Game of Thrones season 4 directors announced
By Winter Is Coming on in Filming, News.

HBO has revealed the line-up of directors working on season 4 of Game of Thrones via Entertainment Weekly. Here is the breakdown:

Episode 1: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Episode 2: Alex Graves
Episode 3: Alex Graves
Episode 4: Michelle MacLaren
Episode 5: Michelle MacLaren
Episode 6: Alik Sakharov
Episode 7: Alik Sakharov
Episode 8: Alex Graves
Episode 9: Neil Marshall
Episode 10: Alex Graves

Winter Is Coming: This is probably the strongest line-up of directors yet, in my opinion. My only disappointment is not having Alan Taylor return. But Sakharov has been one of my favorite directors and MacLaren did a solid job with her episodes last season, as did Graves. And Neil Marshall is Neil Marshall. What does everyone else think?

UPDATE: At the source article, James Hibberd mentions the writing team for season 4 as well. Although he doesn’t have an episode breakdown he confirms that Bryan Cogman will be writing two episodes and George R. R. Martin one. No mention of Vanessa Taylor so I asked Hibberd if that means she won’t be returning this season and, apparently, that is the case. That means David & Dan will be writing 7 episodes this season in addition to their directing duties.


235 Comments

  1. Aemon
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    2 episodes for Cogman! Excellent news.

  2. Andrew
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    That is literally the perfect list, as far as my wants went. Top priorities were Graves and Sakharov, and I liked MacLaren’s work too. I am quite happy with this news!

  3. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    That was fast!

  4. Mat
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great lineup, I kinda wish we had at least one David Nutter episode but can’t complain. Looking forward to seeing more of Michelle MacLaren’s work.

  5. mariamb
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I thought that Alex Graves’ work in S3 was outstanding…my two favorite episodes. Hurrah for a 2nd episode for Cogman.

    Now to speculate on what episodes will contain the key scenes.

  6. Steelyuhas
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Agreed it’s the strongest directors lineup on paper.

    I loved what Graves did last year, Benioff did great with his episode as well, and Michelle and Alik are among my favorite TV directors.

  7. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Alex Graves did two of the best episodes last season and it’s awesome to see him back with more. Sakharov did the Climb- which had outstanding directing- and it’s good to see his role expanded. Michelle McLaren did a lot with practicly nothing in her two uneventful episodes this season and episode 8 managed to make the top 4 (though I’m not sure where in the top 4) and (obviously) Neil Marshal blew all our minds away in the amazing Blackwater. And that’s without even mentioning Hodor.

    The list is as good as it gets.

    EDIT: Bryan gets two episodes? Awesome. He has proven time and time again not only that he is a great writer but that he sticks to the strengths of the source material.

  8. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    No Vanessa Taylor and no Dan Minahan, eh?

  9. Andrew
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Jeff O’Connor,

    Isn’t Vanessa Taylor a writer, not a director?

  10. RenlyIsNotRight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Happy to see Neil Marshall returning, but tbh at this point i kind of hope Benioff and Weiss get kicked off the show somehow.

  11. Steelyuhas
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Yes, she is

  12. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Indeed. The article at the link claims to know the writers involved as well though. Seven for the showrunners, two for Bryan Cogman. One for Martin of course.

  13. Hear Me Roar
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Strongest so far, no doubt. Taylor would be a great addition, though. But still, Graves with Dany freeing the slaves – that’s my favourite scene of S3 by far.

  14. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Yeah, THAT’d work out…

  15. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Boy, I’d love to see Season 5 with Taylor.

  16. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Happy to see Neil Marshall returning, but tbh at this point i kind of hope Benioff and Weiss get kicked off the show somehow.

    ?!

    Without them the show would never have happened anyway, and they take the source material into deep consideration. They think practically: what works in TV, what doesn’t and have a limiting budget and screentime and they do so much so well with it. All of the changes they make are necessary in one way or the other and while they do screw up on occasion, they prove themselves as damn good showrunners season after season.

    Don’t let your book-reader goggles blind you from that.

  17. FlayedManofBK
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    i think that’ll happen right after GRRM is kicked off of writing the books.

  18. Sean
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Great list, would love to see Tyler back for season 5. Also yay Brian on getting two episodes his have always been great.

  19. Kelly
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight: Happy to see Neil Marshall returning, but tbh at this point i kind of hope Benioff and Weiss get kicked off the show somehow.

    Don’t feed the troll

  20. RichMan
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that there are back to back episodes by the same director. This gives more continuity to events that continue through the two episodes.
    I suspect it will help with scheduling and production costs.

  21. babar
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Nice. I’m glad Benioff is back behind the camera; I love what he did with his S3 episode.

  22. Card of Doom
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Jentario: ?!

    Without them the show would never have happened anyway, and they take the source material into deep consideration. They think practically: what works in TV, what doesn’t and have a limiting budget and screentime and they do so much so well with it. All of the changes they make are necessary in one way or the other and while they do screw up on occasion, they prove themselves as damn good showrunners season after season.

    Don’t let your book-reader goggles blind you from that.

    Exactly

  23. Mike
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    At this point, I hope Benioff and Weiss make even more changes just to annoy people like you.

  24. RenlyIsNotRight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Kelly,

    I’m not trolling. Benioff & Weiss have turned GoT into their own ASOIAF fanfiction that favors their favorite characters and shits on the ones they don’t like. Oh lets completely gloss over the fact that Tyrion fondled Sansa and is a known rapist and turn him into Mr. Nice Guy, and hell lets even have Sansa be chummy with him in one episode because he’s such a nice guy and she’s too stupid to realize her situation sucks right? While we’re at it lets whitewash the fuck out of Dany, make her look like some messiah figure when she’s actually going to try to burn down Westeros.

    But Stannis Baratheon, the character who GRRM actually said is the closest thing to a true hero in the series? We don’t like him, lets make him look like a complete asshole who kills children and threatens to kill his best friend without reason. Yeah he’s just a pussy whipped religous fanatic right? Oh yeah lets also give Mance Rayder 5 seconds of screentime because hes boring compared to a Ygritte/Jon love triangle, and lets turn Robb into a complete arrogant douche with a romcom esque love plot.

    After Season 3 I’m surprised Martin didn’t just pimpslap D&D and take their privileges away, because seriously they don’t deserve to even be touching ASOIAF. Benioff wrote the script to fucking X Men Origins Wolverine, the only thing hes done thats even decent is Troy, which has a notoriously subpar script, and who has ever even heard of Weiss?

  25. Lars
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    ADAPTATION. Learn what it means.

  26. Mike
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Lmao oh god, I can just imagine you biting your pillow in anger while watching the show and screaming “LEAVE ASoIaF ALONE!” while our mother spanks you.

  27. Arthur
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I hope Cogman is giving the reins for the episode with the climatic Red Viper scene because he is always true to the books with direct quotes and when he does stray from the books he keeps everyone in perfect character.

    Is there or will there be any news of stunt coordinators because the pivotal Red Viper scene needs to be epic and I feel they need to bring in a grade A Hollywood coordinator for those fight sequences.

    This is just a dream but would it be possible for D&D to get Ray Park (Darth Maul & Snake-Eyes) to stunt double for The Red Viper and coordinate the fight? He loves that bowstaff and I’m sure he can adapt it as a spear… He has the same build as Pedro…

    It probably would cost to much to bring in Ray Park but least D&D can do is ask about it and get a price quote lol…

    IMO a Ray Park choreographed epic duel would just be breathtaking and worth the cost…

  28. John
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    @WinterIsComing:
    Could you put an episode title behind all the director names?
    I’m not 100% familiar with all the names and it would help to see an episode title behind each name, e.g. Episode 9: Neil Marshall (S02E09 Blackwater)

  29. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Calling it: Mcclaren is directing the Purple Wedding.

  30. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Impossible for some people, unfortunately, but well-said.

  31. RenlyIsNotRight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Mike,

    So you’re okay with one of your favorite book series of all time being inaccurately represented?

    Also, Season 3 had more plot holes than Swiss cheese. Qyburn just randomly lying around half dead at Harrenhal? The Reeds just randomly finding Bran out of fucking nowhere? The entire Dragonstone arc was so filled with holes it wasn’t even funny. All of that points to mediocre writing abilities. And don’t even get me started on how they killed off Ros inconsequently just when she actually became somewhat interesting, and how lame the entire Robb/Talisa romance was. D&D are nothing without GRRMs source material,and the more changes they make the more obvious it becomes.

  32. Summer Is Coming
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Alex Graves really is the revelation of S3 in terms of directing. He is the new Alan Taylor in GoT directors lineup. The Dracarys scene, the bathtub scene, the Varys telling his story scene…. amazing episodes, and I am so thrilled to have Alex Graves for 4 ep’s:

    Ep 2, which is written by GRRM, what a team this is.
    Ep 3, which I believe contains the PW – perfect director for it!!

    Ep 8 which I believe contains the duel between the Mountain and the Red Viper
    and the finale, which is a roundup of the storylines and it will be amazing.

    Happy for Alik Sakharov and Bryan Cogman for their increased work. Well-deserved! “The Climb” is the most watched ep to date, while B Cog wrote my fav ep last season.

    Neil Marshall back is just amazing! The more I look at this lineup, the more I believe this couldn’t have been better! (yes, yes.. Alan Taylor.. but Alex Graves proved he is an equal to him)

  33. Ser Bug
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    I kinda agree with you… sure the showrunners are doing a good job of adapting the series, but they’re not doing a great job (as evidenced in your examples). What’s worse is that the series is gonna keep going downhill since there’s gonna be a bunch of new characters and new settings and already the show isn’t doing a good job of balancing out the stories (I feel really bad for fans of Jon Snow for how much screentime he gets).

    Oh well, time to get called a troll because my opinion is different…

    PS: Also I am still trying to figure out what the point of adding Blackfish into the show (when it would have made sense if he appeared in S1 or S2 since he actually has stuff to do). All Blackfish do in S3 was shoot an arrow, act like a jackass for no reason to someone who had good reasons to do what he did, and walk away to use the bathroom… yet somehow he is important to have on the show but Strong Belwas isn’t? What does Blackfish do from here on out? Have one conversation. What does Belwas do? Have a badass fight AND save his queen… yet his role is not important in the grand scheme?

  34. Mike
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Dude,I love ASoIaF, but it is FAR from my favorite book series. Get a grip on reality, dude.

  35. Mike
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Btw I actually think books 4 and 5 suck….

  36. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Your rant aside, they are never getting rid of D and D. Given the popular appeal the show has given the books in sure we will see another adaptation sometime down the road.

    While we are critical of the show on this site, I think you will find that the members of westeros.org will share your type of hatred for the series.

  37. Ser Bug
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh yea… let’s not forget… a BLONDE BARATHEON?!?!?!?1?1 How do you screw up something like that?

  38. RenlyIsNotRight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Ser Bug,

    The worst thing about Jon Snow is that he gets tons of screentime and his character is completely inferior to his book counterpart. Book Jon Snow is a kid who starts out somewhat whiny but ends up manning up and growing into a good leader, and he always knows hes a man of The Watch. Show Jon Snow is a whiny emo with an identity crisis problem and Kit Harington is one of the worst actors on the show hands down, only Emilia Clarke and that woman who plays Shae are noticeably worse.

    To go easier on the show for a minute though I actually liked Blackfish in Season 3. They didn’t develop him enough for my liking but he did fill a void we’ve had in Robbs storyline since Greatjons disappearance – a badass sidekick for Robb. I loved his interaction with Edmure too, Blackfish and Edmure was one of the few things about Season 3 that was a slight change which actually enhanced the story imo.

  39. kix
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I loved Alex Graves’ Season 3 episodes. I’m sure he’ll be able to top that

  40. RenlyIsNotRight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I am a fairly well known member of Westeros.org actually. I’m one of E-Ros right hand men if anyone knows what Im talking about.

