Variety has learned exclusively that Miguel Sapochnik, co-showrunner, executive producer, and director of the HBO series “House of the Dragon,” will be leaving the show before the second season begins. The prequel series was revived for a second season shortly after its debut.
Even though Ryan Condal has taken over as sole showrunner, Sapochnik will still be recognized as an executive producer on the popular prequel series. Sapochnik has also signed a first-look deal with HBO to create content for the premium cable channel.
Before joining “House of the Dragon,” Sapochnik directed several highly regarded episodes of “Game of Thrones,” including “Hardhome” and “The Battle of the Bastards,” and he was instrumental in creating the prequel series. Alan Taylor, who also previously worked on “Game of Thrones,” has joined the cast of “House of the Dragon” as a director and executive producer for the upcoming second season.
“Working within the Game of Thrones 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. “Working within the GOT universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege.”
“I am pleased by the positive response from our audience, and I cannot express how proud I am of what we were able to accomplish in Season One. The decision to move on was not an easy one for me to make, but I am confident that it is the best one for me in the long run, both emotionally and professionally.
While I am doing this, though, it brings me a great deal of solace to know that Alan will be joining the series. Because he is an individual that I have known and admired for a considerable amount of time, I am confident that this priceless series could not possibly be in safer hands.
I am so happy to continue to be a part of the “House of the Dragon” family on HBO, and of course, I wish Ryan and his team the best of luck and success with Season Two and beyond. There were just under 10 million viewers who tuned in across all platforms to watch the launch of “House of the Dragon,” making it the most successful premiere in the history of HBO.
This episode was directed by Sapochnik. According to HBO, after more than a week of playback, the total number of viewers has increased to 25 million. The second episode expanded on the foundation laid in the first, drawing 10.2 million viewers on Sunday night.
HBO said Miguel Sapochnik did excellent work on the first season of “House of the Dragon,” establishing the show’s trademark look and feel. Without him, there is no way that this series could have been put together in the way that it was.
We had hoped that Miguel would be able to continue in his previous function, but we are happy to have his continuous involvement in this newly created creative capacity instead. Regarding the future, we have maintained a relationship with Alan Taylor spanning several decades. We are overjoyed that he will work alongside Ryan and the rest of the outstanding team.
While everything was going on, Taylor was directing episodes of “Game of Thrones,” such as the season finale and the debut of the second season. He has been associated with HBO for a very long time, and his directorial credits include such popular shows as “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “Six Feet Under,” “Oz,” “Deadwood,” “Rome,” “Big Love,” and “Boardwalk Empire.”
He also has a lengthy history of working for the network. In addition, he directed the “Sopranos” prequel movie “The Many Saints of Newark,” released not too long ago. Taylor has stated that it is both a joy and an honor to return to HBO and that she is looking forward to becoming immersed in the realm of the Targaryens.
“As ‘House of the Dragon’ moves into its second season, I am excited to continue our collaborative efforts with Ryan. Ryan, Miguel, and George have begun writing an astonishing novel that takes place in a world that is both rich and exciting. Returning to Westeros will be a significant task, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity. The news of Sapochnik’s departure was initially reported by The Hollywood Reporter.