Even though Game of Thrones season 7 just wrapped up in August, it’s never too soon to start talking about the show’s next and final season for fans – and actor John Bradley, too. Bradley, who plays the character Sam Tarly in HBO’s epic fantasy series, spilled some season 8 secrets to Huffington Post this week and talked about the final season’s enormous budget, scope, and storyline.
Bradley revealed that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are bringing in the best of the best directors when it comes to season 8, pooling together all of the strongest filmmakers they’ve had from past seasons to take on the episodes for Game of Thrones’ final run. This is to include David Nutter (who directed such iconic episodes as season 3’s “The Rains of Castamere” and season 5’s “The Dance of Dragons”, amongst others) and Miguel Sapochnik (who has been responsible for the show’s most critically celebrated episodes, such as season 5’s “Hardhome” and season 6’s “Battle of the Bastards” and finale episode).
“We assembled a team of directors this year who have been in charge of some of our big episodes in the past,” Bradley said. “Miguel and David have done some of the standout episodes of previous seasons. Clearly every single episode of the six you’ve got left in Season 8 is gonna be monumental and needs somebody at the helm who’s done that kind of high-stakes, high-octane direction before for us.”
However, it will be Benioff and Weiss themselves who will direct the very last Game of Thrones episode. It’s a move that Bradley labels “poetic”, with the actor going on to say, “They know everything about the show. …They deserve to finish this show off in the way they see fit. I don’t think there’s anybody better qualified.”
The last season of Game of Thrones is rumored to be hugely expensive for HBO, with each individual episode clocking in at a possible $15 million budget. But Bradley says there’s a reason for this. The actor explained, “I think what we used to call Episode 9 in ‘Game of Thrones’ folklore – the episode when everything comes to a head and you get a lot of spectacular sequences – I think you’re gonna get six ‘Episode 9s’ this year.”
It might be hard to imagine sequences even larger and more impressive than those that came with season 7, but Game of Thrones is a show that outdoes itself in one form or another with each installment. According to Bradley, the minds behind HBO’s huge hit are going to make sure their show goes out with a bang.
Game of Thrones season 8 begins shooting this month and is expected to air some time in late 2018.