So the directors for Season 4 are confirmed to be:
- Episode 1: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
- Episodes 2, 3, 8, 10: Alex Graves
- Episodes 4, 5: Michelle MacLaren
- Episodes 6, 7: Alik Sakharov
- Episodes 9: Neil Marshall
Which got me interested in past directors on the show:
Season 1 had Tim Van Patten, Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, and Alan Taylor. However, Alik Sakharov worked under Van Patten on episodes 1 and 2 as the cinematographer (director of photography), as well as on "Baelor" and "Fire and Blood" so he's been around from the beginning. Of these, Van Patten and Kirk did not return to the show.
Alan Taylor and Alik Sakharov returned in Season 2, and were joined by David Petrarca, David Nutter, and Neil Marshall. Marshall in particular was a favorite of GRRM's for his work on the horror film The Descent. Taylor hasn't worked on the show since Season 2, and neither did Petrarca (who only worked in Season 2). In Season 3, David Benioff took a turn directing an episode (but not D.B. Weiss; sometimes the credits get confused and assume he directed with Benioff as they normally work as a pair; need to ask about that directly if ever given the chance). Alik Sakharof continued on the show, and Daniel Minahan from Season 1 also returned. David Nutter, who started in Season 2, continued into Season 3 – I’m impressed with his work because he often handles difficult large-scale fight scenes like the huge riot scene in “The Old Gods and the New” or the Red Wedding in Season 3. Alex Graves and Michelle MacLaren joined the show in Season 3. Also, Michelle MacLaren is the first female director on the show (for those worried about “Male Gaze” sexposition and whatnot).
At any rate, this means that Season 4 will introduce no new directors, but feature a strong group of solid past standbys. Partilarly I’ve noticed that Alik Sakharov is the one mainstay director who has been on the show during every season (well, considering his cinematography work in Season 1, which was particularly vital in the first two episodes establishing the “look” of the show).
It’s great to see Marshall back (real movie-quality director), and also good to see female director MacLaren return, don’t want to lose different perspective of a female director. Surprising that Alex Graves is flat out directing a total of four episodes next season – then again, Graves directed what were probably the best combined episodes of the season, the back-to-back “And Now His Watch is Ended” and “Kissed by Fire”. So he gave us Daenerys taking the Unsullied, the Mutiny at Craster’s Keep, several nice King’s Landing scenes with Tywin or the Small Council, John and Ygritte’s cave scene, Robb’s confrontation with and then execution of Rickard Stark, almost all of the Selyse and Shireen Baratheon scenes so far, the bulk of the Brotherhood Without Banners scenes including *the flaming-sword Beric and Sandor Clegane fight*, and also, oh yeah, *Jaime’s complete breakdown at Harrenhal*, including Roose taunting him (subtle indicating of the warped villain Roose actually is), Qyburn treating Jaime’s stump without painkillers, and *Jaime’s bathhouse confession* of why he really killed the Mad King. So yeah, Alex Graves is a rock-star director.
Past directors not returning in Season 4 are Nutter, Minahan, Taylor, Kirk, Petrarca, and Van Patten.
I miss Nutter's crowd-scenes. Minahan and Taylor were solid. Kirk's Season 1 material also set up a lot of places and the Ned/Jaime swordfight was nice; also the tournament scenes were in the episodes he directed. Petrarca only directed "Garden of Bones" and "The Ghost of Harrenhal", but "Garden" is one of the standout best episodes of season 2. He didn't direct enough episodes for me to have a strong opinion. Meanwhile, Van Patten's work was nice but he didn't return, Sakharov was heavily responsible for the camera-work in those episodes as well, and as for "directing"; the writers themselves had to exert heavy focus on the first few episodes. --The Dragon Demands (talk) 22:46, July 16, 2013 (UTC)
So far they've confirmed that Benioff & Weiss, George R.R. Martin, and Bryan Cogman are returning as writers: story editor and de facto lore-master Cogman is even getting not one but two episodes.
No word on if Vanessa Taylor is returning, though, who wrote in Season 2 and 3.
There are very few writers on this show, and the only other writers have been Vanessa Taylor and Jane Espenson.
As I've said before, I hate Scatterbrain Jane with a fiery passion, albeit this has mellowed somewhat over time...to being angry at the overall situation of Jane, not the person.
