UPDATE: Neil Marshall returns for Game of Thrones Season 4

By Cian Gaffney on Jul 5, 2013 to Game of Thrones

neil-marshallphoto credit: Tancredi cc

In a recent article on Empire Online, it has been revealed that award-winning director Neil Marshall will be taking the director’s chair for the “violent finale” of Game of Thrones’ 4th season.

Fans of the show will know that Marshall directed the acclaimed Blackwater episode in season 2. Considered one of the best episodes to date due to a combination of many aspects, including the direction and writing, this news bodes well for next season.

              WARNING: SPOILERS

According to Empire’s source, the episode takes place “at the Wall, with Mance Rayder”. The article continues to elaborate on what this may entail, quite accurately. It seems that – both from the source’s short quote and Empire’s opinion on their source – the Battle of Castle Black, or indeed some significant element of the siege of the Wall, will take place during this episode. Obviously, it remains to be seen whether the episode will comprise solely of the events surrounding the Wall, as Blackwater did with King’s Landing. Personally, I am quite skeptical that the episode will deal exclusively with the events at the Wall, if indeed it does end up being the season finale. It may be entirely possible that this is a case of misinformation, and Marshall is directing the penultimate episode of the season. However, this is purely speculation at this point.

END SPOILERS

2x09-Blackwater.mkv3865__1373038428_109.77.251.157

“Rain fire on them.”

Marshall was capable of directing a truly great episode on extremely short notice for season 2. This year, he has clearly been given plenty of time to reflect, and hopefully this will result in an episode of equal or better quality than Blackwater. All of this should be taken with a pinch of salt, as there has been no official word on the matter as of yet. We will provide more news when we have it, but for the moment, why not sit back and enjoy Blackwater again!

UPDATE 7/10: Variety has confirmed that Marshall will  in fact be directing episode 9 of season 4.

HBO and “Game of Thrones” are making it clear that it is not necessarily the finale of the season that will have everyone talking but the next-to-last episode, and it looks like they are preparing to follow through in the upcoming fourth season.

“Centurion” director Neil Marshall, who helmed the “Blackwater” episode 9 in the second season, is returning to helm episode nine for season four.

As previously stated, it seems very likely that the episode Marshall is helming will include a major battle sequence. We will report more on this subject when we have news.

Game of Thrones season 4 will premiere in spring of 2014.  We’ll provide an exact air date here when we have it.

  • SerTahu

    According to an inside source over on winteriscoming.net the article is NOT 100% accurate, so the current assumption is that the incorrect piece of information is that it will be the finale that Neil directs. My guess is that Empire’s source said something like “Neil’s episode will be late in the season”, and that got mistaken at some point for being “the last episode of the season” (ie the finale).

    BEGIN SPOILERS:

    Since it is pretty much a given that Neil will direct the siege of the Wall, it makes much more sense if it does not occur in the finale. I personally don’t see how they would have delayed Stannis, and to a lesser extent the Watch, enough to make it happen in the finale. So assuming that Neil is not directing the finale, I think we can assume that he is directing an episode somewhere between episodes 7-9 (my guess being episode 8).

    END SPOILERS

    Either way, I am extremely happy to see Neil Marshall return, as I thought that Blackwater was one of the best (if not THE best) directed episodes of Game of Thrones. I do hope that it isn’t the finale though.

    • Ugh, really? Blackwater was a huge disappointment for my whole group of GoT watchers. Scenes were too long & dragged, editing seemed choppy and the story lines were particularly poorly executed. Most disappointing of all was the battle itself, most of which was kept low budget by being filmed in the dark and the three seconds of fireworks were extremely disappointing. I certainly don’t look forward to seeing another episode directed by Neil Marshal. He’d be better suited playing a Frey extra than directing another disappointing episode.

      • As much as I love the episode itself, I still don’t think it’s as amazing as many people do. I never got a sense of the massive scale of the battle from the episode!

        Interestingly enough (and I definitely would have mentioned this if I had written the review), as soon as I saw the very first shot in “Mhysa” of Roose watching the carnage below the Twins, I immediately asked myself why the hell a shot like that wasn’t used in “Blackwater”. A single shot like that would have added so much!

        Personally, I’m hoping that Marshall uses more wide shots for season 4; it seems to me that he favors quick-cutting rather than prolonged fight sequences.

        • You’re right, that would have added so much, Cian! I just really felt that in the book, Blackwater was epic. It was actually one of my top 3 favorite scenes of all time & I can’t count the times that I read and re-read that section. To come away from watching that episode feeling like “That’s it??” was hugely disappointing!

      • SerTahu

        The director doesn’t control the editing, scenes being too long is an opinion (one that I would disagree with), and as for it being ‘filmed at night because it was low budget’, it was filmed at night because that’s when the battle takes place in the books.

        • I’ve read the books, which is why I found the scene to be a letdown. I know that the battle takes place at night, I didn’t say at night, I said in the dark. There is a difference between filming a night scene and using darkness to cover the fact that you’ve got very little going on. You’re entitled to your opinion, Ser. I politely disagree.










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