  41. Skipjack
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Man, there is criticism they could build on and then there is this. Does it not occur to you that many of the changes from the books to the show highlight inconsistencies in the source? Notably the passage of time and sequence and duration of events. This is the most important thing for a tv show which has to account for these things simultaneously. Explain how Bran’s chapters make for gripping television, and you might just have a future in showrunning.

    Of course the books do booky things better. I’m reminded of Pascal saying “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter” Concision and summing up and interleaving the storylines make for a better show, but time is one thing the showrunners really don’t have. Martin has had it, and has indulged himself quite a bit instead.

    With that said, here is where I will fault D&D- there’s no reason for them to take on seven episodes as writers themselves. I’d have hoped by now they would have built a writing team more and more able to sustain itself and they’d step back into more polish and supervision roles. I guess they’d say they have the time for their preferred schedule, and it’s their show, but that time has to come out of doing something instead.

    Also, I think it’s worth pointing out that they don’t have a female writer without Vanessa Taylor, and I think more perspective is bound to be better. That’s a loss.

  42. Ro
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Joshua Taylor,

    I am a fairly well known member of Westeros.org actually. I’m one of E-Ros right hand men if anyone knows what Im talking about.

    Color me unsurprised.

  43. Nick_Scryer
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    2 Cogman episodes, 4 Alex Graves episodes?

    This is heaven!

  44. Mike
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    At the end of it all, the only ones who will quit Game of Thrones are people like RenlyIsNotRight after they cannot stomach it anymore. And to that I say, “good f’n riddance.”

  45. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Mike,

    So you’re okay with one of your favorite book series of all time being inaccurately represented?

    Also, Season 3 had more plot holes than Swiss cheese. Qyburn just randomly lying around half dead at Harrenhal? The Reeds just randomly finding Bran out of fucking nowhere? The entire Dragonstone arc was so filled with holes it wasn’t even funny. All of that points to mediocre writing abilities. And don’t even get me started on how they killed off Ros inconsequently just when she actually became somewhat interesting, and how lame the entire Robb/Talisa romance was. D&D are nothing without GRRMs source material,and the more changes they make the more obvious it becomes.

    Do you know what a plot hole is? Because it sure doesn’t seem like it. You, like many book fundamentalists, are experiencing cognitive dissonance between Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice & Fire, it seems. Just because a character in the show isn’t like his book counterpark does not mean he is internally ‘inconsistent’ within the framework of the television series. And just because a story line doesn’t play out as it does in the book series, does not mean that these changes constitute a ‘plot hole’.

    And try to remember that you’re judging five books against an adaptation that has – to date – covered approximately two and a half books worth of material. If D&D’s estimate turns out to be correct, and the show runs for eight seasons, then the show will be just half way through the story after next season has ended. For instance, you’re telling me that your first time reading the book series, you viewed Stannis as a hero even before he traveled to the Wall and saved the Night’s Watch? Because, like most readers, it wasn’t until that time that I really started to warm up to him.

  46. John Blacktyde
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    perfect!
    Alex Graves is the name I wanted to see and I’m so glad to see him being attached to 4 episodes. Alik Sakharov for 2 episodes is fantastic and Michelle is also good.
    Also, Bryan Cogman is writing 2 episodes is great news.
    Overall, I’m pleased with the list.

  47. RenlyIsNotRight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Ro,

    Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!

  48. JamesL
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Why doesn’t GoT have actual writing staff like other TV shows? Why do D&D need to write so many episodes each year? Most show runners do not do that. I’m not a D&D basher, I like them but I wish this show had at least 1 or 2 more writers. They only have themselves to blame for the fact that they get so much shit from the fans. Any issue with the show fans are always bashing or blaming D&D. If they actually had a team of writers and only wrote a few episodes a season like most show runners it would most likely not be like that. It would probably make their scripts better too by not having to write so much every year and focus on just a few scripts.

  49. Stannis
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I luuuurrrrved Stannis’ focus this season, the way it had a more artful direction generally

  50. DH87
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Skipjack: With that said, here is where I will fault D&D- there’s no reason for them to take on seven episodes as writers themselves. I’d have hoped by now they would have built a writing team more and more able to sustain itself and they’d step back into more polish and supervision roles. I guess they’d say they have the time for their preferred schedule, and it’s their show, but that time has to come out of doing something instead.

    Also, I think it’s worth pointing out that they don’t have a female writer without Vanessa Taylor, and I think more perspective is bound to be better. That’s a loss.

    Agree l00 percent.

  51. Winter Is Coming
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Apparently there aren’t too many listeners of Game of Owns in here…. Bryan Cogman revealed he was writing 2 episodes months ago during his appearance on GOO.

  52. Ro
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    They clearly tried it and must have deemed that it didn’t work. It’s hard to say how much of Vanessa Taylor’s scripts they rewrote and we probably will never know. That’s the thing about adapting a gigantic piece like ASOIAF–in order to write for the show, you have to really know and understand the story and the characters.

    If you hire people that don’t know it as well, you’ll spend as much time rewriting as you would have if you just wrote it in the first place (plus you’ll be out of pocket for paying the writer). Clearly they trust Cogman so we’re seeing them expand his role to take some of the burden off their shoulders.

    But even then, it’s not like they write while they’re filming. It’s also not like they’re working on ANYTHING else but GOT right now. They have the time from when one season finishes post-production to before the next season begins filming to write scripts. That’s not an insubstantial amount of time. That’s plenty to write and rewrite 7 TV episodes.

  53. Bobby Big Wheel
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    This is more in casting news, but when I asked the official @WiCNet if there would be a major casting announcement at ComicCon Scottish actor Declan Michael Laird favorited it. He’s too young to play Mace Tyrell, so who could he be playing?

  54. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Just something to keep in mind, but at this point, any writers for the show would also need to be privy to the information Martin disclosed to David, Dan, and Bryan Cogman. Maybe the parties involved simply aren’t comfortable with disclosing that information to a larger group of people. Also worth mentioning is the fact that any writer brought in would need to have a pretty exhaustive knowledge of the source material; it’s not like they can just bring in any odd screen writer off of the street.

    Not sure why Vanessa Taylor isn’t writing an episode this season, though. Having a female writer on the team is definitely a good thing for both the perspective and the fact that she could lessen the load on D&D, even if just by one episode.

  55. Kelly
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    That was a long time ago. We forgot ;)

  56. Lars
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight: I am a fairly well known member of Westeros.org actually. I’m one of E-Ros right hand men if anyone knows what Im talking about.

    I’m just *shocked*, *shocked* that you are a well known member of westeros.org. Shocking! ;-D

  57. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    Stannis did all of those things in the books. He unsheathed Lightbringer and was about to behead Davos before Davos told him about the letter from the NW. Why? Because Davos helped Edric escape. How is this different than the TV show? Oh, and he was screwing Melisandre in the books too, even when they weren’t making shadow babies. I think show Stannis is consistent with book Stannis, and say so as a big fan of the character.

  58. Ro
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I don’t think this show works like standard network TV where you have a writers’ room and the team sits around exchanging ideas on episodes. My assumption is that a writer is responsible for his/her episode and then D&D review and they work back and forth on that episode only. I highly doubt Vanessa Taylor had any impact on any episodes outside of her own (Cogman is different since he also has the overall story continuity role as well).

  59. Friend Of fire
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    Until Stannis showed up at the wall I just wished he would die to make room for other characters to have more chapters, and now like most book readers I can’t wait for WOW to see what happens to him, but I still don’t find him a hero or that interesting the red woman has always been more interesting to me in his storyline. As far as the critisims of D&D some gripes of the show are natural and some even understandably relatable but in the end it is not what people say but how they say it, and many gripes against D&D are just classless and devoid of any tact surly the two men deserve some credit for literally making the books more popular among vast new audiences than they would have ever been without their show adaptation, the books are clearly better and more in depth than the show, but can some one please point out an adaptation that is better than the book it is adapted from I am unable to do so. D&D continue to do your best nothing is ever perfect as a fan that is all I can ask.

  60. Kelly
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    If you’re so passionate about the accuracy of the adaptation, then stop watching. A number of things always change when a book or series of books are translated to a different medium, such as television or theatrical. There are budgets. There are casting issues. There are time constraints. Are you going to be upset too when magic in the books doesn’t show up in the show because it’s not real? Then don’t watch; plain and simple.

  61. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Ro,

    Actually, from what I’ve gathered based on interviews and episode commentaries, there are a number of initial meetings where the story lines for the season are broken down and segmented out, that involves everyone on the writing team other than Martin (who is consulted frequently, also based on interviews), and possibly Taylor (not sure one way or the other, though it’s unlikely she was involved). It’s at that point that writers are given their assigned episode with the foreknowledge of what needs to occur in said episode.

  62. haltwhogoesthere
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    FlayedManofBK,

    I dunno man, sometimes people get kicked off of shows they created, even if the fans like their work. That whole fiasco with Community is a good example. I agree it’s very unlikely, but we can never be sure. Then again, they did bring the guy for Community back after they realized fans mostly hated the season they did without him LOL

  63. SmokeSeller
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight: After Season 3 I’m surprised Martin didn’t just pimpslap D&D and take their privileges away

    You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but the fact that GRRM is more than pleased with their adaptation and you are not should tell you something (hint: you are more catholic than the Pope). ;)

  64. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    JamesL:
    Why doesn’t GoT have actual writing staff like other TV shows? Why do D&D need to write so many episodes each year? Most show runners do not do that. I’m not a D&D basher, I like them but I wish this show had at least 1 or 2 more writers.They only have themselves to blame for the fact that they get so much shit from the fans. Any issue with the show fans are always bashing or blaming D&D. Ifthey actually had a team of writers and only wrote a few episodes a season like most show runners it would most likely not be like that.It would probably make their scripts better too by not having to write so much every year and focus on just a few scripts.

    There isn’t so much bashing, actually. Just a few very loud superfans (mostly from Westeros.org). Most of us are damned happy with this series.

  65. voiceareason
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Fuck yeah Alex Graves!

  66. outdoorcats
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Surprise articles like these are why I love this site. Wow. Wow!

    First of all, I am relieved that Vanessa Taylor is not returning. Ouch–I know–mean. But her three episodes were clearly a major weak link the writing department, IMO, particularly dialogue. Of course we don’t know for sure that she wrote any of that, as it all could have been written by Benioff&Weiss, or even Cogman and shuffled to another episode. But there was a clear pattern to my ears involving that kind of dialogue appearing in her episodes and not others, and she never impressed me in commentaries/interviews regarding her understanding of the material – quite the opposite.

    The directors – so much to analyze. So Benioff and Weiss directing one episode is a regular thing – great. They did a surprisingly excellent job in Season 3, and it’s clear they have a genuine passion for the visual art of storytelling as well as the verbal. Of course only Benioff will be credited (or maybe Weiss this time?) as per DGA rules if I remember correctly.

    The return of Michelle MacLaren – great. She did an upstanding job this year, which is no surprise to Breaking Bad fans. Alik Sakharov getting two instead of one – smart. He’s a brilliant director who did stellar work on ‘What is Dead May Never Die’ and ‘The Climb.’ He was also DP on many of the show’s early episodes. I’ve also loved listening to his commentaries, he seems like a very intelligent guy who knows his arthouse movies (he’s a Tarkovsky fan!) as well as the source material here.

    Something I’m a liiiiiiiiiiitle dubious about – Alex Graves is tackling not one, not two, not three, but FOUR episodes next year. He was the surprise success last year, and was clearly a significant factor in making episodes 4 and 5 as big hits as they were, as was his collaborative DP Anette Haellmigk. The sheer manic nightmare of the Night’s Watch mutiny is something you can’t write, nor the powerful visual imagery in Dany’s takeover, nor the furor of the fight between the Hound and Beric Dondarrion. The incredible, mind-boggling-ly gorgeous shot of Jorah approaching Dany as the dust blows past and faces the other direction–how do you get shots like that? How? Not to mention, look at the guy’s resume-would anyone have guessed, based on it, that he was a perfect fit for GoT? So nice pick, Dan and David.

    But, the show has been expanding and becoming a more involved production every year, at last count shot in five different countries last year. Is there anyone who can actually tackle the massive amount of work involved to direct four episodes per season now, without collapsing and simply imploding?

    Hopefully I’m wrong and Graves blows us away all over again not only with his work but the volume of it!

  67. voiceareason
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Kelly,

    After Season 3 I’m surprised Martin didn’t just pimpslap D&D and take their privileges away, because seriously they don’t deserve to even be touching ASOIAF. Benioff wrote the script to fucking X Men Origins Wolverine, the only thing hes done thats even decent is Troy, which has a notoriously subpar script, and who has ever even heard of Weiss?

    Martin should have his own priveleges away after taking over a decade to create the slogs that were DwD and FfC.
    It’s pretty convenient that in your summation of David Benioff, you neglect to mention 25th Hour, which is a very well respected movie and novel. I think you’re letting your fan rage cloud your judgement here.

  68. Sean C.
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the directing duties indicates episode that have particular overlap with each other in terms of content.

  69. Lord Of The Waters
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    That’s an amazing line-up of directors. Certainly the best yet. I’m wondering if Michelle will direct the Purple Wedding in episode 4 seeing as she did a pretty good job with the Sansa and Tyrion wedding reception in season 3.

  70. DavidBC
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Super bummed about Vanessa Taylor… She wrote some of the best dialogue on the show.

  71. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    SmokeSeller: You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but the fact that GRRM is more than pleased with their adaptation and you are not should tell you something (hint: you are more catholic than the Pope). ;)

    He’s actually more *catholic* than god in this situation.

  72. Summer Is Coming
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Regarding “who writes which episode” what do you think?

    Ep 1 is directed by D&D and is the premiere (lol) si D&D for sure
    Ep 2 – GRRM confirmed
    Ep 3 – might be the PW , so again D&D
    directed by A. Graves
    Ep 4 – might be B Cog’ first this season – with the immediate aftermath of the PW
    Ep 5 – D&D
    directed by M. MacLaren
    Ep 6 – Bryan Cogman – this episode might have that discussion between Tyrion and Oberyn regarding the history of Elia and her children - B Cogman is best at this things (see bathtub Jaime/Brienne scene). Also across the world Dany might talk to Barristan about her father.
    Ep 7 – D&D
    directed by Alik Sakharov
    Ep 8 – Red Viper/ Mountain duel – I wonder if D&D would let B Cog to write this.. if they do then cut him from ep 4.
    Ep 9 (!) and 10 are for sure D&D.

  73. Ro
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga:
    Ro,

    Actually, from what I’ve gathered based on interviews and episode commentaries, there are a number of initial meetings where the story lines for the season are broken down and segmented out, that involves everyone on the writing team other than Martin (who is consulted frequently, also based on interviews), and possibly Taylor (not sure one way or the other, though it’s unlikely she was involved). It’s at that point that writers are given their assigned episode with the foreknowledge of what needs to occur in said episode.

    I’ve read that too but always assumed it was just Cogman and D&D at those sessions plotting out the trajectory of the season. In any event, I doubt Taylor’s “perspective” was really filtering in anywhere other than her designated episode.

  74. DH87
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Ro: I don’t think this show works like standard network TV where you have a writers’ room and the team sits around exchanging ideas on episodes. My assumption is that a writer is responsible for his/her episode and then D&D review and they work back and forth on that episode only. I highly doubt Vanessa Taylor had any impact on any episodes outside of her own (Cogman is different since he also has the overall story continuity role as well).

    To the contrary: wee Bryan cordially corrected me earlier in the summer when I surmised that D&D were making unilateral decisions separate from the writers’ room (which he said was comprised of D&D, Vanessa, and himself). Certainly at the meetings where the season’s overall story arc was plotted, all of the writers would have had input (it’s hard to know how much, though we can guess, ditto the amount of re-write or collaboration). That said, only D&D have responsibility for the scripts when they go to HBO; HBO’s notes come back to D&D and it is their responsibility to fix whatever the execs want fixed.

  75. outdoorcats
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    So they should hire one of the thousands of female writers out there who could actually do a great job with this material. My first thought is the team of Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. They would be awesome.

  76. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    After Season 3 I’m surprised Martin didn’t just pimpslap D&D and take their privileges away, because seriously they don’t deserve to even be touching ASOIAF. Benioff wrote the script to fucking X Men Origins Wolverine, the only thing hes done thats even decent is Troy, which has a notoriously subpar script, and who has ever even heard of Weiss?

    Martin has absolutely no legal say in any aspect of the adaptation. The fact that he’s consulted and asked to write one episode per season is because D&D actually respect him and are fans of the books. They can add zombies, vampires and aliens to the show if they feel like it.

    Benioff script for Wolverine was heavily rewritten by that hack who wrote the last Die Hard movie, so don’t blame him.

  77. Huge Floppy Gut
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Nah, the fact D & D are directing the 1st episode and it the only one the are directing all season confirms it for me that the PW will be the 1st episode.

  78. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Joshua Taylor,

    I am a fairly well known member of Westeros.org actually. I’m one of E-Ros right hand men if anyone knows what Im talking about.

    The right hand man of somebody who earlier today was arguing that Stannis has to be AA reborn solely because Melisandre said so? You are credible for sure :/

    Yes, I post on Westeros often. I just mostly stick to the book forums to preserve my sanity.

    Anyways, I’m happy Cogman has 2 episodes. Hopefully he got some good eventful stuff to work with. The season finale would be great but I’m guessing D&D wrote that.

    I hope a certain episode is called “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”

  79. Ro
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Thanks DH87. That does make sense that all the writers would need to know the trajectory of the season to understand the context of their unique episode. Like you said, we’d only be speculating as to how much effect the writers other than D&D have on the season as a whole (as opposed to their individual episodes).

    Personally, I would guess minimal. For example, you bring a writer in to write episode 7–it’s not going to affect how Sansa is portrayed in episode 3. Her portrayal of Sansa in episode 7 may color how D&D choose to rewrite certain scenes in other episodes, but again, I personally think the impact is minimal.

    A writer who’s tasked to write one episode would be tasked with fitting into the overall structure rather than trying to rock the boat.

  80. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats:
    Khal-A-Bunga,

    So they should hire one of the thousands of female writers out there who could actually do a great job with this material. My first thought is the team of Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. They would be awesome.

    They wrote for Angel right? Any writers Joss Whedon likes works for me! Does anybody know why Jane Espensen only wrote for season 1? D&D are fantastic at writing the political side of the show. Their weakness IMO is the supernatural aspect. As magic creeps in more and more it might help to get somebody who writes a lot of supernatural or horror.

  81. bleh
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats,

    Agreed. Vanessa Taylor wrote the worst episodes, hands down. For anyone that doesn’t agree, go back and watch the scene between Tyrion and Shae in episode 2 of Season 3.

    That stuff is unwatchable. Her Season 2 episodes were just as bad. Really happy she’s not returning.

  82. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Huge Floppy Gut,

    And everyone assumed they would direct the ‘Dracarys’ episode or the Red Wedding last year. That didnt happen. No way the PW happens in episode 1. Episode 3 or 4 is most likely, with my guess being episode 4.

  83. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    bleh,

    I’m not trying to be mean to Vanessa, but her episodes have been my least favorite as well. I did like her commentary on the S2 Blu-Ray, though.

  84. outdoorcats
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Craft&Fain had an absolutely OUTSTANDING run of episodes in the later seasons of Angel, so consistently great I stood up and paid attention to who was writing those episodes. In those episodes, which tended to be grimmer than usual, they tackled the kind of dark, morally complex material-within-a-fantasy-setting that would make them perfect for GoT. They also worked as writers and producers on Dollhouse (an underrated, morally complex and cerebral show, IMO) with Whedon and on The Shield.

    Jane Espenson cowrote one episode of Season 1. I wonder if she didn’t return for the same reason fans don’t love her work on Battlestar Galactica – that she seems to struggle with more ‘serious’ material as opposed to ‘silly’ stuff (which she’s fantastic at and genuinely hilarious). That’s my wild, wild guess. We can only speculate as we almost never know exactly why people behind the camera leave shows (I guess it’s largely considered unprofessional to talk about that in public) – just take The Walking Dead, which has had not one but two surprise showrunner exits, and we still only have conflicting rumors as to why.

  85. Eddard Stark II
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Whoever coordinated the Achilles vs Hector fight in Troy should do The Red Viper vs The Mountain.

  86. Ser Tahu
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    If Benioff and Weiss were replaced with David Nutter it would be perfect.

  87. Selmy
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    This is cool news. Glad Michelle MacLaren is back; loved her work last season. Anyone from Breaking Bad is welcome on GoT as far as I’m concerned.
    I did wonder if Alan Taylor would be returning after working on Thor 2 but guess not.
    Glad Alex Graves is back – loved his work last season and also pleased Alik Sakharov is back.
    However, no David Nutter?

    As for writers delighted Cogman is doing two this year.

  88. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    You mean Only a Cat of a Different Coat.

  89. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    That works too!

  90. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu:
    If Benioff and Weiss were replaced with David Nutter it would be perfect.

    You do know Nutter is a director and not a writer or a showrunner, right?

  91. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    Jentario,

    That works too!

    It works on multiple storylines, so it makes it more awesome IMO.

  92. DH87
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Ro,

    It can be even more collaborative than that. I think Bryan said he had to come up with a bridging scene in an episode he hadn’t been assigned, and as story editor he vetted others’ scripts to make sure something contrary didn’t appeared in the books. One writer might be stronger on world building, plot, or dialogue. Another might be able to take up slack when needed.

    Missing deadlines, rather than poor writing, would be reason enough to end a writer’s role on the team. There could be other reasons: two young script-supervisers-turned-screenwriters on True Blood left after one season for head writer jobs on a broadcast sitcom.

  93. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    I think he was talking about directing. D&D are directing the season premier. Personally, I though they did a great job with ‘Walk Of Punishment’.

  94. outdoorcats
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Selmy,

    Well, Alan Taylor will still be involved in post-production of “Thor: The Dark World” all Summer probably, so we knew he wouldn’t return this season. The real question is, can we get Alan Taylor back for Season 5? My guess would be no (as I imagine he is getting all kinds of film-related offers now), but it would be awesome if he came back.

  95. Michel
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Kerry Ingram posted a photo in Instagram with Art Parkinson in the hotel where the casting is in. Does that means Rickon for sure in Season 4? http://instagram.com/kerry_ingram

  96. Chickenduck
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Get rid of D&D!!!

    They’ve successfully brought a story to the screen which was written to be unfilmable, and they’ve gotten millions and millions of people to watch it the world over! And the author of said original material has been quite publicly supportive of them!!

    So they’re obviously doing a crap job!!7!

  97. WildSeed
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    At this point, I’m not a big fan of onscreen Stannis either, yet he does maintain
    some air of dignity and respect. Actor Stephen Dillaine rises above the script,
    with his usual proficiency . Nor am I worried, with several seasons ahead of
    us, and well anticipated fourth season, there is no reason to lose faith or hope
    for a different or enlightened Stannis.

    Specifically, I ‘m not on board with the overly emotional demonstrations of
    his character, like that time he attempted to choke Melisandre, then screwed
    her. Overall, Melisandre’s dais sits too high,at this stage in the series, when
    her best demonstrations of power, or influence iswhen she reaches the
    Castle Black and Eastwatch. Perhaps I feel that way because her involvement
    with Jon
    . At any rate, what you mentioned above, is at least implied if
    not true from ASOIAF. I could just do without the emotional displays from an
    otherwise stoic, relentless, brooding Stannis. There have been brilliant moments
    as well, so all does not contain criticisms. There’s been a pattern of eventual
    broadening of some character’s roles onscreen, ie. Roose Bolton , so I remain
    expectant of a balanced persona. If not, so be it. I accepted Catelyn and Robb’s
    story for what it was, as the execs wished the depiction to become. Whatever
    the influence, the show’s appreciation among readers and viewers alike speak
    loudly for the overall success of the show.

    I haven’t read anywhere in interviews, than Benioff & Weiss despised Stannis
    in any way. Perhaps they chose this depiction for pragmatic reasons, if not
    their perceptions of his character”s traits. Widely speculating, of course.

    RenlyIsNotRight,

    All Fools Day has passed already, if provocateur was your intent. From what you
    much later informed, some of your points held some validity, if poorly communicated.
    You present yourself as Trollish, just to shock or deride. leave the pretentiousness
    aside, and state your point. No need to insult either, if someone disagrees . It
    appears that your beef is with the script thus far with Stannis. Stating removal
    of the executive producers that also spearheaded the project, is nothing more
    than absurd. Steady your gaze a bit more .

  98. Jentario
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck:
    Get rid of D&D!!!

    They’ve successfully brought a story to the screen which was written to be unfilmable, and they’ve gotten millions and millions of people to watch it the world over!And the author of said original material has been quite publicly supportive of them!!

    So they’re obviously doing a crap job!!7!

    This.

  99. Azad Injejikian
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I think D&D did a great directing job on episode 3 (jaime’s hand, theon’s “escape”)- Too bad no David Nutter. I guess he wasn’t available?

  100. Onion Knight
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Joshua Taylor,

    I am a fairly well known member of Westeros.org actually. I’m one of E-Ros right hand men if anyone knows what Im talking about.

    I never would have guessed (heavy sarcasm). People like you are why I stopped going on Westeros.org, you can’t just go along for the ride and appreciate the adaptation for what it is.

  101. Chickenduck
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Turning sarcasm off for the moment – I thought the weakest writing this season was actually the episode written by GRRM himself.

    BUT – please, everyone, bear in mind that scenes get moved around between episodes all the time. So when you bag a writer because of a particular scene in an episode they were credited with, remember that they may not have written it.

    My jaw dropped a little when one of the hosts of GOO was surprised that they plan and write the whole season before starting any filming… (Though I have been greatly enjoying the podcast, keep up the good work guys if you read the comments on here).

    Some of the critics of the show need to actually sit down and try to write a script adaptation themselves. It’s NOT easy, and no one will ever please everybody. You try and write season arcs, and then realise that some episodes end up 40 minutes long, and others 90, and that some characters that worked great in the book are going nowhere, or blow their whole development in the first five minutes and spend the rest of the season doing nothing. Seriously, go try it sometime.

    There are SOOO many bad adaptations of things out there… GoT remains probably to best I’ve seen on TV, and the closest to its source material.

  102. WildSeed
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    Whoa boy ! Didn’t Gary Larson’s cartoons teach you anything ? Never tease
    a Warthog’s hair in a salon ! (; Just observe or speak from a safe distance.

  103. Atreyu
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Joshua Taylor,

    I am a fairly well known member of Westeros.org actually. I’m one of E-Ros right hand men if anyone knows what Im talking about.

    Can’t hang with the big dogs in GenChat, huh? Figures.

  104. WildSeed
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    Funny you should say that. It wasn’t my favourite, but still scored high along
    with the other episodes.

  105. Ragman's Harbor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Ser Bug:
    RenlyIsNotRight,

    I kinda agree with you… sure the showrunners are doing a good job of adapting the series, but they’re not doing a great job (as evidenced in your examples). What’s worse is that the series is gonna keep going downhill since there’s gonna be a bunch of new characters and new settings and already the show isn’t doing a good job of balancing out the stories (I feel really bad for fans of Jon Snow for how much screentime he gets).

    Oh well, time to get called a troll because my opinion is different…

    PS: Also I am still trying to figure out what the point of adding Blackfish into the show (when it would have made sense if he appeared in S1 or S2 since he actually has stuff to do). All Blackfish do in S3 was shoot an arrow, act like a jackass for no reason to someone who had good reasons to do what he did, and walk away to use the bathroom… yet somehow he is important to have on the show but Strong Belwas isn’t? What does Blackfish do from here on out? Have one conversation. What does Belwas do? Have a badass fight AND save his queen… yet his role is not important in the grand scheme?

    Dude. David and Dan know the ending and what is going to happen to everybody. You don’t.

  106. Turncloak
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    ELIIIIAAAAAAA!!!!!!

    I’m so stoked!!!!!!! Lets go!!!

  107. ZapryanD
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m a regular reader of this website but I’ve never posted here. However, I’d like to side with RenlyIsNotRight in the debate about the merits of D & D’s adaptation. As much as I’ve enjoyed the series so far, I feel that D & D have messed up a lot of the storylines. Season 1, in my opinion, was the best in terms of overall quality. Yes, it was definitely the easiest to adapt, but I consider it the best season because it was actually the closest to the books. In Season 2 I found Dany and Jon Snow’s arcs absolutely awful. The changes in Qarth simply made no sense. Jon Snow’s arc was made worse by the decision to get him to spend more time with Ygritte and the fact that there was very little interaction between him and Qhorin Halfhand, which is why Qhorin’s death didn’t seem particularly dramatic. Jon’s arc in Season 3 has been just as bad. I don’t blame Kit Harrington, I just think that’s been given some awful material. I hated the incredibly corny scenes of him and Ygritte on top of the wall and Ygritte shooting him after he leaves the wildlings. I hate the use this word but Jon is one of the most emo characters I’ve ever seen on TV. I recently reread the first book and I was just astonished that Jon is really such a different character in the book. Yes, he often whines about how nobody understands him but he actually becomes more mature as time passes. I really don’t get that feeling with the show.

    However, Dany and Jon haven’t been the only ones to suffer. Rob has been transformed from a young man who tries to follow his father’s notions of honour and justice into a modern day version of a brave, handsome and romantic king. I realise that Martin’ justification for Rob marrying Jeyne Westerling may seem ridiculous to some yet that is one of the things that makes Rob stand apart from other characters. By turning his marriage into a conventional western union of love, D & D have missed the chance to show how the Starks’ desire to be honourable and just actually leads them to make even bigger mistakes than some of the worst characters in the series. For me personally the tragedy of Rob’s death in the book is that he is stuck between two wrongs, namely breaking his vow to Walder Frey and shaming Jeyne Westerling.

    There are just a few of the problems that I have with the series. I understand the affection that many of you feel for the show but I feel that valid criticism is often ignored on the website and critical book readers are abused and referred to as trolls just because they have different opinions. We get it, the show cannot be like the book. However, that doesn’t justify some of the changes that D & D have made, which I feel detracted from the overall quality of the story. I do not think that Martin is the perfect storyteller as I found A Dance with the Dragons to be very dissatisfying for a book that he worked on for nearly 6 years. Nevertheless, I believe that he is a far better writer than D & D and I think that if the show stuck more closely to the books, it would be far more unconventional and better in some aspects.

    Now go ahead and call me a troll, even though I haven’t offended anyone here or belittled D & D’s efforts. Having read this website since the show began I am still astonished at the close-mindedness of many people here who are unwilling to take a critical reaction towards anything in the show and describe every episode as absolutely perfect. You might deride critical book readers as fanboys but a lot of the people here seem to worship the ground that D & D walk on. I would have left this last part out but I am just sick and tired of the lack of critical discussion about certain aspects of the series and people being shouted down as killjoys or trolls. It’s possible to have a critical attitude and still appreciate the work that’s been put into this show but apparently that’s not what a lot of you here think.

    Rant over. No offence meant to anyone here but when the level of discussion sinks to “you’re a troll, just get out of here”, I feel like this is not a website dedicated to a very successful adaptation of an imaginative and very well written series but a school playground.

  108. GibsonExplorer
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    No more Vanessa Taylor! I’m jumping for joy. I’m also relieved David Nutter isn’t returning either

  109. Seonaidh Ceanneidigh
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, but WiC retweeted this: “Brennock O’Connor has just secured a role in Game of Thrones filming in Iceland!!”

    Any information on the actor, et cetera? Can’t find much online.

    And hurrah for Alex Graves. And D&D turned out to be fabulous directors in their own right.

  110. DH87
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD: Nevertheless, I believe that he is a far better writer than D & D and I think that if the show stuck more closely to the books, it would be far more unconventional and better in some aspects.

    I’ve said much the same and have been told that, of all the stupid things I’ve posted, this was the stupidest. Welcome to my world.

  111. Turncloak
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    My pick would be “whererever whores go”

  112. House Snow
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Kind of glad about Taylor being out, not b/c she didn’t right good episodes but b/c she admitted she hadn’t read the books, which I can’t fathom.

  113. GibsonExplorer
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’ve also realized that, in the books, Jon is actually a very smart guy. I think the fault with the character in the show is both Kit’s acting and D&D’s writing. They seem to have made him out as a complete moron. Which sucks, because accidentally turning smart characters into idiots is a typical mark of bad writing.

    Robb’s story line in season 3 also really disappointed me. I don’t mind changes, but it seems like Robb has had almost no development since season 1 whatsoever. You’d think that being thrust into the position of king and dealing with incredible pressure from his bannermen and diplomatic issues would have made his character more interesting and very little like the Robb we knew from season 1, but no, the war has turned him into a romantic for some reason.

    Another problem I have with the adaptation is the almost complete gutting of strategy, the stripping apart and oversimplifying of politics, and the general lack of intrigue (which is strange considering how intriguing the books are).

    Someone somewhere must have made the decision to remove Robb’s character development, although I don’t know how anyone in their right minds didn’t catch it during a script read through.

    The only episodes I still consider to be “great” are the ones written by Bryan Cogman. But after season 1, the rest of the show has failed to capture the books, in my opinion.

  114. Selmy
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    GibsonExplorer,

    What did Venesa Taylor ever do?

    Turncloak,

    Direct quotes from episodes don’t really work as episode names unless it’s a common phrase like “What is Dead May Never Die”.

    I definitely think the episode with the battle at the Wall should be called “The Sword in the Darkness”.

  115. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD,

    Most of us appreciate criticism of D and D when it its actually balanced with thoughtful analysis and strong arguments. I am all for that. But the recent poster who has got up everybody’s tit showed no balance whatsoever. It was an angry fanboy rant that does even bother to question why D and D made the decisions that they do. I find one has to have a good understanding of adaptation and how the television industry works in order to appreciate the show in thr fashion that we “D and D worshippers” do. Many of the fanboy rants are either trollish in nature or simply a refusal to make allowances for what is lost in an adaptation.

    And how are these rants appreciative of the show or D and D? They are either misogynists racists or hacks in the perspective of some commenters. The basis of their arguments seem to amount to “D and D sucks.” Critique away but if you post something on this pro-adaptation site be aware that a lack of an informed opinion will be met with a harsh response.

  116. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I love how this great news has turned into an argument on the strength of the adaptation.

  117. TieDomi
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD: Leave you troll…

  118. GibsonExplorer
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Selmy,

    She did bad writing

  119. Lex
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Great news about Cogman. He should have had 2 episodes last year as well, IMO.

    Also great news about Sakharov. I loved his Season 2 work. But correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t The Climb one of the two most criticized episodes this year? I thought it was pretty awesome, but on the slow side for sure. I guess that’s more the writing, though.

  120. ZapryanD
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    ZapryanD,

    Most of us appreciate criticism of D and D when it its actually balanced with thoughtful analysis and strong arguments. I am all for that. But the recent poster who has got up everybody’s tit showed no balance whatsoever. It was an angry fanboy rant that does even bother to question why D and D made the decisions that they do. I find one has to have a good understanding of adaptation and how the television industry works in order to appreciate the show in thr fashion that we “D and D worshippers” do. Many of the fanboy rants are either trollish in nature or simply a refusal to make allowances for what is lost in an adaptation.

