After only six episodes, the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon has already lost one of its showrunners. 

HBO’s new series has had a fantastic run so far, with all episodes meeting critical acclaim. However, Miguel Sapochnik has announced he won’t be returning as showrunner or director for season 2. 

Speaking with EW, co-showrunner Ryan Condel said “it was definitely in Miguel’s mind.”

“He’s lived in Westeros for a really long time,” he continued. “I was always potentially aware that he might have just set this one season up on its 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.” 

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“He felt like he had said what he had to say… I think there’s lots of stories that he has left to tell. And honestly, as a fan I’m excited to see where he goes next.”

Sapochnik will stay on as executive producer for season 2 of House of the Dragon, but will not direct any of the episodes. 

Series star Steve Toussaint shared his disappointment, saying “I understand, for the good of his health, he’s got to take a long break and recharge himself and decide what else he wants to do next to that… I think the world’s his oyster, because he is incredibly talented.”

“Working with the Thrones’ universe for the past few years has been an honour and a privilege,” said Sapochnik. “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.”

Episode six of House of the Dragon was directed by Sapochnik and premiered to a raving reception. 

Check out the trailer for episode six!

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