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GAME OF THRONES’ Season 7 Director List is Very Surprising

When the seventh season of Game of Thrones finally docks in Blackwater Bay, it’s going to look a little different. Not just because Dany’s finally making her way across the Narrow Sea, we know who Jon Snow’s parents truly are, the White Walkers are making their way south, and the last two seasons are going to be shorter — there’s a new set of directors coming, too.

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, several men are returning to tackle the typically bundled-up episodes (generally directors on the series handle two back-to-back episodes), as well as an interesting new addition. Gone are some of this show’s bigger-hitter names, like David Nutter and this season’s standout Miguel Sapochnik. And for the second year in a row, there’s nary a lady on this list (we miss you, Michelle MacLaren!). But there are some names with which you’ll be familiar, and the series’ excellent costume designer Michele Clapton will return to the show full time after taking most of season six off (those standout looks of the last two episodes were hers, though).

So who’s on the list?

  • First up? Alan Taylor, the Emmy-winning director, known for his work on The Sopranos, as well as his work on Thor: The Dark World and Terminator: Genisys. Taylor also directed the final two episodes of season one (like “Baelor” when Ned Stark died). This is his first time directing on the series since 2012.
  • Next on the list is another familiar face: Jeremy Podeswa! He’s directed several episodes of the show, including season five’s “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (you remember the one), and this season’s premiere episode, “The Red Woman” and “Home,” the episode Jon Snow got undead-ed in.
  • Mark Mylod will also return to the series for a fifth and sixth episode directorship. One of the things I love particularly about Mylod is his ability to weave action and comedy as well as drama (he previously worked on Shameless). Last season he directed two big episodes, “The Broken Man” (a.k.a. The Hound’s return) and “No One,” otherwise known as that time we thought for sure that Arya was all-but-dead.
  • But perhaps the most surprising name on the list? Newcomer Matt Shakman. A bona fide comedy dude — he’s directed episodes of You’re the WorstGrace and Frankie, and—most notably—It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the FX comedy David Benioff and Dan Weiss are admittedly kinda/sorta obsessed with, going so far as to write an episode of it a few seasons back. With his work on shows like The Good WifeHouse, and Fargo, we are hoping and praying he’s directing some seriously Tyrion-heavy episodes. Because his comedy + that sorta direction = majorly good feels.

With a shorter director list, too, it’s another confirmation that season seven is going to be shorter than the rest, but at least we know it’s in good hands.

Hopefully Matt Shakman or someone will tell us where the HECK ol’ Gendry is:

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What do you think about the helmers for season seven? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: HBO

Alicia Lutes is the managing editor, creator/co-host of Fangirling, recapper of the Thrones, and resident Khaleesi of House Nerdist. Find her on Twitter but only if you really want.

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