The Directors Guild of America just announced the nominees for its 72nd annual award, and Game of Thrones is among them not once but twice, thanks to the marvelous directors behind its final season. As you may recall, David Nutter took on most of the work, with “Winterfell”, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, and “The Last of the Starks”; Miguel Sapochnik directed the battle episodes, “The Long Night” and “The Bells”; while showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss helmed the series finale, “The Iron Throne.”
You’ll not be shocked to learn which two of these directors got nominated, but you may be surprised about the episodes selected to highlight their directorship.
For the ‘Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series’ category at the upcoming 2019 DGA Awards, there are five nominees; shockingly (or perhaps not so much), they are all nominated for their work on HBO series. All. Of. Them.
Thrones veteran David Nutter, who directed the iconic “The Reins of Castamere” and the Emmy and DGA award-winning “Mother’s Mercy”, is nominated for “The Last of the Starks” (and not for “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” as one may have thought).
Of course, there is also Miguel Sapochnik, who since season five has directed some of the most jaw-dropping Game of Thrones episodes, such as the horrifying “Hardhome”, the Emmy and DGA award-winning “Battle of the Bastards”, and my personal favorite “The Winds of Winter”. Sapochnik has an impressive track-record that continued in his return for the final season; and so, he is deservedly nominated for “The Long Night.”
The other entries for ‘Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series’ are Nicole Kassell for Watchmen’s “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”, Stephen Williams for Watchmen’s “This Extraordinary Being”, and Mark Mylod (who’s also directed Thrones in the past) for Succession’s “This Is Not For Tears.”
Though in its final year Game of Thrones enjoyed some of the strongest and most confident directing in the show’s history, this time it has serious competition, especially with Watchmen. Then again, though the Thrones vote may be split because of the two nominations, the same could happen to Watchmen. Or Succession could win after all!
We’ll see soon enough, as the 72nd DGA awards will be celebrated on January 25.
I guess that, no matter what happens, HBO wins.