Every Season 8 Episode to be Over an Hour Long, Director David Nutter Confirms!

Photo: @TelevisionAcad

Photo: @TelevisionAcad

Just after we got the Season 8 premiere month announcement, Game of Thrones director David Nutter was gracious enough to answer questions from the fans. As well as confirming the six final episodes will be quite lengthy, Nutter spoke of the filming experience, and had a few choice words to describe the Game of Thrones swansong.

In today’s Reddit AMA on the Game of Thrones subreddit, the American director tells us that the six final episodes will “be longer than 60 minutes.” Or at least, he thinks so: he does not give specific running times, which would be next to impossible at this stage anyway, but he does make it clear “he knows for sure” these episodes will be “dancing around the bigger numbers.” I think that’s as close to a confirmation as we’re gonna get!

Nutter will be directing the two opening chapters of the season (as well as the fourth one, sandwiched between Miguel Sapochnik’s two action-heavy episodes), so this will be his first season premiere, as he himself points out when explaining what is it that makes directing a premiere different from any other episode: “I’ve never directed an opening episode of GOT before until season 8 but I think it’s really important to make a splash. You have to reset the table, put everyone back in their place, you have to take them to their next position. But you have to entertain—that’s what’s most important.”

As for the “spectacular, inspiring, and satisfying” final season of the show, “getting it right” was Nutter’s biggest challenge as a director: “There was not a second chance to get all of these sequences right, and a lot of sequences had many actors in them and some wonderfully intimate scenes as well,” he writes. “We had a lot of rehearsal time and that was really the thing that saved me more than anything else. I’m very happy with the chance to get in there and rehearse with the actors, and I think they were too, and I think it turned out quite well.” This isn’t the first time we hear that season eight’s prolonged production means they were able to prepare more, which is very nice to hear—not that Game of Thrones often suffers from production sloppiness, mind you.

Queen Talisa at the Red Wedding

Comparing season eight to what’s perhaps his most well-known and best-regarded episode, The Rains of Castamere, Nutter teases: “As far as season 8 compared to the Red Wedding I just have to tell you – hang onto your seat cause it’s going to be special.”

Though he gives away no spoilers, his most explicit comment reveals that the characters will not only have to face the White Walkers, but “also each other,” which probably isn’t incredibly shocking to you—unless you were worried the show was going to abandon all its interpersonal dynamics and politics in favor of mindless zombie action, that is.

“I’m completely satisfied with how season 8 ends,” Nutter writes. “I think that David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned. I guarantee there’s going to be lots of surprises and shocking moments, but it’s really very compelling stuff.”

Well, there you have it: in April 2019, get ready for really very compelling stuff!

54 responses

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    1. Wolfish,

      If by “feature-film length” you mean “two hours”, then no, I’m afraid we won’t have a longer season than usual. But six episodes above the 1-hour mark, with one or two of them being significantly longer? That’s much more likely, I’d say!

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    2. One of the most reassuring things I’ve been hearing since filming and even now is that this season contains a lot of intimate scenes to serve as a palette cleanser from all of the fighting. Which is amazing because GoT often shines brightest in its quiet moments.

      But then again… I’m also ready for war so yeah.

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    3. HelloThere:
      The promo machine is ramping up….

      I assume December will be the first teaser?

      I wouldn’t expect S8 footage until around February. The Season 7 trailer was around 2 months before the premiere.

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    4. Solid summary, Luka. I’m delighted that they’re leaning in on long episodes. I wonder if they focus the stories so that more things start, happen, and complete in an episode, or if things will be threaded throughout the season. (I guess I’m saying, are we getting more or less 6 movies.)

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    5. I’d prefer eight 45+ minute episodes two weeks apart. Am I whinging? No, of course not.

      As for Nutter’s comment that “There was not a second chance to get all of these sequences right, and a lot of sequences had many actors in them and some wonderfully intimate scenes as well…”

      all I can think of is ASNAWP-centric S8. 👸🏻

      Arya’s got unfinished business -emotional and otherwise – with just about every remaining character. Not to mention her admiration for dragon-riding Targaryen women.

      #BurnMelBurn 🔥

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    6. “I’m completely satisfied with how season 8 ends,” Nutter writes. “I think that David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned. I guarantee there’s going to be lots of surprises and shocking moments, but it’s really very compelling stuff.””

      I find this part the most interesting “…they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned”.

      So, what is that? Dany + Jon at the end, the rest is ambiguous?

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    7. “… and a lot of sequences had many actors in them and some wonderfully intimate scenes as well,” he writes.

      Please let this be a Jon-Arya reunion scene that’s as emotional, if not, more emotional than the Jon-Sansa reunion. Before S7 started, I honestly thought we’d get it then.

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    8. “I think that David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned.”

      Ugh.

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    9. Kosten,

      That’s not necessarily a cause for concern. Every season has seen it’s fair share of fan service/crowd pleasing moments. This season will be no different. And no matter how Nutter sees it, some people will still be disappointed anyways.