    And how are these rants appreciative of the show or D and D? They are either misogynists racists or hacks in the perspective of some commenters. The basis of their arguments seem to amount to “D and D sucks.”Critique away but if you post something on this pro-adaptation site be aware that a lack of an informed opinion will be met with a harsh response.

    Fair enough, Joshua. I agree with you about the attitude of some people who critise the show. However, I believe a lot of animosity is caused by the fanboy attitude of many posters here who slavishly praise the show’s creators and seem to find no flaw in the series. Yes, it is immature to start calling people names and to call for D & D to resign. However, I must note that I’ve also seen some very good criticism of D & D’s changes that was inoffensive and well articulated but was nevertheless shouted down by many posters here. No side of the debate is completely right but I do feel that there is too much of a fanboy attitude here at times.

  121. GibsonExplorer
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    The episode itself was criticized but his directing in “The Climb” was quite good, especially during those scenes scaling the Wall. I still think that “What is Dead May Never Die” is the best episode to gauge his skill as a director, though

  122. ZapryanD
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    I love how this great news has turned into an argument on the strength of the adaptation.

    I think the reason for this is that there isn’t really an opportunity for people to critically discuss some of the changes that have been made to the book’s storylines. Yes, one could go Westeros.org but it seems that a lot of people there are hardcore book fans that get upset over even minor changes. Some of us enjoy the show a lot but also feel that some of the changes that have been made have been for the worse.

  123. Abyss
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Seonaidh Ceanneidigh,

    Is that him? If so I am looking forward to see him in GoT. The kid has talent!

  124. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD,

    Well as a site dedicated to the show, there are bound to be more people who like the show then there will be at westeros.org for example. Most of us come to WicNet due to the intensity of the hatred for the adaptation that is found at the other site.

  125. Seonaidh Ceanneidigh
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Abyss:
    Seonaidh Ceanneidigh,

    Is that him? If so I am looking forward to see him in GoT. The kid has talent!

    I imagine so (great find by the way). I wonder what his role could be. Filming in Iceland… Iron islands? North of the Wall?

  126. Selmy
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    GibsonExplorer,

    She did Garden of Bones and Dark Wings, Dark Words. Both good episode just not particularly dramatic ones. I enjoyed all the scenes in both of those apart from the Dany scenes (which is to be expected)

  127. DH87
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I don’t disagree that some dissenters may go too far on too little, but the frustration for many is that the “better” alternative (GRRM’s dialogue, for example) is lying in plain sight and disregarded for reasons that are hard to ascribe to anything other than vanity on the part of the showrunners (unless HBO has, in its notes, rejected the source material in favor of some poorer alternative). I can understand why characters are eliminated or actions moved around for more linear storytelling, but I think many folks would be much more supportive of D&D if the original material, which they paid good money for, wasn’t right in front of them. Bryan’s talent notwithstanding, knowledge of and respect for the material has to be part of why his episodes are so much more successful than most others. I still hope that D&D will eventually see this and give him more and more to do.

    Also: this is the only adaptation this material will most likely ever see. Every lost opportunity is more painful in that there will never be a chance to see thes books dramatized. It is still a great effort and D&D deserve credit for not only making it, but selling it to HBO.

  128. ZapryanD
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    DH87: I’ve said much the same and have been told that, of all the stupid things I’ve posted, this was the stupidest. Welcome to my world.

    I find that very sad. Martin is after all the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire and the fact that D & D have used his very imaginative series to create a very good TV show demontrates that they aren’t able to create such a world on their own. There’s a reason why ASOIF sold very well before the TV shows and that’s the fact that it’s very well written. Martin manages to shock us and at the same time he successfully utilises and subverts some of the most common tropes of fantasy. His use of the fantastical, in particularly the Stark children’s relationship with the direwolves, is great and I do wish we could see more of that on the show. However, I don’t think they’ll have the time or the funds to develop this part of the story.

    GibsonExplorer:
    ZapryanD,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’ve also realized that, in the books, Jon is actually a very smart guy. I think the fault with the character in the show is both Kit’s acting and D&D’s writing. They seem to have made him out as a complete moron. Which sucks, because accidentally turning smart characters into idiots is a typical mark of bad writing.

    Robb’s story line in season 3 also really disappointed me. I don’t mind changes, but it seems like Robb has had almost no development since season 1 whatsoever. You’d think that being thrust into the position of king and dealing with incredible pressure from his bannermen and diplomatic issues would have made his character more interesting and very little like the Robb we knew from season 1, but no, the war has turned him into a romantic for some reason.

    Another problem I have with the adaptation is the almost complete gutting of strategy, the stripping apart and oversimplifying of politics, and the general lack of intrigue (which is strange considering how intriguing the books are).

    Someone somewhere must have made the decision to remove Robb’s character development, although I don’t know how anyone in their right minds didn’t catch it during a script read through.

    The only episodes I still consider to be “great” are the ones written by Bryan Cogman. But after season 1, the rest of the show has failed to capture the books, in my opinion.

    Hi Gibson, it’s good to learn that there are more of us. Yes, I agree that Jon is an interesting and strong character but the TV adaptation has not done justice to Martin’s portrayal in the book. I actually hadn’t thought of your criticism of Rob’s storyline and you’re definitely right. There was very little discussion of military strategy or diplomacy. Instead, a lot more attention was focused on his romantic relationship with Talisa. Sadly, a lot of the ambiguities in the book have been removed to make the show simpler, an example being how easy it was for the Lannisters to figure out that the Tyrells intended to marry Sansa to Loras. Everything was done so heavy-handedly in this case that I felt the intrigue was lost.

    TieDomi:
    ZapryanD: Leave you troll…

    I hope you’re joking… I enjoy the show very much and do not have any desire to derail this thread so I’ll stop posting any more criticism of the adaptation of the books.

    Joshua Taylor:
    ZapryanD,

    Well as a site dedicated to the show, there are bound to be more people who like the show then there will be at westeros.org for example.Most of us come to WicNet due to the intensity of the hatred for the adaptation that is found at the other site.

    Ditto what DH87 said.

  129. GibsonExplorer
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Selmy,

    She also did The Old Gods and The New, which out of the three she did I thought was the strongest.

    I’m not a fan of her writing style, and I find her dialogue to be particularly lacking.

  130. ZapryanD
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Last post for me tonight and this one won’t deal with the adaptation of the books. I don’t remember very well the director of each episode but I am confident that Neil Marshall will give us another episode as excellent as Blackwater. I also look forward to seeing what Alex Graves will offer as he is directing twice as many episodes as he did in Season 3. All in all, solid choices.

    PS: Am I the only one who hates the way the editing function on this website works? It just doesn’t seem very functional to me…

  131. Abyss
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Seonaidh Ceanneidigh,

    Yeah, I have no clue when it comes to his role as well… Are there any parts left that reguire an actor that young? – My guess would be that it’s a minor role with no direct connection to the books.

  132. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD,

    You weren’t a troll and you made some good points. A lot of people even here agreed that Dany and Jon in season 2 were bungled. I totally agree with you about the Talisa-Jeyne switch.
    That being said, it’s still a solid adaptation and one of the best shows on television.

    It isn’t true at all that people get shouted down for disagreeing with something the show did. Even Winter’s recaps have a “what I didn’t like” portion. It’s only the people who feel the need to come here and say things like “the show’s awful, D&D are writing fanfic, it’s terrible because it isn’t a carbon copy of the books etc.” that get called trolls (at least by most).

    As Joshua Taylor pointed out, this is a fan site for the show so it isn’t very surprising that people here will usually defend it.

  133. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    We already knew Taylor wouldn’t be available due to Thor 2 postproduction (as has been stated) and we also already knew Nutter was taking a year off as per an interview of his on the show about five weeks ago.

  134. WildSeed
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Sums it up nicely.

  135. WildSeed
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    ZapryanD,

    Also valid.

  136. WildSeed
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Abyss:
    Seonaidh Ceanneidigh,

    Is that him? If so I am looking forward to see him in GoT. The kid has talent!

    Agreed. I keep thinking he’s likely to admit he’s Tom Riddle’s ( Voldemort ) long
    lost evil cousine. Very convincing child talent.

  137. Chickenduck
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    Great news about Cogman. He should have had 2 episodes last year as well, IMO.

    Also great news about Sakharov. I loved his Season 2 work. But correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t The Climb one of the two most criticized episodes this year? I thought it was pretty awesome, but on the slow side for sure. I guess that’s more the writing, though.

    Yeah, I rate Cogman’s episodes the best overall.

    Sakharov’s direction didn’t really do anything special for me in The Climb – but his background is as a cinematographer, so it makes sense that they’d ask him to do that episode considering what it included (specifically the literal climb and the bear fight).

    So… What sequences specifically do they have in mind for him in his S4 episodes?

  138. Turncloak
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Dany and Jon were not bungled, their actors are merely sub par compared to the rest of the cast. I imagine Jon Snow’s story will improve as Kit will have stronger material to work with. Similar to how Dany improved from season 2 to season 3

  139. Lex
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m guessing Cogman may write Episode 6 or 7, to pair him up with Alik Sakharov. Their work on episode 203 (What Is Dead May Never Die) was great, and they had good chemistry on the commentary track they did together. I think they’d probably like to work together again.

    Sad about the lack of David Nutter. Looking at IMDB, he directed some of my all times favourite episodes of GOT.

  140. Dondarrion
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Two episodes written by Cogman. Three episodes directed by Graves. Best season ever!

  141. danny targ
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    yerrr

  142. Astonished
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    In my advanced opinion, the best director of GoT is Daniel Minahan. The worst is Marshall. So it must be Daniel is too busy this year. Coupled with Taylor being out of the loop, it looks like s4 is set to be a huge disappointment. I’ll be happily surprised if I am wrong because s3 really exceeded all my expectations after the dismal season 2. But I am rarely wrong about such things.

  143. Biscotti
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    The only information I could find on Brennock O’Connor is a 13/14 year old actor. Why would a child actor be filming scenes in Iceland? I can’t for the life of me think who he would be playing.
    Iceland is only the Wall and Beyond-the-Wall scenes, right? Possibly a wilding?

  144. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Dany and Jon were not bungled, their actors are merely sub par compared to the rest of the cast. I imagine Jon Snow’s story will improve as Kit will have stronger material to work with. Similar to how Dany improved from season 2 to season 3

    Not as much Jon as Qhorin Halfhand I guess. I have faith that the interactions between Jon and Stannis and Melisandre will be amazing.

  145. Carne
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Biscotti,

    They’ll be filming in Iceland during the summer this time around, which means little to no snow. Could be somewhere south of the Wall.

  146. BrianAu
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Yeah D&D have mishandled somethings when the reality of a high profile character does not have much in this book needs to be expanded for a TV audience that is where they have been weakest. But so many adaptations I have truly loved. The scene with Cersei and Robert, Arya with Tywin, Littly Finger and Varys in the throne room, and on and on… I have several friends who have never read the books and wanted to start reading them, and I thought damn there are going to be many missing scenes from the show that are going to bum them out since they are not in the books! I like the grown up version of Margaery as a real player. The changes with Queen of Thorns have been fantastic too. And the big moment scenes have been spot on IMO absolutely loved Danarys taking the unsullied and sacking Astapor just incredibly well done all around. Really this is some of the best stuff ever shown on TV. It just seems surreal to me that people would bitch so much about some of the changes which really have been minor. I mean if you get bent out of shape on Talisa versus Jeyne I am sorry you would never like any adaptation that D&D could have put forward.

