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.
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!