Holy Neil Marshall, ladies and gentlemen.
If you’re going to have someone direct your big, broad, totally gory Helm’s Deep knockoff Episode, it might as well be the director of Dog Soliders, The Descent and Centurion (not to mention the mastermind behind Season Two’s epic, “Blackwater”). Marshall doesn’t just get to go really HUGE (sporting what appears to be a much bigger budget than his previous set of war games), but is also tasked with delivering a reminder that Game of Thrones can actually be “fun”. Despite being mostly effective from a storytelling perspective (Jaime’s weird rapeiness aside), this season has seen probably one too many grim moments; an emotional barrage that has left a good portion of the audience (readers and non-readers alike) slightly jaded. Marshall’s injection of the fantastical (giants! wooly mammoths!) is a much-needed breath of fresh air and a welcome respite from the seemingly all-encompassing cloud of gloom that has hung over much of Season Four. (more…)