As you might have heard, some Game of Thrones fans were not happy with the show’s final season, accusing the showrunners of rushing through the final six episodes instead of taking their time to set things up the pins before knocking them down. While most of the current cast and crew members have come out in defense of season 8, Neil Marshall, who directed two of the show’s bigger episodes — “Blackwater” and “The Watchers on the Wall” — had a different take when speaking to The Sun Online:
Ultimately all the characters ended up where they were meant to be, but I think some of them got there in a bit of a rush. I agree that it was a bit of a rush. It felt like things weren’t set up well enough. But they all ended up where they were meant to be, though, I got that.
I feel like Marshall is tapping into the big problem a lot of fans had with the final season: the pacing.
Marshall only directed two episodes of the series, but they were both tentpoles that held down their respective seasons. “Blackwater” was the first of the show’s many big battle episodes. Marshall, who’s credits include action and horror movies like Dog Soldiers and The Descent, was brought in shortly before filming began after the original director had to withdraw because of a personal emergency. “I think the Blackwater was kind of a crazy episode because I was put in at the last minute,” he remembered. “The original director had to step away and I was given like week’s notice. It was the most insane week of my life trying to plan that whole thing in a week and pull it off. But we did it and we did some amazing stuff in it.”
Again, hard to argue with that. “Blackwater,” remains one of the show’s more awe-inspiring episodes, even including some of the show’s later battle sequences.
Although Marshall also directed the high-octane “The Watchers on the Wall,” he still considers “Blackwater” his favorite episode, on account of what he achieved given the time constraints. Although as someone who’s seen “Watchers” in IMAX, I’ve gotta throw my weight behind that one.