Every season of 'Game of Thrones' so far has come to a head with the ninth and penultimate episode of the season. Season 1 had the protagonist-killing antics of "Baelor," season 2 gave us the brilliant spectacle of "Blackwater," and this year's season 3 featured the Red Wedding of "The Rains of Castamere."
Of course, those who have read 'A Storm of Swords,' upon which seasons 3 and 4 are based, know that season 4 will, as a rule, be more intense throughout. Episode 9 won't be the only jaw-dropping, head-exploding outing of the year (we'll be getting at least three of those in season 4) -- but it will feature some epic scenes nonetheless. We know this because HBO has hired Neil Marshall to direct season 4, episode 9, according to a recent announcement.
Does this mean that there's a massive battle headed for episode 9? Fans of the book know that there is a big one coming up, but it's still uncertain just how the show's writers plan to structure the season.
Marshall has only helmed one episode of 'Game of Thrones' previously, and that season 2's "Blackwater." He's known for his films, such as the horror flick 'The Descent' and period piece 'Centurion.'
No word yet if Alan Taylor, the director of episodes like "Baelor" and "Valar Morghulis," will be returning for the fourth season. Taylor took the third season off to direct the upcoming superhero film 'Thor: The Dark World.'
'Game of Thrones' season 4 is slated for a spring 2014 premiere.