Everything we know about Game of Thrones season 6

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Game of Thrones, but as more and more details leak out it’s getting harder to keep track of what we do know. So we’ve put together a handy guide of everything we know about Game of Thrones Season 6 so far, from casting updates to plot rumors and more.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Details

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Margaery

When Will Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere?

While HBO has yet to announce a Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere date, the first five seasons debuted between late March and mid-April, so Season 6 likely will too. Shooting on Game of Thrones Season 6 began in July in Northern Ireland and Spain, and will continue until late this year.

Game of Thrones - Hardhome

Who’s Directing Game of Thrones Season 6?

As we reported back in June, Game of Thrones has already revealed its list of directors for Season 6:

Episodes 1 and 2 will be directed by Jeremy Podeswa, who helmed Season 5’s “Kill the Boy” and “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.” His other credits include episodes of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Showtime’s The Tudors.

Episodes 3 and 4 will be directed by Daniel Sackheim. He’s new to Game of Thrones but has plenty of directing experience on other shows like FX’s The Americans and Fox’s Lie to MeHouse, and The X-Files.

Episodes 5 and 6 will be directed by Jack Bender, another Thrones newbie with a long list of non-Thrones credits. He’s probably best known for his work on Lost, of which he directed 38 episodes. He’s also worked on Under the DomeThe Sopranos, and Alias.

Episodes 7 and 8 will be directed by Mark Mylod, who directed “High Sparrow” and “Sons of the Harpy” in Season 5. He was a regular behind the camera on HBO’s Entourage (23 episodes) and Showtime’s Shameless (11 episodes).

Episodes 9 and 10 will be directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who gave us Season 5’s “The Gift” and “Hardhome.” You might remember the latter as the one with the massive wight attack, and Game of Thrones traditionally goes big for the ninth episode of this season.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Tyrion in Meereen

Who’s Writing Game of Thrones Season 6?

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will return, naturally. In addition, Bryan Cogman, who has written seven episodes including Season 5’s “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” has confirmed he’ll pen two scripts for Season 6.

Meanwhile, author George R.R. Martin, who wrote one episode for each of the first four seasons, will not contribute a script in Season 6. The tl;dr version is that he’s too busy writing A Song of Ice and Fire Book 6, The Winds of Winter. But if you want Martin’s explanation in his own words, here you go:

Speaking of which… after wrestling with it for a month or so, I’ve decided not to script an episode for season six of GAME OF THRONES. Writing a script takes me three weeks, minimum, and longer when it is not a straight adaptation from the novels. And really, it would cost me more time than that, since I have never been good at changing gears from one medium to another and back again. Writing a season six script would cost me a month’s work on WINDS, and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that. With David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bryan Cogman on board, the scriptwriting chores for season six should be well covered. My energies are best devoted to WINDS.

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Cersei
So When Does A Song of Ice and Fire Book 6 Come Out, Anyway?

Good question. George R.R. Martin said this spring that he’d like The Winds of Winter to come out before Game of Thrones Season 6 premieres, presumably to avoid having the show start spoiling the books. More recently, though, he’s changed his tune a bit:

There was a period where I was worried about that. Then I said, to hell with that. Worrying about it isn’t going to change it one way or another. I still sit down at the typewriter, and I have to write the next scene and the next sentence … I’m just going to tell my story, and they’re telling their story and adapting my books, and we shall see.

The one thing he can say for sure is that he doesn’t want to publicly announce a timeline. “Don’t ask me when the book is going to be done — I’ll ask my minions to lop your head off,” he joked.

But Martin’s Spanish publisher may have spilled the beans. Editor Alejo Cuervo told a radio station that he expects The Winds of Winter to hit in 2016 “for sure… unless a meteorite falls.”

Game of Thrones Season 5 Theon and Sansa

How Many Seasons of Game of Thrones Are Left?

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said they envision Game of Thrones ending after Season 7, and the main cast is signed on through Season 7. HBO, on the other hand, wouldn’t mind if the show stuck around through Season 10.

As of now, it looks like the most realistic guess is eight. Benioff and Weiss have conceded that eight seasons is a possibility, and HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo has also said eight seasons seems likely. In any case, we are definitely past the halfway point of the series.

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