      I mean if the showrunners gave people something they didn’t want, that would be even more alarming. Wouldn’t it?

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    10. “…they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned”.

      Bullcrap. If you had asked the fans in advance you wouldn’t have had Ned Stark killed off in S1E9, the Red Wedding or the Viper vs The Mountain. The fans ultimately want a good story and good writing.
      Tell your story, if you have one.

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    11. Dark Sister,

      The Bran/Sansa reunion was the most emotional reunion for me. Every time I recall the cold, empty and emotionless greeting Bran gives Sansa, with “Hello, Sansa,” I cry, for all ll of the Stark tragedy and suffering is summed up in this scene. Her heartfelt reaction made me a big Sansa fan. It is one of the top five most memorable scenes in the show, for me.

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    12. Nick20:

      But yeah, probably no full trailer until February, though, since it is the last season and they want to promote the hell out of it, they may drop the first trailer in January, as they did for Season 4.

      I was kind of toying with the notion that they may drop some sort of promo or trailer around the premiere of True Detective on January 13th.

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    13. Great news!

      Luka Nieto,

      I agree. I think it will be the same as season 7 where most episodes will be about 60-70 minutes. With a decent chance that the finale will be 2 hours. Because most tv shows double the runtime with their final episode.

      Besides if every episode would be 90-120 minutes, then they might as well could have done a 10-episode season again. Makes no sense.

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    14. Ten Bears,

      Depends how the story is told. Look for instance at 707 what if they made it in 2 episodes, you wouldn’t really be in the story with the second part. And you would have stopped halfway through the story like some 90s show.

      I think season 8 will have 6 different kind of stories that’s why they’re in 6 episodes. It all need to be in that episode to feel good and perfect. Look for instance at the LOTR movies the extended version. As for the runtime you could say. Let’s make it 6 movies of 2 hours. It wouldn’t work storywise even when there are a lot of 2 hour movies. The pacing of the story make it longer. Same as for season 8.

      Wasnt it the actor of podrik that talked about it? That they could have made it in 10 episodes but 6 is better storywise.

      Alba,

      Please no, me as a fan am more happy with what happen than have story where they lived. Yes I like the characters but those deaths made got what it is. Because of those death we got this high drama with emotion excitement etc.

      What you described is what people think they want but what got shows is what they really want. There was some experiment where people could decide how the story would go and they chose to let characters live but they hated the story in the end. Then they showed a different version where those characters died and the watchers liked that version better.

      Strange feeling. I’m exciting that we will see this amazing series again in 5 months. But at the same time little bit down because 6.5 months from know it’s all over. Then our watch has ended.

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    15. I imagine it will be epic. I can say the show has not disappointed me so far and it’s one of the most rewatchable TV shows for me and one of my highest rated ones regarding individual episodes.

      On side note: I worry what kind of twisted site will GoT Wikia become after the show wraps up… maybe some of us fans should team up to make a Wikia fansite that would actually be fan-friendly and portraying the show in positive light, unlike GoT Wikia which is pretty much focused on criticism and hate towards the show thanks to its chief admin.

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    16. Lord Parramandas,

      Hey, so glad to see you commenting on here again! I’ve liked your commentaries/analyses before.

      Now it really feels like we’re gearing up to the next, the last season, Lord Parramandas and delightful, positive über-fan Dee come back here to comment, haha!

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    17. Kevin1989,

      “Depends how the story is told. Look for instance at 707 what if they made it in 2 episodes, you wouldn’t really be in the story with the second part. And you would have stopped halfway through the story like some 90s show.”

      ———–
      If they’d made S7e7 into two episodes, I could’ve skipped the silly Littlefinger trial and watched the rest of it. Better yet, skip the groveling LF nonsense, and just have an extended, Meryn F*cking Trant-style execution by Arya using Needle to poke him full of holes, followed by an ear-to-ear throat slice with her nice new VS dagger.

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    18. The semi-confirmed news of 60+ minute episodes is great. So, a 6-episode season equals an 8-episode season of shorter episodes, something like that.

      What I found best about this is the revelation of how much time they – directors, actors, all techinical crew – spent to get it just right. I’m really stoked about the rehearsal times, taking the time to set up shots (lighting, camera angles etc.). It all bodes well for the final season delivering.

      OK, there will be some angry (and probably loud) fans because the ending didn’t go according to their headcanon, but casual viewers and less rabid fans will apparently find the end, the story satisfying.

      I know with 99.3% certainty that my favourite character will not survive to the end. I’ve been preparing myself for that for the past 4 years, ever since I got into GOT, haha!

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    19. talvikorppi:

      I know with 99.3% certainty that my favourite character will not survive to the end. I’ve been preparing myself for that for the past 4 years, ever since I got into GOT, haha!

      I’ve been preparing myself for his death as well… I hope he’ll die “in the arms of the woman he loves” and and that it won’t be his first time in said arms.

