House of the Dragon’s Ryan Condal Comments on Miguel Sapochnik’s Exit

A few days after House of the Dragon aired its second episode last month, HBO confirmed that co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik wouldn’t be returning for season 2. Sapochnik had already proven himself to be a vital part of the Game of Thrones universe, having joined the flagship show’s directing team during its fifth season. But the ongoing prequel series marked his first time assuming a leadership role in the franchise. His exit now leaves Ryan Condal as the spinoff’s primary creative voice. Regardless, it doesn’t sound like Condal was surprised by Sapochnik’s departure.

Condal discussed House of the Dragon’s recent behind-the-scenes shakeup in a new sit-down with Entertainment Weekly. Sapochnik will still remain with the series as an executive producer. But as Condal explains, he seems to have had his fill of Targaryen drama for now.

“It was definitely in Miguel’s mind,” said Condal. “He’s definitely lived in Westeros for a really long time. I was always potentially aware that he might have just set this one season up on his feet and got the feather in his cap of doing a show that he co-ran and had a hand in the conception and casting and making of, versus the original series where he definitely became a producer at the end, was certainly I think [Thrones showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [“D.B.” Weiss]’s most trusted filmmaker, but not in the way that he participated in House of the Dragon. So it was always in the back of my mind.”

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Aside from his showrunning duties, Sapochnik also helmed House of the Dragon’s pilot episode, which attracted nearly 10 million viewers and ultimately became the most-watched series premiere in the history of HBO. However, Condal used this opportunity to plug Sapochnik’s directorial work on the series’ next two episodes as well.

“I think at the end, he felt like he had said what he had to say,” added Condal. “He’s a tremendously talented filmmaker, which is obvious from the work that everybody is seeing and will continue to see with episode [6] and 7. I think there’s lots of stories that he has left to tell. And honestly, as a fan of his, I’m excited to see where he goes next.”

The next episode of House of the Dragon airs this Sunday, October 2 on HBO.

Are you happy to hear that there’s no bad blood between Sapochnik and Condal? Let us know in the comment section below!

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