House of the Dragon's Ryan Condal talks Miguel Sapochnik stepping down as co-showrunner

Viserys in House of the Dragon episode 5
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon's Ryan Condal has shared his thoughts on his fellow co-creator Miguel Sapochnik stepping down as co-showrunner ahead of season 2. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Condol noted how Sapochnik "lived in Westeros for a really long time", having produced and directed six episodes of Game of Thrones, including fan favorites 'Battle of the Bastards' and 'Winds of Winter'. 

He also said that he always knew Sapochnik – who helmed House of the Dragon's 'The Princess and the Queen', 'Driftmark', and its opener 'The Heirs of the Dragon', which pulled in 25 million viewers – was likely to shift his responsibilities as the spin-off grew into a long-term thing.

"It was definitely in Miguel's mind," Condal told the publication. "I was 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 [Game of 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.

"I think at the end, he felt like he had said what he had to say," he continued. "He's a tremendously talented filmmaker, which is obvious from the work that everybody is seeing and will continue to see with episode 5 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."

Addressing his "departure" in late August, Sapochnik described the decision as "incredibly difficult". The statement continued: "Working within the Thrones universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally. I am so proud of what we accomplished with season one and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers."

In season 2, which was confirmed five days after its super successful premiere, Alan Taylor will step in as director, as well as executive producer. Taylor previously helmed six episodes in Game of Thrones first two seasons, before returning to direct season 7's 'Beyond the Wall' in 2017.

House of the Dragon is set to continue on Sunday, October 2 on HBO in the US, and the following day on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK. To ensure you never miss an episode, keep up to date with our House of the Dragon release schedule.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.