Briefing

Everything we know about House of the Dragon season 2 so far

House of the Dragon's first season ended with a bang, and the wait to see the fallout has already been excruciating. When will the hit series return, and what might be in store when it does? Here are all of the tidbits we've learned about season two so far: 

It's expected to debut in 2024

Let's cut to the chase: How long do we have to wait for House of the Dragon to come back? We regret to inform you it will be quite some time, as the show isn't expected to return next year. 

"Don't expect it in '23, but I think sometime in '24," HBO Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys told Vulture

Whether that means early 2024 or late 2024 isn't yet clear. But showrunner Ryan Condal said in an interview with Westeros.org published in September 2022 that making the next season will be "the next two years of my life," and he told Variety season two will begin shooting in early 2023. For reference, season one started production in April 2021 and was on the air in August 2022. 

So if season two can begin production in, for example, February or March 2023, it would be reasonable to expect it on the air around June or July 2024. In a conversation with Penguin Random House, author and executive producer George R.R. Martin said it's possible the show could return "in like April or May instead of August" of 2024, but "I don't think it's much chance it's going to be before that," he added. Bloys also confirmed to Vulture it's unlikely any of the other planned Thrones spinoffs will premiere before House of the Dragon season two. 

Thankfully, the House of the Dragon writers are already hard at work, and Condal noted to Variety that season two was being written "long before they ever announced it" while in post-production of season one. HBO officially renewed the show for a second season in August 2022.

If you're impatient to find out what happens next, though, you can always pick up the source material, George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, and start reading around the chapters titled "The Dying of the Dragons" about 440 pages in — or you can watch the Game of Thrones episode "And Now His Watch Is Ended," in which Joffrey flat out gives away how House of the Dragon ends. Spoiler alert, dude!  

There will be no recastings or major time jumps

Perhaps the number one complaint about House of the Dragon's first season was that the time jumps and recastings could get disorienting, and almost 30 years of history was covered in just 10 episodes. But that was mainly because the show was speeding toward the start of the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which is about to officially get underway following the death of Rhaenyra's (Emma D'Arcy) son Luke (Elliot Grihault). 

So showrunner Ryan Condal told Deadline, "As a reward to our wonderful audience for following us through all the time jumps and recasts, they are done. We tell the story in real-time from here forward. The actors are playing these characters until the end. We're not recasting anybody. We're not making any huge jumps forward in time." Expect the pacing in season two to be more akin to the original Game of Thrones, with little if any time passing between each episode. 

Some fans have wondered whether Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who played the young versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent in the first five episodes, could return via flashbacks in season two. Condal told Variety this is "not a thing that we're doing right now" as they plan season two, though he added he's "not closing the door on anything." 

It will have an expanded scope

Compared to Game of Thrones, which was constantly jumping around Westeros and elsewhere, House of the Dragon has been fairly contained so far, with much of the story taking place within King's Landing. But now that a war is underway, and Rhaenyra and Aegon are seeking allies from around the realm, this will change for season two. 

"A war is coming that requires allegiances from different kingdoms and armies all over the map of Westeros," Condal told Variety. "I don't think we're going to get quite as vast as the original Game of Thrones did in its final analysis. But there are definitely many more new worlds to come, and new worlds that you haven't necessarily seen in the original show, either." 

Next season should, for example, take us back to Winterfell for the first time since Game of Thrones, as that's where Rhaenyra's oldest son, Jace, was sent at the end of season one. Condal confirmed to Variety that "we will cast Cregan Stark at some point," referring to the lord of Winterfell. Indeed, it wouldn't be surprising if Jace's trip to Winterfell to secure the allegiance of the Starks, which is occurring at the same time as Luke's death in Storm's End, is the first scene of season two. Martin also noted while speaking to Penguin Random House that we'll be headed to Harrenhal and the Riverlands next season. In the season one finale, Daemon (Matt Smith) said he planned to take Harrenhal and would head to the Riverlands to meet with Grover Tully, lord of Riverrun. 

"More families and dragons will come into it," Martin said. "It just gets bigger." 

That being said, Condal noted to Variety that King's Landing, Dragonstone, and Driftmark will still be the "home bases for the show" going forward. But overall, Condal told Entertainment Weekly that season two will feel "much more like a middle season — seasons 3-6 of Game of Thrones — in terms of its scope and breadth and the number of characters," and it will be more of an "ensemble piece" than season one. 

There will be more spectacle 

There was really only one major battle sequence in House of the Dragon's first season: Daemon's fight against the Crabfeeder in the third episode. But that will naturally change now that a war is underway.

Speaking with The Times (via Deadline), Condal promised "we will get to the spectacle," adding that season two "will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones." But he argued the pacing of the first season was necessary so this spectacle will feel "earned," and viewers had to "understand these people's complexities before they're thrown into war." 

Condal also said there will be "natural pathways into moments of levity" in season two after some fans complained about a lack of comic relief in the first season, mainly due to the absence of a character like Tyrion Lannister.

One of the showrunners isn't returning 

Shortly after the series premiere, co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik announced he was stepping down from that role. He directed some iconic episodes of Game of Thrones, including "Battle of the Bastards." He also directed the House of the Dragon pilot, as well as the sixth and seventh episodes. 

Sapochnik said it was "incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally," though he'll remain an executive producer. 

For season two, Condal, who wrote or co-wrote four episodes of the first season including the premiere and finale, will serve as sole showrunner. But one new addition will be Alan Taylor, who's set to direct multiple episodes and serve as executive producer. He previously directed episodes of Thrones, including the finales of seasons one and two, but didn't work on House of the Dragon's first season. 

It might be followed by only 2 more seasons

The story House of the Dragon is telling, the battle between Rhaenyra and Aegon for the Iron Throne, is relatively finite, so season two may actually mark its halfway point. 

George R.R. Martin, in fact, said on his blog he expects telling the story of the Dance of the Dragons to "take four full seasons of 10 episodes." Then again, Martin famously wanted Game of Thrones to last 10 seasons rather than eight, so it remains to be seen if he gets his way. 

But Martin's Fire & Blood chronicles the history of House Targaryen for nearly 800 pages, and a second volume is planned. So it's possible future seasons beyond four could tell more stories about the Targaryens, either before or after the Dance of the Dragons. 

"The show is called House of the Dragon, it's not called The Dance of the Dragons," Condal told Westeros.org. "It's about the Targaryen dynasty in all of its forms, it's about the Targaryen house, really, and I think there's many fascinating periods of history to be told there." 

He cited Aegon the Conqueror's conquest of Westeros, which occurred about 100 years before the start of House of the Dragon, as one event that would be "fascinating" to explore. 

Thankfully, though, Martin has already chronicled the entire Dance of the Dragons in the book, so House of the Dragon won't run into the same issue as Game of Thrones, which eventually ran out of source material. 

We'll likely see a missing book character

Turn away now if you don't want a very light spoiler from the book. But in Fire & Blood, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) actually has a fourth child with Viserys named Daeron, who never appeared in season one, nor was he mentioned. He's their youngest son, and he should be about 15 by the end of the first season. But fans just assumed House of the Dragon must have written him out and given his plot points to other characters. After all, it would be awkward to suddenly reveal next season Alicent has had another kid and it's just never come up. 

Well, that may be exactly what the plan is. On his blog, George R.R. Martin confirmed Daeron exists in the world of House of the Dragon, and "we just did not have the time to work him in this season." Condal also told Variety that Daeron has been "warded off at Oldtown to Hobert Hightower," Otto's (Rhys Ifans) brother, and that's why we haven't seen him. "When he is relevant to be mentioned — and he will be — he will be mentioned," Condal added. The casting of Daeron hasn't been revealed. 

So while the time jumps may be over, the feeling of "wait, who the heck is this character?" isn't going anywhere.

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