  147. Lex
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Astonished:
    In my advanced opinion, the best director of GoT is Daniel Minahan. The worst is Marshall. So it must be Daniel is too busy this year. Coupled with Taylor being out of the loop, it looks like s4 is set to be a huge disappointment. I’ll be happily surprised if I am wrong because s3 really exceeded all my expectations after the dismal season 2. But I am rarely wrong about such things.

    LOL. And you wonder why no one here takes your “advanced opinion” seriously?

  148. Friend Of fire
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Lady cat stark is on suits now on USA network

  149. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Astonished: Coupled with Taylor being out of the loop, it looks like s4 is set to be a huge disappointment.

    Comments like this are really too much. I mean, seriously?

  150. Jake Umber
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Astonished,

    Season 4, given it’s material alone, will be a strong season. In my opinion, the events that take place towards the end of A Storm of Swords are easily adaptable and will translate very well to the screen. Given that the ratings continue to climb, and, for the most part, reviews and critiques are generally strong (if not growing stronger) as the show continues, calling the season to be a disappointment before it airs, based on the directors alone, is extremely ignorant.

  151. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    To those who wonder why many of us who are fans of the show react harshly to people saying D&D should be “thrown off” the show or comments of that nature, and why the reaction is to say that such people are acting as trolls, it’s because this board was meant to attract people who are big, big fans of the show – the books too, but the show. That’s the point. And while there are plenty of people here who will give commentors room to talk about inconsistencies with the narrative, actors they disapprove of, or just ways in general that there have been changes that they feel don’t work, a wholesale dismissal of what the showrunners are doing is going to meet with vitriol because the entire web site is predicated on a love of the show in the first place.

    The other problem is that if you so whole-heartedly disapprove of the show, there’s nowhere for us to go to have a discussion. Your view – such as it is – fundamentally runs against the point of being on this site in the first place.

  152. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    BrianAu,

    One of my favorite things about the show is the expansion of the Tyrells. They became my 2nd favorite house after the Starks while reading the books even with no POV chapters. It’s nice that my assumptions about their awesomeness came true.

  153. msd
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    My only concern with this lineup is D&D writing 7 episodes. They seem to be spreading themselves awfully thin, what with being showrunners, and directing an episode, and writing scripts …

    I’m not overly familiar with how these things work on TV series, but I wonder if it was a budgetary decision? That is, it’s cheaper to get the show runners to do double (triple?) duty.

  154. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Like many here, I am very happy that Bryan C will be writing two episodes. During season 2′s ep2 dvd commentary he mentioned during the Jon/Mormont confrontation that he wished he could write another scene for Jon, but couldn’t due to time constraints, which I appreciate. Two or three scenes even would have greatly strengthened the arc, but no point in dwelling on the past.

    For some great subtle acting from Kit, see season 3 episode 7, where Jon talks about the six wildling attacks on the Wall to Ygritte. If most of his dialogue could be like that in S4, I’d be very happy.

  155. Monica
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Alan Taylor was the best director, by far.

    Without Vanessa, will it be more boys gone wild? Will there be no one to tell D & D that more Pod scenes in a bordello aren’t that funny, and actually don’t work?

  156. Chickenduck
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Dany and Jon were not bungled, their actors are merely sub par compared to the rest of the cast. I imagine Jon Snow’s story will improve as Kit will have stronger material to work with. Similar to how Dany improved from season 2 to season 3

    It’s a mixture. The Qhorin storyline could have been better. The Qarth storyline was pretty lame, but I thought it was also lame in the books. For me the HotU was probably the biggest disappointment. I can totally understand not showing it the way it was in the books, but what they replaced it with was lame.

    But it’s true that Emilia and Kit really aren’t strong actors compared with the rest of the ensemble – there are plenty of people on the show who’ve done much more with only a couple of lines. Kit is for me the weakest lead actor on the show.

    A lot of book readers also don’t understand the need for character arcs – they have an image of the character in their mind which reflects what they’re like after book 5, whereas the show is still getting there.

  157. Chickenduck
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Monica:
    Alan Taylor was the best director, by far.

    Will there be no one to tell D & D that more Pod scenes in a bordello aren’t that funny, and actually don’t work?

    Funny is subjective. I didn’t have a problem with the scenes.

  158. DH87
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber: a wholesale dismissal of what the showrunners are doing is going to meet with vitriol because the entire web site is predicated on a love of the show in the first place.

    Typically the sites run by the premium channels and actor/author fan sites are the sites that do not welcome or even tolerate sharp criticism. Independent sites welcome the widest range of opinion and have the largest pool of active posters. Both True Blood and Game of Thrones have spawned virtually empty sites, either because of too little moderation, which allows bullies to run off dissidents, or too much, which allows mods to stifle dissent. Tolerance by posters as well as mods of all but hate speech seems to be the best recipe for a healthy, growing community long-term.

  159. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Anyone have thoughts on directors they’d really *LIKE* to see direct a GoT episode, even if the chances of it are slim to none? I have a few.

    Guillermo del Toro – It’ll never, ever, ever, ever happen. But wouldn’t it be awesome?

    Alex Proyas – Another guy with a great visual style (Dark City, The Crow). He’d be good for episodes with some really weird stuff happening.

    Clark Johnson — Frequent director on The Shield and The Wire, also starred on The Wire and Homicide. He’s not exactly someone who has any kind of relationship to material of this type, more of an urban environment director. But he’s such a professional I’d like to see it happen anyway.

    John Slattery – Yeah, the actor on Mad Men. He’s done a few Mad Men episodes, and always gives his actors room for some interesting stuff. I think he’d be interesting. Again, his sensibility runs against the nature of the material, but I’m just speculating on a hypothesis here.

    Josh Trank — Directed “Chronicle,” which was an interesting little movie. Might be good for this material.

    Joe Carnahan — Does lots of gritty tough-guy movies. Would be interesting.

    Catherine Hardwicke — I know, I know, the silly Twilight movies. But she did “Thirteen,” and that movie has a rough edge that I really like.

    None of these will ever happen. Just throwing thoughts out there.

  160. Arthur
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Biscotti,

    Maybe a child of the forest?

  161. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    (Just as a reminder b/c someone asked earlier)

    We all know who D&D are.

    Alex Graves directed the great one-two punch of “And Now His Watch Has Ended” and “Kissed by Fire,” both of which were terrific.

    Michelle MacLaren has directed 2 episodes — The awesome “Second Sons,” and the weak “Bear and the Maiden Fair,” though I can’t really put the blame on her for that one.

    Alik Sakharov handled the really solid “The Climb” and the season 2 standout “What Is Dead May Never Die.”

    And Neil Marshall of course did “Blackwater.”

  162. Mike
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    ZapryanD,

    No one is standing up for 100% of what D&D do, so don’t even try to pull a victim card bs like your post was. It’s just when guys like RenlyIsNotRight try to put everyone who actually can appreciate for what D&D do as A WHOLE down for enabling what they feel is an “inferior product,” then they should know that they are gonna get called out for it. Now, I’m not gonna call yo a troll, no, you are just trying to play some bullshit sympathy stroke as if though your worldview s clearly perfect and anyone calling you out is bullying you. Guess what? That’s not working pal, so go cry me a river somewhere else aka Westeros.org, where RenyIsNotRight actually has some muscle.

  163. Commenter
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight IS NOT RIGHT! lol jus wanted to say that

  164. Rhys
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Awesome! Love Michelle McLaren. Some of her work on Breaking Bad is just outstanding. GoT doesn’t offer quite the same freedom for camera angles and so on, but she’ll surely do a great job either way.

    Big task for Alex Graves, directing four episodes.

  165. Rhys
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Monica,

    They have still female executive producers as I understand. It’s possible even Vanessa might stay on in that regard.

  166. Unbowd UnbentUnHodor
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    i dont know why everyone hates on ‘The Climb’. I really enjoyed it and i liked the corny end bit when they’re on the wall.

  167. bon
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Selmy,

    She wrote the Garden of Bones, which I think was a good episode and The Old Gods and the New in which was my favorite scene (ser Rodrick’s death).

  168. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I liked “The Climb” too, the ending was positive in a refreshing way, plus very symbolic. And how many times are some of you going to keep on saying Kit and Emilia are the weakest actors on the show? WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ALREADY!

  169. Lex
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Unbowd UnbentUnHodor:
    i dont know why everyone hates on ‘The Climb’. I really enjoyed it and i liked the corny end bit when they’re on the wall.

    The wall climb was the best part of the episode, totally cinematic. And I liked the final scene as well, it was a much needed moment of sweetness in such a dark show. I’ve heard other people say they really liked those scenes as well, it’s not all hate.

  170. Dara
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    To all those that are hating on the show, you have to realize that there are thousands of viewers out there who are plain stupid. Like really really stupid. Emphasizing politics, more characters, and unnecessary sub plots would just confuse the shit out of those stupid people. D & D have to keep that in mind. They aren’t making the show only for book readers and smart people. They have to start from the bottom for the stupid people so that everyone can understand what is going on.
    As for the Stannis debate, I hated Stannis until he reached the wall, so D & D still have an opportunity to fix the hatred towards him.
    Kit does a fine job, I don’t get why people are complaining. You have to realize that ASOIAF is written the the point of views of specific character. So in Jon chapters, a lot of them are in his head. It is hard to display thoughts on screen.
    Just cut the show some slack, it is hard to appease everyone.

  171. Steelyuhas
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Ser Bug,

    Jon’s screentime in season 3 was less than Tyrion, Dany, Cersei, and Robb. That’s it.

    More screen time than other major characters such as Jaime, Sansa, Cat, Ayra, and Tywin.

  172. loco73
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Glad, really glad to see that Neil Marshall is back in the director’s chair for GoT!!!! I guess I don’t have a problem with the list as is but I would have liked to have seen more directors be given a chance to take a shot at helming a GoT episode. I want to see Tim Van Patten return.

    As I said before, would like to see Jeremy Podeswa direct one or more episoders of GoT. Jeremy Podeswa has worked on “Rome”, “the Pacific”, “Six Feet Under”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Rubicon”, “The Tudors”, “Carnivale”, “Dexter”. “Weeds”, ‘The L Word”, “The Newsroom”, “Into The West”, “Queer As Folk”, “The L Word” etc. As well he directed our very own Stannis, Stephen Dillane into a wonderful movie called “Fugitive Pieces”. He has more impressive directing credits than pretty much anybody on that list, but he has yet to be given a chance!!!!! Maybe D&D could bow out of directing duties, especially since they’ll have to perform the lion’s share of writing duties this time around…

    As well I want to see Tony To direct, he did some outstanding work on “Band Of Brothers” and “The Pacific”.

    Finally another director with an impecable pedigree, which I would very, very, very much to see direct one or more episodes of GoT is veteran director Agnieszka Holland . Ms. Holland is no stranger to HBO, having before directed episodes of “Treme” and our perennial favourite “The Wire”. She is an established filmmaker with an inredibly diverse and solid body of work, best know perhaps for her “Three Colours” movie trilogy and other titles like “Europa, Europa”. She has been directing since the 1970′s, so imagine the wealth of experience she would bring to GoT!

    Most recently she worked on AMC”s “The Killing”, and her work is just splendid and really beautiful. I have seldom seen a director that so efectively conveys her vision…I love “The Killing” and the episodes she directed remain among my favourite of the whole series!

    AsI said , I have no problem with the list, but I wish they were a bit more open with the roster of directors. We all saw the end result when they took a chance and brought Neil Marshal on board! “Blackwater” still towers in my mind as a true achievement in television directing! I daresay that adding other fellow directors as Jeremy Podeswa and Agnieszka Holland would only enrich the viewing experience on GoT.

    PS. Way to go Bryan Cogman! Congrats, outstanding writing for the show!

  173. Asfastasican
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Once again we have a small handful of people focusing on minor changes they don’t like while completely omitting the changes that make parts of the show better than those parts in the book. What a big surprise! Meanwhile the author is completely satisfied and those people are not.

