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House of the Dragon Loses Game of Thrones Director Before Season 2

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HBO’s lauded Game of Thrones spin-off series House of the Dragon has lost a major player before season two has even started production.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Westeros veteran Miquel Sapochnik is stepping down from his position as co-showrunner of House of the Dragon and leaving the spin-off series entirely. The decision comes after the director spent the last three years working on House of the Dragon.

The show’s co-creator Ryan Condal will now serve as the sole showrunner going forward and will continue to work closely with co-creator George R R Martin, who wrote the book Fire and Blood that the show is based on.

HBO

Sapochnik has signed a first-look deal with HBO for future projects, however, and will remain an executive producer for the rest of the show’s run. Sapochnik directed the pilot episode of House of the Dragon after he served as a producer and director on Thrones.

Notably, Sapochnik directed the third and fifth episodes of season eight of Thrones, titled The Long Night and The Bells, respectively. He also directed the acclaimed final two episodes of season six (Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter) as well as season five episodes The Gift and Hardhome.

In a statement, Sapochnik said: “Working within the 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. I am so proud of what we accomplished with season one and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers.”

He continued: “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.”

However, while House of the Dragon loses Sapochnik, the show is gaining fellow Thrones veteran Alan Taylor, who is returning to the world of Westeros as a director for the spin-off’s second season.

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HBO

Taylor previously directed seven episodes of Thrones, including season one’s final two episodes (Baelor and Fire and Blood) and season seven’s sixth episode, Beyond the Wall. Taylor also directed the MCU’s Thor: The Dark World.

House of the Dragon has been met with critical acclaim so far. while it’s received huge TV ratings as well, making it a mammoth hit for HBO.

House of the Dragon airs on Sundays on HBO, and on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK. Season 2 has been confirmed. Game of Thrones seasons 1-8 are available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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