We've been waiting to return to Westeros for House of the Dragon season 2 for some time, but we've just had our first glimpse at the Targaryen Civil War's next chapter.
House of the Dragon season 1 delivered everything Thrones and fantasy fans could want from the show: politicking, brutal deaths, tense rivalries, and fearsome dragons.
Having met our main stars and witnessed friendships being broken and scraps being fought, the stage is now properly set for a bloody conflict. When the Game of Thrones prequel series returns, the Dance of the Dragons will truly take flight and the impending Targaryen civil war will begin to blaze across the lands.
Thrones creator George R. R. Martin has already seen rough cuts of the first two episodes, and it sounds like we're in for a huge treat when the series returns.
"I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work... but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. And they are not even finished yet", he said. "Dark, mind you. Very dark. They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did). Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart-rending. Just the sort of thing I like." (quotes via Deadline).
Below you'll find all the info we've so far on House of the Dragon season 2, including when we expect the new season to air, the latest casting news, and a new teaser trailer...
House of the Dragon season 2 release date
As of our most recent update, we know that House of the Dragon season 2 will be coming our way at some point in summer 2024. When we get a more precise release date, we'll be sure to include it here. If you need a refresher, In the meantime, you can stream the first full season on Max and the Sky TV streaming service NOW in the UK.
HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys previously made it clear that 2024 would be the first time we'd see more from the Targaryens. In 2022, Bloys told Vulture: "We're just starting to put the plan together, and just like last time, there are so many unknowns. It's not to be coy or secretive, but you don't want to say it's going to be ready on this date and then you have to move it", later adding "Don't expect it in 2023, but I think sometime in '24".
Production on House of the Dragon season 2 got underway in the UK in April 2023. At the time, co-creator and showrunner Ryan Condal said: "House of the Dragon has returned. We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera.
All your favourite characters will soon be conspiring at the council tables, marching with their armies, and riding their dragons into battle. We can't wait to share what we have in store.”
Tomorrow.The first look at #HOTDS2 is coming with fire and blood. #HOTDnaCCXP pic.twitter.com/Yknlfh5T6ZDecember 1, 2023
How many episodes will House of the Dragon season 2 have?
Deadline has reported that House of the Dragon season 2 will be a shorter season than the first.
According to their report, we'll only be getting eight episodes in the show's sophomore season which is 'part of a long-term plan for the show which includes HBO mulling a green light for a third season'. The article goes on to say that an HBO spokesperson confirmed the eight-episode plan and stressed their reasoning was 'story-driven'.
What will happen in House of the Dragon season 2?
*spoilers ahead for the first season*
As things stand, we have a pretty solid idea of where House of the Dragon will go next. King Viserys' death late in the season saw Alicent misinterpreting his final wish to see Aegon II take the throne. From then, battle lines started being drawn. Following the first major death in the season one finale, we expect the war between the Blacks and the Greens (Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower's allies, respectively) to kick off in full force.
Rhaenyra was attempting to stave off the fight in the season finale, intent instead on securing the support of Houses Baratheon and Arryn and the Riverlands. She sent her sons off as ambassadors, though Lucerys never managed to complete his mission. Despite making Lucerys and Jacaerys swear they would not participate in any fighting, Lucerys still met with a terrible fate at the hands of Aemond Targaryen and his dragon, Vhagar.
At Storm's End, the seat of House Baratheon, Lucerys crossed paths with Aemond, who was determined to get his revenge for his eye. Lucerys fled the scene on his dragon, Arrax, though Aemond gave chase; Arrax disobeyed Lucerys and spat fire at Vhagar. In retaliation, Vhagar tore Arrax and Lucerys to shreds in the skies.
From here, we expect that Rhaneyra will forgo her sense of mercy in exchange for all-out war. Daemon will be allowed to attack the Greens' forces in any way he feels appropriate, and now Rhaenyra will let him off the leash.
As for news, Ryan Condal told The Hollywood Reporter in March 2023 that filming was about to start 'very shortly' and teased "you're going to meet five new dragons" in the second season.
Who will be in the cast for House of the Dragon season 2?
All the major players who survived House of the Dragon's first season will be making their return. So, expect to see more from Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Olivia Cooke, Fabien Frankel, and many more of the faces that make up House of the Dragon's ensemble cast.
On April 24, 2023, HBO revealed four new faces who'd be joining the feud for House of the Dragon season 2. Gayle Rankin (GLOW, The Greatest Showman) has been cast as Alys Rivers, a resident of Harrenhal; in the book, her character became a powerful witch and was an ally to the Greens.
Simon Russell Beale has been boarded as Ser Simon Strong, great-uncle to Lord Larys Strong. Freddie Fox (Slow Horses) has joined as Gwayne Hightower, Alicent's brother, and Abubakar Salim (Raised by Wolves) is on hand as Alyn of Hull, a sailor in the Velaryon fleet.
Plenty more faces have joined the fray, too. Further additions to the House of the Dragon season 2 cast include Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew as Hugh, Tom Bennett as Ulf, Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark, and Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne.
We aren't expecting the younger versions of Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) to return to the show anytime soon. They were replaced by their older counterparts Olivia Cooke and Emma D'Arcy after the 10-year time jump halfway through season 1, and showrunner Ryan Condal has confirmed that they aren't likely to make a return anytime soon.
Whilst speaking to Variety, showrunner Ryan Condal said "I mean, look, I don't know" when asked if Carey and Alcock would be back, later adding the younger stars "are not a part of the story that we're telling, yet. That's not a thing that we're doing right now."
Though, he did add that he's "not closing the door on anything", so they could potentially return in a later season in a flashback scene, similar to how Robert Aramayo played a young Ned Stark in the later seasons of Game of Thrones.
Loyal to the end. pic.twitter.com/Abbog8alnHMarch 17, 2023
Is there a trailer for House of the Dragon season 2?
Yes! Max has finally released our first House of the Dragon season 2 trailer, and it makes the new instalment look even more fraught than ever.
Chiefly, the teaser is concerned with setting the stakes, showcasing the military might of the warring houses. Towards the end, Rhaenys warns that there's 'no war so bloody as a war between dragons', and the trailer proves this, erupting into brutal conflict towards the climax. Check it out here:
Will we get House of the Dragon season 3?
Although Warner Bros. Discovery haven't formally confirmed a third season of House of the Dragon is on the way just yet, signs are pointing to a third (and potentially fourth) series.
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Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows.
Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.