Basically I'm worried that scifi writing has become almost "celebrity culture", in which people will flock to certain "big name" writers even when they churn out crappy stuff, while ignoring new writers. Most people simply don't know who Vanessa Taylor IS because she hasn't appeared prominently in interviews or in behind-the-scenes featurettes.
In contrast, Jane Espenson will forever be a famous writer from her days working in the Whedonverse (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse, etc. which were indeed great work). So the problem of sorts is...well, particularly, this time of year is San Diego Comic Con. Jane will ALWAYS be given a seat at the main panel for Game of Thrones during Comic Con. Vanessa Taylor, in contrast, was not....she's not a "famous writer".
What I'm angry about is how Battlestar Galactica turned to crap in its final two seasons (actually, half the show) as almost half the core staff, including all of the female writers, left. They even openly admitted those female writers had written most of the female characters' parts, and boy did it show once they left.
The sort of replacement Ron Moore brought in during Season 3 was Jane Espenson. It started out as a guest stint on one episode but you could kind of tell she was saying what Ron wanted to hear. Or maybe, Ron believed in his own myth; "oh look at me, I support strong female writers"....not acknowledging the fact that he already HAD female staff writers, Anne Cofell Saunders, Carla Robinson, *Toni Graphia* (Toni was even the third co-executive producer, and story editor). All three were gone in Season 3.
Now here's the weird part: Jane didn't actually do anything wrong, to hype herself or anything. It's sort of a weird snowball effect where if you are ALREADY famous, people will pay attention to any work you're doing....even if it's awful. Consider that more people know about George Lucas' work on the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy....than small-scale indie scifi film "Primer", hailed as one of the best-written time travel scripts of the past few decades.
But Lucas didn't necessarily do anything wrong by Primer: he's Lucas, thus any project he does is "news". Similarly, Jane automatically gets seats at Comic Con, gets put in production videos. Why has there never been a production video featuring Vanessa Taylor? In Season 3, there were only FIVE writers on the show, including her.
So it became sort of an "Emperor's New Clothes" routine where everyone flocked to Jane Espenson, New BSG Writer almost as a fad....for god's sake I ran into people who *honestly didn't know* that she only joined in Season 3, and had NOTHING to do with the Peabody Award-winning first two seasons. I mean people who acted as if she...INVENTED the setting and character descriptions, the entire fictional universe.
Nor was Jane, particularly, a showboat or hypocritical braggart: she was proud of her own work, yes, and would talk about her own writing...but sort of through omission, this led to the implication that she was one of the original writers. I mean someone asks "what's it like writing the characters", Jane responds "I always try for realism" etc (something innocuous) but even unintentionally, this doesn't really point out that *Jane didn't create it*.
My opinions on Jane softened over time as I realized I was more annoyed at our celebrity-culture than at Jane herself. Also, I realized it was *Ron Moore's* fault that the core plotlines were never planned out, that there was no "Cylon Plan" and he was making it up as he went along....that was all Ron's fault. That bastard RDM even openly admitted that he was making it up -- but only when the show ended, not earlier. He knew he couldn't hide that it was made up as they went along, so he tried to "own it" - act as if his entire idea was to write "like jazz" as he put it, freeform jazz writing. George R.R. Martin thankfully wrote a scathing review of the BSG finale, saying of RDM that "God did it? I've seen Clarion students left bruised and bloody for handing in endings like that".
But the point is that in later interviews Jane gave I realize that she was just promoting herself and her own work as any writer would -- it was Ron who almost...hauled her around and presented her as a "trophy girl writer"; "look at me, I'm Progressive, I have a female staff writer"....the irony and hypocrisy of course being that he already HAD female writers, staff writers, i.e. Toni Graphia the third co-exec and story editor; who he threw under the bus under mysterious circumstances in Season 3 (that same year she came out as a lesbian at SDCC, and said she felt "pressured in the writer's room" on Ron Moore's old show Carnivale, and specified that this pressure came from the other writers themselves, not the studio, i.e. forbidding her to write lesbian characters on Carnivale because "they didn't have lesbians in the 1930's". Ron Moore has shown a very progressive attitude to having LGBT characters on other projects, so I doubt that pressure was from him....my running guess is that he got offended that Toni would badmouth his "command", his own writer's room. Sort of like...imagine you have a ship captain and his first officer. Ron is the captain. Another, female officer later comes out and says she was harassed by the first officer, but specifies the captain had nothing to do with it. Even so, the captain will *out of a sense of martial, brotherly loyalty* -- aka the Old Boys Network code of silence and honor -- fire the female officer, for daring to criticize a man under his command even when that first officer pointedly deserved to be criticized; what's most warped of all is that the captain is staunchly opposed to harassment, and should by his own value code have criticized the first officer; thus his anger is because she shamed him, brought to light his hypocrisy.
But I digress....
The point is that Jane Espenson wrote one episode of Game of Thrones, "A Golden Crown". Now, this was the first episode in which a core character actually dies, Viserys. This was the first point TV-first viewers would realize that on this show, "anyone can die". It was shocking and made a lot of buzz. Now to her credit.....Jane at every opportunity explained that the "writing process" was that they gave her a copy of the book with page numbers marked off, important bits underlined and with copious notes, and it was actually a *very rigid writing process* in which she didn't really input anything new on her own. Not that this is a bad thing; she was striving for a faithful book adaptation. But the weird thing is....people in Entertainment Weekly interviews and such would somehow assume that killing Viserys was...Jane's own idea! Even though it's blatantly a book adaptation (not even in the way True Blood is a loose "adaptation".
So the weird thing is, to this day, Jane Espenson wrote exactly one episode and is still held up as a "Game of Thrones Writer" (although, thank god, this many years on it's starting to fade), while Vanessa Taylor goes unsung and unnoticed. On a show with only FIVE writers. Yikes. --The Dragon Demands (talk) 23:11, July 16, 2013 (UTC)
Brienne in King's LandingEdit
New set videos show an upcoming scene with Margaery, Olenna, and Brienne of Tarth. That should be interesting. Without spoiling anything, Brienne simply didn't interact with Margaery and Olenna in the books once she arrived at the capital - she does have a big scene with Loras which I will be annoyed if they cut, seeing as Loras was largely sidelined in Season 3 (he was treated as a concept, a target for marriage alliance - in which case, why not just introduce his brother Willas? - but not as a character with his own feelings). Brienne and Loras interacting again made both reassess that they started out as members of Renly's Kingsguard -- I hope Brienne interacting with Margaery also brings up the fact that the Tyrells in general started out supporting Renly - they only sided with the Lannisters because Stannis would never forgive them for siding with his younger brother, and because Robb Stark foolishly had no plan whatsoever for what to do if he actually beat the Lannisters, their only real choice was to side with the Lannisters. Not that the Tyrells like the Lannisters, but just as the Lannisters bankrolled the Baratheon overthrow of the Targaryens, the Tyrells ended up bankrolling/supporting the Lannister overthrow of the Baratheons....now they're dependent on them.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 23:45, August 28, 2013 (UTC)
- Right above the cast list, it says "All regular cast members whose characters survive the events of Season 3 are expected to return for the fourth season." Bran isn't listed because we haven't gotten any formal confirmation that Bran is going to be in Season 4, although we would assume he will be there. Notice that Joffrey, Tyrion, Tywin, Jaime, Daenerys, Barristan, and Jorah are also missing. TheUnknown285 (talk) 03:24, September 4, 2013 (UTC)
For the purposes of spoiler protection and enforcing the board's spoiler policy - which overrides all other considerations on this wiki - the roles played by Octavia Alexandru and Struan Rodger should not be identified until the episodes in question have aired.--Werthead (talk) 14:15, December 1, 2013 (UTC)
Robb Stark Edit
In the teaser video that HBO showed, there is a brief image of Robb right at the end in what appears to be new footage and not a flashback. So, should we list Richard Madden/Robb Stark as appearing in Season 4? I ask because I worry there would be some confusion if we listed the character as he is dead. There's also the question of putting him under the main cast list or the recurring list as one would assume it's a minor part now. TheUnknown285 (talk) 00:21, January 3, 2014 (UTC)
- No, that is not new footage and it is not a flashback. At time 2:22 in the video , we see an image of Robb Stark, but this was just a recap/montage -- as others have pointed out at WiC, another major character died on Boardwalk Empire and they showed him too - it was an "homage" to "those we lost in 2013" as it were. More importantly, the image is the final shot from the end of the Robb-Edmure-Brynden scene in "Walk of Punishment". They're standing in Riverrun, Edmure is over Robb's shoulder to the left. It's the point when he turns to stare out the window and says that at this point Tywin Lannister can afford to simply wait them out.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 05:39, January 3, 2014 (UTC)