Actor Miguel Sapochnik, Quits House of Dragon

HBO Max’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon has lost one in all its showrunners, though has additionally received a new director for its upcoming second season.

House of the Dragon co-showrunner and director Miguel Sapochnik is stepping down from the series — much less than weeks after its HBO Max debut on Aug. 21. Ryan Condal will now serve as the Game of Thrones prequel’s sole showrunner, and could continue to work intently with A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R. R. Martin, who co-created House of the Dragon with Condal.

Sources say Sapochnik’s departure comes right all the way down to exhaustion, with the filmmaker having spent 3 years operating to convey House of the Dragon to life. Despite exiting the Game of Thrones prequel as co-showrunner, however, Sapochnik has inked a first-look deal with HBO to increase new projects. He may also stay connected to House of the Dragon as an executive producer.

Meanwhile, House of the Dragon has observed a new crew member in the form of Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, who’s set to direct “multiple” episodes of the prequel’s upcoming second season, in addition to serve as an executive producer. Taylor formerly helmed seven episodes of Game of Thrones — which initially aired on HBO from 2011 to 2019 — and is credited with supporting to form the fantasy series’ directorial style.

Taylor directed the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones Season 1, “Baelor,” in addition to the season finale, “Fire and Blood.” He was most prolific during Season 2, helming the season premiere, “The North Remembers,” as well as “The Night Lands,” “The Prince of Winterfell” and the season finale, “Valar Morghulis.” Taylor later directed the Season 7 episode “Beyond the Wall.”

House of the Dragon Loses a Showrunner, Gains a Director

“Working in the Thrones universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, specifically spending the final with the amazing cast and crew of House of the Dragon,” Sapochnik stated in a statement. “I am so proud of what we accomplished with Season 1 and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers. It was incredibly difficult 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 crew success and all the best with Season 2 and beyond.”

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

“Miguel Sapochnik has executed amazing work on the first season of House of the Dragon, establishing its signature look and feel,” HBO stated in a statement of its own. “This series simply could not have come together the way it did without him. While we’d have cherished to have Miguel hold in the same role, we’re pleased to have his ongoing collaboration in this new innovative capacity. Looking forward, we’ve had a decades-long relationship with Alan Taylor, and we’re delighted to have him be part of Ryan and relaxation the talented crew.”

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