House Of The Dragon co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik reportedly left the series because HBO refused to let his wife serve as a producer on the second season.
The director, who previously helmed some of the biggest episodes of Game Of Thrones, including ‘Battle Of The Bastards’, served as a showrunner on the first season of the prequel series alongside Ryan Condal. In September 2022, he announced he was stepping away from the show.
A clear reason for his departure was not given at the time, but according to a report from Puck, it was primarily due to a dispute over his wife, Alexis Raben, and her involvement in the second season.
Raben appeared in four episodes of House Of The Dragon as Tayla, a lady-in-waiting to Alicent (Olivia Cooke), and was also credited as a producer on the first season.
Sapochnik reportedly asked for her to return as a producer, but HBO refused due to her lack of experience – her only producing credit being on the first season.
The report further states that HBO had to bring in a mediator to de-escalate the dispute, with Sapochnik ultimately deciding to leave the show over the matter.
Miguel Sapochnik at the premiere for ‘House Of The Dragon’ CREDIT: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Announcing his departure from the series in September, Sapochnik said: “Working within the Thrones universe for the past few years has been an honour 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. 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 [Taylor, executive producer] 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.”
He added: “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.”
In a four-star review of the first season, NME wrote: “What is reassuring is that House Of The Dragon feels as though it is walking on solid ground: the bubbling rivalries, the jostling for power, the eruptions of violence; six episodes in, it is all coming together to create a rich stew.”