“House of the Dragon” is a huge success for HBO Max, but that wasn’t enough to keep the co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik on staff.
Sapochnik announced Wednesday that he was leaving the popular “Game of Thrones” prequel spinoff just a few days after the second episode dropped. He had previously worked on “Thrones” before scoring the leading role in the new project.
“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,” Sapochnik said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
The former showrunner went on to wish continued success to co-creator Ryan Condal and Alan Taylor, who is joining the show as a director after formerly working on “GOT” as well. “I wish Ryan and his team success and all the best with season two and beyond,” Sapochnik said.
Taylor said he was excited to join “House of the Dragon.”
“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,” he said. “Ryan, Miguel and George [R.R. Martin] 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.”
The move comes after “HOTD” made history by attracting nearly 10 million viewers on Sunday for the premiere episode, an HBO Max record. Episode two was also extremely successful and attracted even more viewers, which the publication noted was a rare feat for a new series.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Sapochnik was initially hesitant to join the “GOT” spinoff and only did so after Condal convinced him to do it. Now he’s decided to move on.
“I went through a lot of vacillating,” Sapochnik said. “Ryan and I had a long-standing relationship and we work well together and we really like each other — that was half the battle. As we got deeper into the discussions, I realized I had to s*** or get off the pot.”