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    20. Ten Bears:

      ———– Better yet, skip the groveling LF nonsense, and just have an extended, Meryn F*cking Trant-style execution by Arya using Needle to poke him full of holes, followed by an ear-to-ear throat slice with her nice new VS dagger.

      Ugh, that sounds horrible. Almost enough to make me stop watching the show, were it not for other, more interesting characters.

      Each to their own, though.

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    21. Shy Lady Dragon: I’ve been preparing myself for his death as well… I hope he’ll die “in the arms of the woman he loves” and and that it won’t be his first time in said arms.

      OK, now I’m getting all teary-eyed about his death in her arms. *sob*

      (To clarify to those not on this “ship”, we’re talking about Jaime and Brienne. – And no, Brienne and Tormund isn’t a thing. He might fancy her – and nice on Brienne to be fancied for who she is by another man – but she definitely doesn’t fancy Tormund, only the soiled knight who respects her as a knight.)

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    22. I’ve been out of the loop for a while, but wasn’t this suppose to be Season 7 part 2? Similar to what Breaking Bad did for their final season; make it longer but split it in half. Did I just imagine that?

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    23. talvikorppi,

      Yep, I’ve been telling myself for 8 years now to expect nothing good for my favorite. He already died once so what is a second time? Worse for him will be watching everyone else he loves die before him and then get saddled by a crown. So death might be the better deal for him. I’ve been paying attention and I expect no happy ending.

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    24. Great news about the longer episodes! I hate loose ends and dropped plots so I really hope everything of importance over the last 7 seasons is given a proper resolution. Even if it’s one I don’t love!

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    25. @Kevin1989
      Don’t know what you mean really. What I’m saying is exactly the same. Do not take into consideration what the fans want, because what the fans want – or what they think they want – isn’t necessarily a good thing. They should tell their story, not our (fans) story.

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    26. I hope the final scene of every season 8 episode is EPIC…

      Every season 8 final scene should be at least as good as when Jamie talks to the Queen of Thorns Olenna Tyrell in The Queen’s Justice.

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    27. talvikorppi:
      Lord Parramandas,

      Hey, so glad to see you commenting on here again! I’ve liked your commentaries/analyses before.

      Now it really feels like we’re gearing up to the next, the last season, Lord Parramandas and delightful, positive über-fan Dee come back here to comment, haha!

      Oh, thank you! I’m not sure how active I’ll be on the board itself but I have a WotW forum thread and my Youtube channel for my reviews and I’ll surely try to participate there.

        Quote  Reply

    28. talvikorppi,

      Shy Lady Dragon,

      Jaime will NOT die. Do not believe malicious rumours.

      He may get injured again doing some spectacular act of bravery. But Brienne will protect him …it is her turn. Yes, they will become love partners, it is the longest incomplete love story in the GOT. There is a reason why is saved for Season 8.

      He survives the series. I am 75% sure. (This 25% doubt also includes the risk that time ends for our planet before GOT comes in April OR when GRRM finishes the book with the formal story .)

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    29. Lord Parramandas: Oh, thank you! I’m not sure how active I’ll be on the board itself but I have a WotW forum thread and my Youtube channel for my reviews and I’ll surely try to participate there.

      My Lord! Don’t be a stranger here. ☺️

      Sorry if I’m being selfish or lazy. Like many of us, I check on WoW for new articles and comments while at work — oops, I mean during my free time. I enjoy reading your comments. I just don’t visit the forum threads that often and can’t hear YouTube video reviews very well.

      Then again, I should really make an effort to search for your reviews on the forum thread. After all, as someone once said….

      “It’s bad manners to refuse a Lord’s offer.”

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    30. Ten Bears,

      You know what’s my main problem here? That due to reading the novels, I can’t comment on every thread here, even though it’s non-book readers I generally get along with the most here. That’s why I made the forum thread for my reviews.

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    31. In case we didn’t already know it from the sounds of that the premiere is going to be very drama heavy with reuniting characters and those newly interacting but with big egos (Sansa/Dany) taking up most of the time before the serious action gets under way. So much for them to cover in that premiere though.

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    32. Jack Bauer 24: I wouldn’t expect S8 footage until around February. The Season 7 trailer was around 2 months before the premiere.

      Jack the Head of HBO said a few months back we should get the full trailer this year, so I’d say January latest. I honestly feel we will see things earlier this time around given how long they’ve been in post production.

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    33. Mango,

      Your confidence gives me hope. I have never considered the possibility of Jaime surviving, but it’s still a possibility, isn’t it?

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    34. Alba:
      @Kevin1989
      Don’t know what you mean really. What I’m saying is exactly the same. Do not take into consideration what the fans want, because what the fans want – or what they think they want – isn’t necessarily a good thing. They should tell their story, not our (fans) story.

      Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant, I thought you meant that they should have gone for not killing Ned etc.

        Quote  Reply

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