    Did any of you Booksguard fanatics ever think about how season 5 and beyond will be after those criminals, D&D, get their hands on all of that bloated and poorly edited book material?

    If you can’t see that this show is not only helping GRRM’s career, but carrying it at this point, there’s no hope for you. It has been carrying it since season 1 considering how much effort GRRM has put into writing his own series the past 10 years. Imo, D&D can’t get to book 4 fast enough. Hell, the show may have already affected GRRM’s writing in a positive way.

  174. Harry
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Alex Graves = superb news!

    Alex Graves + Bryan Cogman as writer = awesome dreamteam!

    Episode 4 and 5 were my favorites of S3 in terms of directing and writing!

  175. barak
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Dara:
    To all those that are hating on the show, you have to realize that there are thousands of viewers out there who are plain stupid. Like really really stupid. Emphasizing politics, more characters, and unnecessary sub plots would just confuse the shit out of those stupid people. D & D have to keep that in mind. They aren’t making the show only for book readers and smart people. They have to start from the bottom for the stupid people so that everyone can understand what is going on.
    As for the Stannis debate, I hated Stannis until he reached the wall, so D & D still have an opportunity to fix the hatred towards him.
    Kit does a fine job, I don’t get why people are complaining. You have to realize that ASOIAF is written the the point of views of specific character. So in Jon chapters, a lot of them are in his head. It is hard to display thoughts on screen.
    Just cut the show some slack, it is hard to appease everyone.

    You said everything I was about to say.

    It’s not even that all non-reader viewers are stupid – it’s that D&D are writing for an audience that haven’t read the books and are casual viewers, or casual fans at best, who buy the DVDs and will have emotional reactions to the show, but that’s all.

    Let me repeat: D&D ARE WRITING FOR THE CASUAL VIEWERS, NOT BOOK FANS. GoT was never about appeasing fans of the book, never mind hardcore purists like so many people at westeros.org. You’ll just have to accept that they’re streamlining and simplifying the story to make it palatable for viewers who don’t have the books to fall back on.

    And as for falling back on the books and then complaining about how this character sucks or that character is weak – again, as Dara said, the books are a collection of POVs ffs. It’s inevitable that a lot of details and information get lost during adaptation because there’s a limit to how much of first-person material you can successfully transfer to screen. Yes, some characters are weaker than others, because with a cast the size of GoT’s not everyone can shine all the time, some people will inevitably get the short end of the stick. And let’s not even pretend that the source material is flawless, or that its flaws don’t bleed into GoT.

    And as for Stannis – in the book we usually see Stannis from the POV os his biggest fanboy, he’s presented in an idealized way. The show simply removes this layer and shows Stannis as he actually is.

    Asfastasican:
    Did any of you Booksguard fanatics ever think about how season 5 and beyond will be after those criminals, D&D, get their hands on all of that bloated and poorly edited book material?

    If you can’t see that this show is not only helping GRRM’s career, but carrying it at this point, there’s no hope for you. It has been carrying it since season 1 considering how much effort GRRM has put into writing his own series the past 10 years. Imo, D&D can’t get to book 4 fast enough. Hell, the show may have already affected GRRM’s writing in a positive way.

    Exactly. And as far as I’m concerned, whatever D&D do to with the later books, it can’t be worse than the books themselves. I say the more editing and streamlining they do the better.

  176. Juego de Tronos
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Which episode will write George RR Martin?

  177. John
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Juego de Tronos,

    I think he said that he had written the second episode

  178. Al Swearengen
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I wish Bryan Cogman was writing the majority of episodes, I love D & D but Bryan clearly has a better grasp of the material than they do.

  179. Al Swearengen
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I kinda agree RenlyIsNotRight’s points in this thread, especially with the whitewashing of Tyrion and Dany.

  180. darquemode
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    Same.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the points, but it does not ruin the show for me or make me think D&D are incapable. I really do not like some choices they’ve made like Qarth or Robb/ Talisa, but for the most part I understand why they have made the choices they have. I don’t always agree with their choice or love the execution, but I do understand the reasoning behind them.

  181. Al Swearengen
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    I pretty much feel the same way. With such a gigantic series I expect changes to be made and characters to be cut but some of the choices just baffle me, does it ruin the show of course not but sometimes I just wish they’d stick with the material and not deviate to appeal to the masses. We’ve seen with Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad that audiences can appreciate intelligent shows with flawed characters.

    D & D have done a tremendous job bringing the series to life and I greatly appreciate the time, dedication and energy they have poured into the show. I just hope the popularity of the show doesn’t encourage them to deviate too much from the material.

  182. Paul
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    RenlyIsNotRight:
    Ser Bug,

    only Emilia Clarke and that woman who plays Shae are noticeably worse.

    Not too good at judging acting ability are you?

  183. Al Swearengen
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Paul,

    Actually he’s pretty accurate those three are considered the poorest among the show. I like all three, hell even Sibel Kekilli but I am honest enough to admit they aren’t great actors.

  184. Huge Floppys
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    But D & D did direct the Red Wedding

  185. Pepi
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Huge Floppys,

    David Nutter did that.

  186. Rhys
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Al Swearengen:
    I wish Bryan Cogman was writing the majority of episodes, I love D & D but Bryan clearly has a better grasp of the material than they do.

    Show me how this is “clear” exactly?

    I have no idea where all of this love for Bryan Cogman comes from. I have nothing against the guy, I’m a fan of his, he’s a writer for GoT after all. But his episodes have been no better or worse than those written by anyone else, with the exception of GRRM and Vanessa Taylor who may have just been given slower episodes for which to write.

    To all of those speaking definitively about quality of writers, though: please tell me where you studied scriptwriting?

    To me, it just seems like people like to criticise Benioff and Weiss due to the “changes” they’ve made and being the showrunners on what they consider a flawed adaptation, and are therefore willing to promote anyone ahead of them. Someone above even suggested B&W be replaced with David Nutter, who isn’t even a writer!

  187. mariamb18
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Huge Floppy Gut,

    And everyone assumed they would direct the ‘Dracarys’ episode or the Red Wedding last year. That didnt happen. No way the PW happens in episode 1. Episode 3 or 4 is most likely, with my guess being episode 4.

    Agree. Episode #1 will be the usual set-up episode – reminding viewers of where the characters are and what they are doing. It will certainly not be the PW. Why would a game-changing event such as Joffrey’s death appear in the first episode? They still have to get Oberyn and Mace into KL.

    I will guess Episode #3 just because Alex Graves is directing.

  188. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Clarke was fantastic this year, Harington has improved (still an unfortunately weak link in the chain though) and Kekilli has never been off to me.

  189. boze
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Rhys,

    This.

  190. outdoorcats
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    To all of those speaking definitively about quality of writers, though: please tell me where you studied scriptwriting?

    At the school of the literally thousands of films I have watched? Since scriptwriting seminars, college courses, etc. tend to be a complete joke and waste of your money, I’d hardly cite having taken one as anything but a source of personal embarrassment…IMO.

  191. guffetryne
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Rhys,

    Someone above even suggested B&W be replaced with David Nutter, who isn’t even a writer!

    This topic is about directors. He was talking about replacing D&D in the director’s lineup with David Nutter.

  192. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Lex: The wall climb was the best part of the episode, totally cinematic. And I liked the final scene as well, it was a much needed moment of sweetness in such a dark show. I’ve heard other people say they really liked those scenes as well, it’s not all hate.

    Completely with you here. The ending of “The Climb” was a rare moment where two people could peacefully share a heartfelt moment that did not – at least for 8 or 9 seconds – portend dread ahead. Given all they came through, and where they were going, I felt that was a well-earned moment of sweetness. And because this is Game of Thrones, I think many people probably watched that moment with the knowledge that it was hardly an end, much less a “happy” end.

  193. Bard
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Juego de Tronos: Which episode will write George RR Martin?

    Episode 2.

  194. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I think Linda is using a bunch of pseudonyms and posting in the comments section here…

  195. Jentario
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Jeff O’Connor:
    Clarke was fantastic this year, Harington has improved (still an unfortunately weak link in the chain though) and Kekilli has never been off to me.

    I think this season will really seal the deal for Kit. Up till now, he didn’t have much to work with but season 4 will focus on his story (assuming D&D keep to the very basics of the rest of ASOS which I think they will). Also, Jon will be going through serious change and become much more of a leader and much less of a whiny kid (which will be a process a bit slower than in the books). So unless Kit really is a bad actor (which I don’t think he is) his next season should be miles better than season 2 and season 3.

  196. Jon Blackfyre
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    im excited and theyve all dont good before but. Seriously. How do you not have David Nutter the pilot wisperer directing any episodes this season. I call shenanigans.

  197. Patricia
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    this. Alex Graves is the best director, 2×04 was mind blowing. can’t wait for his episodes especially.

  198. Maxwell James
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Wow, what a terrific lineup! Delighted we have confirmation of Marshall and Graves returning – both are just stellar. And as someone who adored “Second Sons,” as well as her fantastic work on “Breaking Bad,” I’m psyched that MacLaren’s coming back as well. She’s the best director currently working in TV in my opinion.

    Too bad about Vanessa Taylor – with women so sorely underrepresented in the industry, am sorry to see her go, for whatever reason.

    DH87,

    For you and others questioning the decision to have David and Dan write 7 episodes this season: note the only time they didn’t write that many was season 2. Which featured by far the most egregious deviations from the books. Maybe it’s best they keep themselves busy?

  199. Rhys
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    guffetryne:
    Rhys,

    This topic is about directors. He was talking about replacing D&D in the director’s lineup with David Nutter.

    Ah, right. My mistake.

  200. SonofFire
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Because of how off topic this comments section has gotten, I’m kinda curious what a “Elio/Linda-esque” produced Game of Thrones would look like compared to the D&D version? Would it be more faithful, or would there be a section of purists who turn on their version and claim that it’s a shoddy attempt too? Would casual fans be more intrigued, just the same, or turned off? Possibilities are endless.

  201. Caravaggio
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Vanessa Taylor wrote S2′s “The Old Gods and The New,” which was a superb episode. Strangely enough, I remember it being voted best episode of the season on this site right after “Blackwater” (or was it “What Is Dead May Never Die?”). “Dark Wings, Dark Words” was also noteworthy for its many standout female character moments. This season could have benefitted from her writing an episode. I don’t understand where all this hate for her is coming from.

    Michelle MacLaren is an amazing director. She managed to make Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding a standout episode of the last season. I cannot stress how much I love her work. If she’s directing the Royal Wedding then that would be amazing.

  202. Caravaggio
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    SonofFire:
    Because of how off topic this comments section has gotten, I’m kinda curious what a “Elio/Linda-esque” produced Game of Thrones would look like compared to the D&D version? Would it be more faithful, or would there be a section of purists who turn on their version and claim that it’s a shoddy attempt too? Would casual fans be more intrigued, just the same, or turned off? Possibilities are endless.

    I’m glad no such thing exists. Regardless, like anything that has a fandom it will have its own share of haters. Just because a lot of posters on WORG agree with them doesn’t mean that in a parallel universe they wouldn’t have turned on them if by some miracle they took writing courses, became novelists, ended up writing movies, and adapting GRRM’s work.

  203. Jentario
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    SonofFire:
    Because of how off topic this comments section has gotten, I’m kinda curious what a “Elio/Linda-esque” produced Game of Thrones would look like compared to the D&D version? Would it be more faithful, or would there be a section of purists who turn on their version and claim that it’s a shoddy attempt too? Would casual fans be more intrigued, just the same, or turned off? Possibilities are endless.

    It probably wouldn’t have passed the Pilot phase much less be renewed for a season 2 and 3.

