House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones, Miguel Sapochnik

House of the Dragon has already been renewed for a second season by HBO, but when it returns, it will be without one of its major creative influences. Miguel Sapochnik announced today via THR that he will be stepping down as showrunner of House of the Dragon, leaving co-creator Ryan Condal as the sole showrunner of the series.

Miguel Sapochnik directed a handful of episodes of Game of Thrones, including Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards. Although he’ll be leaving House of the Dragon behind, another Game of Thrones veteran will be stepping up to replace him. Alan Taylor, who directed many episodes during the first few seasons of the original show, will join the second season of House of the Dragon as a director and executive producer. In a statement about his exit, Miguel Sapochnik said:

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. 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.

Miguel Sapochnik directed the premiere of House of the Dragon, which quickly became the biggest premiere in HBO’s history. In his own statement, Alan Taylor said, “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. 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.

HBO added, “Miguel Sapochnik has done amazing work on the first season of House of the Dragon, establishing its signature look and feel. 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 the rest of the talented team.

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