within a TV director’s control.

    He shot the sequence of Theon taking Winterfell leading to the execution of Rodrik which was one of the most emotionally powerful parts of Season 2. I wouldn’t be worried.

  • Vanessa Taylor wrote a top notch episode in Season 2 so I’m excited to see what she’s got for us this year! Too bad they couldn’t give us the episode titles…

  • Bearpitticketmaster,

    I thought her episodes were the weakest, actually (episode 16, being more specific). Despite loving the Theon/Rodrik scene and Ygritte’s introduction.

    I’m also pumped for Alik Sakharov’s episode. He was great last year.

  • Peter:
    David Nutter directing the Red Wedding??? Noooooooo! He’s the worst director of all Game of Thrones episodes!

    Wasn’t David Nutter who directed Baelor? If it was him, he did an incredible job IMHO.

    EDIT: Nah, just checked, it was Alan Taylor, but Nutter directed episodes 6 and 7 of the second season, which were some of the best of the season after Blackwater IMHO.

  • All of them!!

    Well, it was obvious that D&D will direct the episode they wrote! the interesting part is that V.Taylor got one ep. bringing her in line with B.Cogman and GRRM himself. Also the fact that the directors who have 2 ep, have 2 writters each, with the ex of D.Nutter who, for both ep, has D&D. I just hope they make RW the really epic event that is in the books!

  • Only question marks are Alex Graves and DB&DB as directors, not that I’m too worried. Nutter (and the other David too) did great work last season and Michelle McLaren’s other TV work is very very strong. No issues expected, although you can never like all eps the same, I expect this like the source book to be the best one yet and send the non-readers into padded cells. Hahaha!

  • Nezzer: Wasn’t David Nutter who directed Baelor? If it was him, he did an incredible job IMHO.

    I think that was Alan Taylor! (I hate Thor!)

  • It’s strange that Alan Taylor isn’t directing a single episode. Oh well, D&D said the Red Wedding was one of the main reasons they started the show, so I guess they won’t disappoint.

  • Honestly, Alan Taylor was for me the best director, his episodes were visually much more interesting than the rest. Sad that he’s not back :(

  • David Nutter directed some of the best material from Season 2 and I’m incredibly happy to see him taking on episodes 9 and 10. Theon’s execution of Rodrik is probably the single best scene from the entire season, in my view. I think Blackwater is a bit overrated.

  • For anyone sad over the loss of Alan Taylor, fear not. Michelle MacLaren is an incredible director, and I’m confident her presence will be felt this season. Expect not only crazy amounts of intensity, but also crazy shots. For example, based on her Breaking Bad work, I wouldn’t be surprised if she straps a camera to a sword during a battle scene.

    So very very excited.

  • Blackwater was great but build upto it was even better. Heart pumping all the way. Inspiring. Seems like a fair list, let us all stop being bitches and judge after we’ve watched it shall we?

  • Hi-Fi: Bearpitticketmaster, I thought her episodes were the weakest, actually (episode 16, being more specific). Despite loving the Theon/Rodrik scene and Ygritte’s introduction.I’m also pumped for Alik Sakharov’s episode. He was great last year.

    Which episode did Sakharov direct last season? Thanks in advance.

    Can’t wait to see my favorite book (ever, not just in the ASOIAF series) come to life on the big screen!

  • bon:
    What a shame that Shakharov wasn’t directing two episodes.

    Agreed. We knew before this was officially announced through piecing things together than either Graves or Shakharov were directing two episodes, and the other one. As a huge fan of Alik’s work not only on Game of Thrones, but other show as well, I’d hoped he’d get two.

    It hurts to lose Alan Taylor to Thor, he really gave the show a powerful visual direction, hopefully he considers coming back for some season 4 eps. That said, I love MacLaren’s work and enjoyed Minahan’s season 1 work as well. I’m especially excited for the GRRM and MacLaren combo.

  • Ryan E,

    He directed episode 2×03, What Is Dead May Never Die.

    And he was director of photography for 1×01 (Winter is Coming), 1×02 (The Kingsroad), 1×09 (Baelor) and 1×10 (Fire and Blood).

  • HBO still didn’t give WiC any 1st trailer release date?

    I am really looking forward to our first peek of season 3 finished footage, even if its quick 2 second outtakes zipping around from character to character. The lack of any GoT season 3 footage is depressing me.

  • Good, only one by Vanessa Taylor. In her episodes last season the writing was terrible, the only good dialogue was what she quoted directly from the books. There are so many great female tv writers, I dont understand how such a mediocre one got to be on this show

  • David,

    Cannot even begin to predict when thinking about the possibilities – interested at what will happen at Storm’s End.

  • Peter:
    David Nutter directing the Red Wedding??? Noooooooo! He’s the worst director of all Game of Thrones episodes!

    TV directing isn’t movie directing.

    On a movie, the director runs the show. On TV, the writers/EPs run the show. So if you have a bad TV episode, it is rarely the fault of the director (though, it CAN happen when the director ignores established style on that show).

  • Nobody has mentioned Bryan Cogman’s episode? His episodes have both been highlights in my view. Excellent balance of plot and character development, keeping very true to the spirit of the books if not precisely the letter, and always some touches that are great fan service

  • Hi-Fi: Bearpitticketmaster, I thought her episodes were the weakest, actually (episode 16, being more specific). Despite loving the Theon/Rodrik scene and Ygritte’s introduction.I’m also pumped for Alik Sakharov’s episode. He was great last year.

    I also think Vanessa Taylor episodes were the weakest, and I’m not too surprised ‘casue she said she didn’t read the books so…

  • UNONUTTINGJONSNOW:
    George R.R. Martin + Michelle MacLaren = HEAVEN!

