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While we are all counting down the days until Game of Thrones hopefully announces a 2013 Comic Con panel, today some even more excellent news just washed ashore. Apparently, “Blackwater” director Neil Marshall will be returning to the series to helm the finale in Season 4. If you haven’t read the books, there are spoilers after this paragraph, so continue on at your own risk
Empire first reported the news, claiming an unknown person close to the show as the outlet’s source. This secretive individual has divulged some pretty important information about what the episode will entail, and since we know The Descent director is fond of action and suspense, it’s no surprise that he would want to film the finale in Season 4. Like “Blackwater,” the Season 4 finale will be battle-driven. Taking place on The Wall, the episode will feature an epic battle between the wilding crew led by Mance Rayder and the Castle Black crew, who will team up with Stannis’ dwindling army (that last bit shouldn’t come as a shock since it was teased at the very end of the season). The battle will last for several days and leave plenty of damage and lost lives in its wake, the latter of which is a pretty familiar battle trope on the series.
The last time that Marshall was signed on to direct an episode of HBO’s hit fantasy series, it was a last minute deal. However, this time around, the show seems to have signed on the man early in order to allow him the creative freedom to choose his own locations and make sure the Season 4 finale lives up to expectations. Empire is also reporting that Marshall has already flown between London and Northern Ireland on several occasions to begin mapping out his vision for The Battle of Castle Black, and while the network hasn't officially confirmed this collaboration, all of these details seem pretty legit.
“Blackwater” was one of the most compelling episodes Game of Thrones has offered viewers thus far despite being Marshall’s very first try at television. After the episode aired on HBO, Marshall has become a little more sought after as a TV director. Last fall, he signed on with Starz to direct the pilot for Black Sails, a Treasure Island prequel executive produced by Michael Bay. We’ll get to see what Marshall does with that program when Black Sails hits the schedule in January, just a few months before Game of Thrones is expected to begin airing Season 4.
Still, if Marshall is signed on for the finale, it’ll be a while before we get to The Battle of Castle Black. Those who have been keeping up with GOT news over the last year know that Season 4 will mostly be comprised of events occurring in the latter half of book 3 of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords. There’s a lot more than a battle on the Wall to look forward to, and I can’t wait for Game of Thrones to come back.
Game of Thrones is expected to return to HBO’s schedule in the spring of 2014.