Did you know that the final two episodes of this just-finished season of Game of Thrones—two of the best episodes of the series, ever—were directed by the same guy? Veteran British director Miguel Sapochnik followed up Season 5’s magnificent “Hardhome” episode with two all-timers, “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter,” to close out this season.
So Sapochnik is definitely coming back to helm some must-see Season 7 episodes, right? Or maybe the entire season singlehandedly? Nope and nope. HBO has unveiled the slate of directors for Season 7, and while there are some heavy hitters, Sapochnik is not one of them.
According to EW, Alan Taylor (back to the show for the first time since 2012), Jeremy Podeswa (who directed “Home,” Jon Snow’s resurrection episode, in Season 6) and Mark Mylod (who directed the Hound-centric “The Broken Man” this year) are all coming back for next year’s season, and they’ll be joined by newcomer Matt Shakman, who has worked on Mad Men and FX’s Fargo. Sapochnik might have been attached to Season 7 if it were to be the standard 10 episodes, but all indications suggest that next season will be seven episodes, before the show likely wraps up in 2018 with another shortened season.
So, hey, maybe Game of Thrones is saving Sapochnik for some Season 8 fireworks! In the meantime, step into the Thrones Zone with a special Back of the Class episode all about Sunday’s finale: