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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Isobel Lewis

House of the Dragon star Steve Toussaint ‘gutted’ by showrunner Miguel Sapochnik’s departure


House of the Dragon star Steve Toussaint has said that he is “gutted” that showrunner Miguel Sapochnik is leaving the show after just one season.

The filmmaker, who directed many fan-favourite episodes of Game of Thrones such as “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter”, announced last week that he would not be returning to the prequel series for season two.

Co-creator Ryan Condal will now serve as the show’s sole showrunner.

Appearing on EW’s West of Westeros podcast, Toussaint, who plays Lord Corlys Velaryon in the spin-off series, said that he had been left “shocked” and “disappointed” by the news.

“We have this English phrase, ‘gutted’, and I was like, ‘Oh no,’” he explained.

“Ryan rang me, because I’ve been shooting something in Belgium. And so, I got a call from Ryan one night, just saying, ‘Listen, this is about to break. I want you to know what’s happening and everything’s going to be fine,’ and so forth. And, ‘It’s Miguel’s decision.’ So I was disappointed.”

However, Toussaint said that Sapochnik had been extremely busy with House of the Dragon, adding that he understood why he was taking a break.

Miguel Sapochnik (Getty Images)

“It was full-on with him, because he was constant,” he explained. “Of course, he had to direct and do his own bits, obviously his own episodes. And then, of course, he has to overlook the whole thing, make sure the look is still in line with the whole story. I think they’re still right now cutting the last couple of episodes. So it’s a huge amount. So I understand.”

In his initial departure statement, 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.”

Steve Toussaint in ‘House of the Dragon' (HBO)

In its own statement, HBO responded to the news, writing: “Miguel Sapochnik has done amazing work on the first season of House of the Dragon, establishing its signature look and feel. This series simply could not have come together the way it did without him.”

Monday (5 September)’s episode of House of the Dragon introduced a mysterious new character with a connection to Game of Thrones.

You can read The Independent’s recap of episode three here.

House of the Dragon continues in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 2am, before repeating at 9pm later that day.

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