    So… what would be Martin’s episode about? And, is it granted that the PW will be this season? Thanks in advance. I’m really very curious about why Martin would write an episode other than the RW

  • Josla,

    It is a little disappointing not having Martin + MacLaren + RW but I’m hoping his episode involves the taking of something very precious from a certain Lannister, trying not to be a spoiler here but I could definitely see writer and director being brilliant with that material! I would also not expect to see the PW till next season, now that might be written by Martin. One can only hope:)

  • Arkash: Wow, D&D wrote more episodes than last year if I’m not mistaken.

    Yeah, the article actually makse specific note of it. They’re penning seven this year, as opposed to six last year. But the first season saw seven outings from them as well, so this isn’t a record so much as a return to the previous record.

    For some reason I thought they only wrote four or five episodes in Season 1 until this article. No idea why.

  • What about Tim Van Patten? Jeremy Podeswa? Alan Taylor? I would sure like to see Tim and Alan return to GoT and direct a few episodes, and Jeremy should be added to the mix also! How about bringing “outside” directors again?

  • Still amazing to me how people just ignore the obvious… TV episodes are weak because the writing is weak. TV directors rarely write episodes. And while a TV director does get his cut, the producers’ edit is almost always the final cut (main editor gets a cut; director then comes in and gets a cut; and then the EPs go in and get their final cut).

    So… again, it is the writing that controls the quality of an episode. And then the edit. The directing, at worst, can be distracting when the director tries something weird. Otherwise, TV directors are selected because of their ability to handle an established style of a show.

    Though, obviously, sometimes a director is selected because they have a better feel for action or a large amount of green screen work.

  • Interesting that D&D are writers on the last three episodes, considering the one event they said drew them into making the show in the first place might happen within those episodes.

  • UNONUTTINGJONSNOW,

    I don’t think it’ll be the “removal of something precious from a Lannister” b/c this Lannister has to “send his regards” and retreat right before the dreaded incident

  • Couple of quick thoughts —

    People do realize how the writing works, right? It’s a team effort in terms of plotting out, etc. The writers credited are the people who go out and write the specific actions and dialogue for that episode, which is brought back and given feedback, at minimum by D&D, but I assume by the whole group.

    D&D get the final decisions. This isn’t to say if you liked the way something was done in Cogman’s episode that it wasn’t written by him, but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a D&D scene inserted, or a suggestion on how to fix and issue by Taylor. And if there’s something you hate, the same is true.

    Directors have less control in TV than in movies, because a lot of the big decisions in editing and such are given to the showrunners. But it was still Neil Marshall who put Stannis at the front (even if D&D had to approve) and the directors, while not the final decision, can be the source of just as many ideas as they are in movies.

    It’s the same with DPs and shots — none of them ever seem to get credit, but a gorgeous shot is more likely the DP than director. Movies and TV shows are collaborative efforts, and while D&D have decision-making power, ideas come from everywhere. And there are too many decisions for them to make all of them — they have to trust their people.

  • ACVG,

    You definitely make a good point, but a girl can dream. Even if it logically shouldn’t happen that late.

  • UNONUTTINGJONSNOW:
    Josla,

    …trying not to be a spoiler here…

    That’s what “spoiler” tags are for.

    Al Swearengen:
    Still annoyed that Neil Marshall wasn’t asked back to direct one episode.

    I’m glad, myself. He did well enough with the explosions and the siege effects in Blackwater, but his interpretation of violence was way way way over the top. Tyrion severing the bottom half of someone’s leg in a single swing of his axe, really?

  • “Spoiler” tag lesson learned especially knowing on mobile theme there is no way to tag it. Trust me I tried;)

  • michelle maclaren is awesome and I can’t wait to see what she does. She has direct some of the best episodes of Breaking Bad and yes, it was the directing that was good not just the writing. TV directors don’t have as much control as movie directors but you can still pick out the good ones.

  • Re: Titles

    We will have to wait. There might be a leak of sorts from any of HBO subsidiaries, or a possible early announcement. Otherwise, the online schedule is updated 6 weeks in advance (and will not necessarily include the titles at first). At the latest, on the 15th of each month, HBO usually announced details and summaries of their original programming episodes from the coming month. We might thus learn the first title around Feb 15 if we’re lucky.

  • Hear Me Roar: Re: TitlesWe will have to wait. There might be a leak of sorts from any of HBO subsidiaries, or a possible early announcement. Otherwise, the online schedule is updated 6 weeks in advance (and will not necessarily include the titles at first). At the latest, on the 15th of each month, HBO usually announced details and summaries of their original programming episodes from the coming month. We might thus learn the first title around Feb 15 if we’re lucky.

    novichaso: what about the title for each episode?

    Last year, on 19 of January we had the first rumors abot the first episode’ title, wich turned out to be true when exactly a month later on 19 of February came confirmation by HBO. I wonder how the premiere episode will be titled… and the others also..
    1. The King-Beyond-the Wall
    2. The Queen of Thorns
    ………………………………………….

  • Peter:
    David Nutter directing the Red Wedding??? Noooooooo! He’s the worst director of all Game of Thrones episodes!

    they’re splitting season 3 into two seasons, I haven’t read the books but I thought the Red Wedding would be the event that closes the third book and Tyrions trial and subsequent escape would close season 3.5?

  • Too bad Cogman and Vanessa Taylor are only writing an episode each. I think their writng is much much better than that of D&D.

  • For David Nutter naysayers watch The X Files episodes “Ice”, “Beyond the Sea”, “Tooms”, “Irresistible” and “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”. Any of them really. Each so different in tone from the other, yet equally masterful. There’s a reason why he is called the Pilot Whisperer and sought after for so many series. With his genre hopping panache and clear cut yet eloquent craftsman approach he is the Sidney Lumet of television directors. The Ser Rodrick execution scene is proof enough.