House of the Dragon Co-Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik Steps Down Ahead of Season 2

“House of the Dragon” co-showrunner, executive producer, and director Miguel Sapochnik is exiting the HBO series ahead of its second season, Variety has confirmed.

The show, a prequel to HBO’s megahit “Game of Thrones,” was renewed for Season 2 shortly after it premiered.

Sapochnik will continue to be credited as an executive producer on the hit prequel series, but his fellow co-showrunner Ryan Condal will now be the sole showrunner. In addition, Sapochnik has entered into a first-look deal with HBO to develop new projects with the premium cabler.

Sapochnik directed multiple acclaimed episodes of “Game of Thrones” prior to joining “House of the Dragon,” including “Hardhome” and “The Battle of the Bastards,” before helping to develop the prequel series. Fellow “Game of Thrones” alum Alan Taylor has now boarded “House of the Dragon” to work as a director and executive producer for the second season.

“Working within the GOT universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, especially spending the last two with the amazing cast and crew of ‘House of the Dragon,’” Sapochnik said in a statement. “I am so proud of what we accomplished with Season One and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers. It was incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally. As I do so, though, I am deeply comforted to know that Alan will be joining the series. He’s someone I’ve known and respected for a long time, and I believe this precious series could not be in safer hands. I am so glad to remain a part of the HBO and ‘House of the Dragon’ family and, of course, I wish Ryan and his team success and all the best with Season Two and beyond.”

“House of the Dragon” enjoyed the biggest premiere in HBO history with just under 10 million viewers tuning in across all platforms. Sapochnik directed the episode. Per HBO, that number has risen to 25 million following more than a week of playback. Episode 2 built on the premiere, with 10.2 people tuning in on Sunday night.

“Miguel Sapochnik has done amazing work on the first season of ‘House of the Dragon,’ establishing its signature look and feel,” HBO said in a statement. “This series simply could not have come together the way it did without him. While we would have loved to have Miguel continue in the same role, we are thrilled to have his ongoing collaboration in this new creative capacity. Looking forward, we’ve had a decades-long relationship with Alan Taylor, and we are delighted to have him join Ryan and rest the talented team.”

Taylor, meanwhile, directed episodes of “Game of Thrones” like the Season 1 finale and the Season 2 premiere. He has longstanding ties with HBO, with directing credits on other hit series like “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “Six Feet Under,” “Oz,” “Deadwood,” “Rome,” “Big Love,” and “Boardwalk Empire.” He also recently directed the “Sopranos” prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark.”

“It’s a pleasure and an honor to be back at HBO, immersing myself in the world of the Targaryens,” Taylor said. “I look forward to working closely with Ryan as ‘House of the Dragon’ grows into its second season. Ryan, Miguel and George have launched an extraordinary story, in a rich and fascinating world. Returning to Westeros will be a huge undertaking and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news of Sapochnik’s exit.

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