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House of the Dragon’s Matt Smith Addresses Showrunner’s Exit

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House of the Dragon’s Matt Smith Addresses Showrunner’s Exit

Matt Smith is opening up about Miguel Sapochnik’s departure as showrunner in House of the Dragon Season 2.

Sapochnik and Ryan Condal both served as showrunners for the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon. Sapochnik, who also directed several episodes of both Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, departed the show after the first season, leaving Condal to be the sole showrunner for House of the Dragon Season 2.

What did Matt Smith say about Miguel Sapochnik’s exit?

Speaking with Variety, Smith said of Sapochnik’s exit, “It’s a shame, because it had a great effect on the tone of the show, and knowing what you need to deliver. It’s kind of second-album syndrome, isn’t it? You’ve got to play the hits a bit.”

He added, “People have got to feel like they’re getting some sense of a ‘Game of Thrones’-type of show. We wish him well — but certainly, when you lose a director of that caliber, you’re going to feel it.”

While there have been rumors of friction between Sapochnik and HBO, the former showrunner released a statement in August 2022 saying it was “an honor and a privilege” to work within the Game of Thrones universe.

“I am so proud of what we accomplished with season one and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers,” he said, via The Hollywood Reporter. “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 [executive producer and director Alan Taylor] 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. 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.”

House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres on Max on June 16, 2024.