House of the Dragon co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik is stepping down. As per The Hollywood Reporter, Sapochnik, the co-creator and director of the first HBO Game of Thrones prequel series, is exiting the show. Starting with House of the Dragon season 2, Sapochnik will be credited as the executive producer, with fellow showrunner Ryan J. Condal taking the sole reigns on House of the Dragon. Sapochnik has also entered into a first-look deal with HBO to create new projects, after toiling for three years on House of the Dragon.
“Working within the Thrones universe for the past few years has been an honour and a privilege, especially spending the last two with the amazing cast and crew of House of the Dragon,” said Sapochnik in a prepared 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.”
Alan Taylor — known for his work on Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World — will be joining Condal, to direct House of the Dragon, season 2 onwards. The filmmaker has maintained a decades-long relationship with HBO and Warner Bros., more recently directing The Many Saints of Newark, a spin-off sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Sopranos TV series, available on Disney+ Hotstar.
“It’s a pleasure and an honour 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. Ryan, Miguel, and George have launched an extraordinary story, in a rich and fascinating world,” said Taylor. He previously helmed some early episodes in the Game of Thrones TV series, including season 1’s “Baelor” and “Fire and Blood.”
The move comes in the wake of House of the Dragon premiere gaining 25 million views within the first week of release, setting an HBO record for a series opener. Last week, the Game of Thrones prequel got an early renewal for season 2.
As stated earlier, Sapochnik has entered into a new deal with the studio and will be focussing on new projects for the premium US cable TV network. He is best known for directing fan-favourite GoT episodes namely season 5’s “Hardhome” and season 6’s “The Battle of the Bastards.” Going forward, Condal and Taylor will work closely with author George R.R. Martin.
Earlier this week, HBO released an episode 3 preview for House of the Dragon. As you would expect, it features yet another time jump, with the newly-wed King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) having their child Aegon. The House of the Dragon episode 3 trailer also introduced the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith), a prince admiral notorious for nailing his enemies to spikes and feeding them to crabs.
New House of the Dragon episodes air every Monday at 6:30am IST on Disney+ Hotstar in India, and Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO Max wherever available. Season one consists of 10 episodes.