  204. Udi
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    God is a Catholic?
    Strange, didn’t know that. You learn something new every day

  205. Jentario
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Patricia:
    Hear Me Roar,

    this. Alex Graves is the best director, 2×04 was mind blowing. can’t wait for his episodes especially.

    304, not 204 (which was also a great episode).

  206. Teresa
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    FlayedManofBK,

    That is a great article- really interesting to read. I’m intrigued by the alternate credits sequence, I wonder what that would have looked like. I also wonder if the unaired pilot might turn up on a future deluxe DVD release or something.

  207. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Aye, I’m really looking forward to it.

  208. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Serious question, not snark: Are there any television or movie adaptations that are 100 percent the same as the source material. LOTR is praised as a faithful adaptation but there are quite a few changes.
    I can’t think of any books, just plays. Shakespeare for example. Of course, Shakespeare plays have virtually no stage direction all a movie director has to shoot the dialogue however he/she wants. Also, there’s no way to be sure the commonly reproduced plays are completely accurate because there has always been different versions floating around.
    I’ve read that the movie “The Bad Seed” is a direct stage to movie adaptation. Unfortunately it’s not a really good movie. It’s remained well known because it’s so campy.
    Can anyone think of anything? I just don’t think it’s possible to film a book exactly as it is.

  209. Astonished
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    Though I agree with you, I assumed nothing was –or should– being taken too serious in these comment…, which in this case can’t even focus on directors. These are just comments, after all.. just chewing the fat. That’s why sarcastic people like Lex laugh so much.

    I am disappointed that Daniel Minahan will not be directing in s4, and I am disappointed that Marshey will–I feel his name is being used and it’s pure marketing bs.

    Blackwater. The show runners reacted to the results of season 1 by saying in interviews that they understand the world did not feel expansive and that they were working on that in s2. In fact, they succeeded in making the world seem a bit more populated.

    They knew from the very beginning there would be an outpouring of fan negativity if Blackwater didn’t have sufficient bangs and clangs. They talked publicly about it a lot. Because there was lots of angry feedback about the lack of battles in season 1. And at the end of season 1 GRRM and D&D were singing about budget not being high enough and they were starting a Blackwater fund, etc.

    So they hired someone outside, a director who movies out of no budget. But the thing is, he can take his time preparing, and his movies are his babies. Not like shooting for HBO with someone else’s script.

    The general feedback about Blackwater was positive. Well, there are a lot of fans of GoT and they see what they want to see. And so they are getting Marshey back. Congrats. I, on the other hand, see this is an perverted escalation of PR that will result in a baser product. I don’t think D&D should waste everyone’s time by directing either, but it’s their thing so let them make a few more notches in their belt. They deserve it after all.

  210. SonofFire
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    That Hamlet film by Kennth Branagh is pretty much a word-for-word adaptation of the original play if that counts. Though it was set in an entirely different time period…

  211. Endless Giraffe
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    SonofFire,

    It would be much larger and longer, and would take a much bigger budget. Probably also less popular. Arguably it could be much better, but logistically impossible.

  212. Pau Soriano
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    SonofFire:
    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    That Hamlet film by Kennth Branagh is pretty much a word-for-word adaptation of the original play if that counts. Though it was set in an entirely different time period…

    Many Shakespeare adaptations are, actually ;)

  213. Pau Soriano
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Ah and Vanessa Taylor was an awful, awful GoT writer who didn’t even read the books before the first season, so I’m happy she’s gone and we get 2 episodis by Bryan instead

  214. Matt
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    MOAR EPISODES FOR COG-MAN!

    COG-MAN! COG-MAN! COG-MAN!

  215. Pau Soriano
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming:
    Regarding “who writes which episode” what do you think?

    Ep 1 is directed by D&D and is the premiere (lol) si D&D for sure
    Ep 2 – GRRM confirmed
    Ep 3 – might be the PW , so again D&D
    directed by A. Graves
    Ep 4 – might be B Cog’ first this season – with the immediate aftermath of the PW
    Ep 5 – D&D
    directed by M. MacLaren
    Ep 6 – Bryan Cogman – this episode might have that discussion between Tyrion and Oberyn regarding the history of Elia and her children - B Cogman is best at this things (see bathtub Jaime/Brienne scene). Also across the world Dany might talk to Barristan about her father.
    Ep 7 – D&D
    directed by Alik Sakharov
    Ep 8 – Red Viper/ Mountain duel – I wonder if D&D would let B Cog to write this.. if they do then cut him from ep 4.
    Ep 9 (!) and 10 are for sure D&D.


    PW wil be episode 4, so D&D. Bryan can write 3 instead. And as you said 6 or maybe 7

  216. Pau Soriano
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Astonished:
    In my advanced opinion, the best director of GoT is Daniel Minahan. The worst is Marshall. So it must be Daniel is too busy this year. Coupled with Taylor being out of the loop, it looks like s4 is set to be a huge disappointment. I’ll be happily surprised if I am wrong because s3 really exceeded all my expectations after the dismal season 2. But I am rarely wrong about such things.

    Of course you aren’t . Reading your excellent reasoning you’r clearly a logical genius ;)

    With and “Advanced” opinion :P

    PS: Although you yourself admitted being wrong on the s3 prediction XD

  217. DH87
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: For you and others questioning the decision to have David and Dan write 7 episodes this season: note the only time they didn’t write that many was season 2. Which featured by far the most egregious deviations from the books. Maybe it’s best they keep themselves busy?

    Many of us have no problem with changes so long as they are successful (as good or better than the original material). Is Talisa better than Jeyne? Was all the time given to Ros worth it in dramatic and narrative value? Was G.S. necessary, dramatically or thematically, or has it become a tired joke among critics and viewers?

    Rhys: To all of those speaking definitively about quality of writers, though: please tell me where you studied scriptwriting?

    I was an English major, concentrating on Jacobean drama. I was a scholarly and commercial book editor for decades. I’ve taught Modernist Literature. I am currently a novelist. And you?

  218. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    What does G.S. stand for again?

  219. sunspear
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Is Talisa better than Jeyne?

    …..Yes. Jeyne is a cardboard character with basically no personality.

    Was all the time given to Ros worth it in dramatic and narrative value?

    ‘Ros’ was not given time. Tyrion, Theon, Baelish, and Varys were given time.

    Was G.S. necessary, dramatically or thematically, or has it become a tired joke among critics and viewers?

    Yeah, you’re going to have to explain what GS stands for for me to answer that question.

  220. Maxwell James
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Oh, I know you have no problems with the good changes (neither do I). My point is that GoT deviated from the books the most, and in the most problematic ways, when Benioff and Weiss did the least amount of writing. That is all.

  221. kix
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Jeff O’Connor,

    Emilia is likable and charming but her acting needs improvement. There was this were she was looking directly at the camera and then she rolled her eyes. That’s just one of the terrible scenes she had.

  222. DH87
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Jeff O’Connor: What does G.S. stand for again?

    Well, no wonder everyone was confused. I meant “GN,” gratuitous nudity (from previous threads), not “G.S.” “G.S.” would stand for gratuitous silliness, I suppose.

  223. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Rhys: Show me how this is “clear” exactly?

    I have no idea where all of this love for Bryan Cogman comes from. I have nothing against the guy, I’m a fan of his, he’s a writer for GoT after all. But his episodes have been no better or worse than those written by anyone else, with the exception of GRRM and Vanessa Taylor who may have just been given slower episodes for which to write.

    To all of those speaking definitively about quality of writers, though: please tell me where you studied scriptwriting?

    To me, it just seems like people like to criticise Benioff and Weiss due to the “changes” they’ve made and being the showrunners on what they consider a flawed adaptation, and are therefore willing to promote anyone ahead of them. Someone above even suggested B&W be replaced with David Nutter, who isn’t even a writer!

    Pretty much this. D&D have written some of the best episodes of the series with The Wolf & The Lion, A Golden Crown, You Win Or You Die, Baelor, The North Remembers, The Prince of Winterfell, Walk of Punishment, And Now His Watch Has Ended, Second Sons, and The Rains of Castamere.

  224. outdoorcats
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    A lot of BBC miniseries adaptations of classic novels hew so close to the source that they could be simply transcribing the books into script form. Case in point, the most acclaimed version of Pride and Prejudice was the smash hit miniseries from 1995 with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. It had one small scene which is different from the books (where Mr. Darcy emerges from the pool in front of Liz after a swim) which is quite famous, but even that scene retained the exact dialogue from the books if I remember correctly. Of course, you can do that with Pride and Prejudice, but not with Game of Thrones. And part of me is grateful – otherwise, we would have had an on-screen version of the “I’d like to see Ghost juggle” scene and we all would have died cringing and gouging out our eyes!

  225. BrianAu
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Totally agree! Only small snag in my mind was Loras hopping in the sack so soon which I thought was really out of character. Diana Riggs was simply outstanding in every scene.

  226. tysnow
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Stellar line up for next season, of course w/o the exceptional Alan Taylor (perhaps he will be back in the future). I am extremely confident with the selection, as for a famous Director helming an episode, I am in favor of PJ after he finishes the Hobbit films.

  227. WildSeed
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    BrianAu,

    One of my favorite things about the show is the expansion of the Tyrells.They became my 2nd favorite house after the Starks while reading the books even with no POV chapters.It’s nice that my assumptions about their awesomeness came true.

    I agree, somewhat, where Margaery is concerned, and that one on one scene between
    lady Olenna and Tywin. As for onscreen Loras Tyrell, I much preferred his book
    persona. GoT has left out his braveness and dutiful nature in addition to his
    same sex preferences. The show makes him into a narrow minded caricature whose
    proclivities expand only to fashion sense. Such a cliche’. Maybe he only hopes to become
    a stylist. Ugh……. Can anyone envision this the same character that stormed the
    gates at Dragonstone.

    I concur with some of Rhys ‘s reasoning about cheering only Cogman over the
    select contribution of other script writers.

  228. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m a bit late to the party but this news is fucking brilliant.

    Knew about Cogman’s double already, which is of course great news, but seeing the Alex Graves – Alik Sakharov – Michelle MacLaren triumvirate, in addition to Neil Marshall, is nothing short of wonderful.

    My only slight worry is that Alex Graves is doing 4 episodes. Yes, he was amazing in Season 3, but that is a huge challenge. Still…I bet he’s up for it!

  229. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Perhaps a certain member of the Kingsguard will help shape him into a person more similar to the one you’re describing…? The books tend to introduce characters who are already fully formed (meaning, they don’t have much of an ‘on-screen’ arc), while the show often pushes certain developments back (Arya becoming a cold-blooded killer, other spoilery stuff) to better suit the narrative structure of episode television.

  230. WildSeed
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    Hmmm……. I see your point . And fortunate for Loras, Jon, Blackfish ,etc, those
    characters have plenty of time to expand and improve upon their stories. That is,
    if the characters are more than the one dimensional types displayed thus far. I’m
    usually quite patient, but sometimes I get cranky during the show’s hiatus.

  231. JC
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Graves, Sakharov, MacLaren…this is going to be one gorgeous looking season :)

    Was also quite impressed with Benioff and Weiss’s directorial debut last season. And Marshall is an excellent director.

    No complaints with this line-up. Nutter did the Red Wedding justice but I’m glad he’s moved on. MacLaren had a misstep with the Martin episode last season but she did gorgeous work with the Tyrion/Sansa wedding, and she’s my favourite Breaking Bad director. Graves’ episodes struck the right balance – both beautifully framed and kinetic work. And Sakharov’s episodes have been gorgeous visually.

  232. imlad
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    WOOHOO!!!! Alex Graves for FOUR episodes!!!!!!! That is too fucking awesome!

  233. Calamardo
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    This are all great directors i am very confident with this selection. I just found this awesome quiz here

  234. Kelly
    Posted July 20, 2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Woo Hoo! Happy about MacLaren, she is so freaking great on Breaking Bad and I’m glad she will have another awesome show to direct.


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