No one does family drama like Game of Thrones, but we never expected it to happen behind the scenes on the prequel series House of the Dragon.
Following the premiere of House of the Dragon, which was an immediate success, HBO announced that co-showrunner and director Miguel Sapochnik would be stepping down. At the time Sapochnik said: “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.”
However, it turns out that may not have been the whole story.
Puck reports Sapochnik left the show after a “protracted standoff” over his wife Alexis Raben‘s participation and her role in the show. Raben served as one of the show’s producers and appeared in several episodes in Season 1 as the queen’s lady-in-waiting.
The news outlet says Sapochnik asked HBO to add Raben as a producer to the team for Season 2, but the network refused the request because of her inexperience.
Things reported got so heated that HBO hired a mediator to resolve the conflict with Sapochnik. Still, in the end, he decided that the situation had become untenable and quit the show, forgoing a sizeable sum of money in the process and switching agencies to CAA with his wife.
At the time, he had also signed a first-look agreement with HBO to create new projects, but Puck reports those projects may not happen due to the tension.
Sapochnik’s departure left co-creator Ryan Condal as the sole showrunner. Additionally, Game of Thrones veteran Alan Taylor has been brought on board to act as executive producer and to helm several episodes in Season 2.