Sapochnik Out, Alan Taylor in for House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon SDCC panel, including Sapochnik, Condal, and Martin

Miguel Sapochnik, who directed many of the best episodes of Game of Thrones (‘Hardhome,’ ‘Battle of the Bastards’) will not be returning for the second season of House of the Dragon.

Sapochnik has long been a fan favorite director in the Game of Thrones fandom. While he was responsible for the episode ‘The Long Night,’ which received some complaints for lighting issues, the vast majority of his episodes have been highly praised. ‘Hardhome,’ in particular, was noted for its quality. Here we are seven years later, that remains my favorite episode of the entire series. 

News of his departure as showrunner is pretty crushing for a fan like me. I’ve loved his work immensely. He will, however, remain an Executive Producer for the series, so thankfully he’ll still be in the show’s orbit. Hopefully, he can still be pulled in to direct some episodes, too. What can I say? I’m a Sapochnik fan. I’m going to miss the guy.

His replacement for directing, Alan Taylor, did a lot of work in the first two seasons of Game of Thrones. He directed the last two episodes of the first season – ‘Baelor’ and ‘Fire and Blood’ – as well as the first two episodes of season two – ‘The North Remembers’ and ‘The Night Lands.’ Baelor was an absolutely crucial episode and he nailed it, so hopefully, this bodes well for House of the Dragon.

While Taylor is being brought on to direct for the second season, he hasn’t been named as a showrunner, like Sapochnik was. This will leave Ryan Condal as the only showrunner for the series. He works incredibly close with George RR Martin, so hopefully, this means the show will remain as good as it is now. I think we’ve all learned from the finale of Game of Thrones that the quality of everything else doesn’t matter in the face of bad writing. So far the writing for this has been fantastic.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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