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Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in HBO's 'Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon' | Image HBO

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2: Release Date, Trailer, Upates and More

HBO has confirmed that the blockbuster smash House of the Dragon season two will premiere on 17 June 2024, bringing intense dragon battles, backstabbing, and more Targaryen drama than ever before. To amp up the arrival, HBO recently revealed three “duelling trailers”, a world-first pre-release teaser series that sheds light on the new season.

Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s ‘Fire and Blood,’ the prequel TV series is set about 200 years before the Game of Thrones storyline, focusing on the saga of the Targaryen family, specifically the Dance of the Dragons—a civil war where Targaryens fought each other, shaping a tale of family conflict, tragedy, and legacy.

Season two of House of the Dragon will continue the saga after the death of King Viserys, leading to a tumultuous succession crisis. Despite Princess Rhaenyra being the rightful heir, Queen Alicent and Otto Hightower plot to place Aegon II on the Iron Throne. The season one finale kicked off the Dance of the Dragons, setting the stage for more conflicts and obviously more dragons. Co-creator Ryan Condal hinted at this, promising the introduction of five new dragons, during the FYC screening of season two in Los Angeles in March 2023.

With House of the Dragon season two confirmed, we’re here to dish out all the known details so far. From the latest cast updates and rumoured plot points, consider this your complete guide to everything you need to know about House of the Dragon season two.

House of the Dragon Season 2 Release Date

The House of the Dragon season two release date has been confirmed for 17 June 2024. The new season will premiere on HBO in the U.S. and BINGE in Australia on that date. The announcement came after months of speculation and several updates from HBO Max content CEO Casey Bloys, who previously told Variety that sometime in 2024 was a “good guess”. Now, we officially have confirmation.

House of the Dragon Season 2 Production Update

The news isn’t surprising at all, considering the second season started filming just this year, not to mention HBO’s meticulous approach is likely to see much of the production time spent in the editing room, particularly for its major money-making Game of Thrones IP. The franchise is known for its epic high-scale battles that take time to choreograph and direct, especially when there are a ton of visual effects involved. And it’s clear that HBO wants to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Shedding some light on the whole development process, Bloys said, “My philosophy is a good script is number one priority. I am not doing it based on wanting to have one a year, two a year. I want to do it based on the scripts that we’re excited about.”

He went on to add, “Remember to get House of the Dragon following up from Game of Thrones, we developed a lot of shows, shot a pilot, developed a bunch of scripts and we got the first season of House of the Dragon. To do that again is going to take the same amount of effort. You have to develop a lot of things, try things. You never know what’s going to work. So we’re currently doing that. I’m not opposed to any number of shows. There’s probably a natural limit to how many fans want, but I’m open to any as long as we feel really good about the scripts and the prospects for a series.”

This time around, the season will be a tad more concise, with eight episodes – two less than the first season. Unpacking the reasoning behind the slightly trimmer second season, Clare Kilner spilled the beans to The Hollywood Reporter, sharing that season two has “eight wonderful episodes with so much happening in every episode, and we have trouble, at times, bringing them down to one hour.” 

Kilner went on to reveal that showrunner Ryan Condal made a deliberate choice “to give it a good opening and a good ending,” further promising that the episodes are “jam-packed with emotional and visually exciting events.”

George R.R. Martin Update

The update came just months after Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin revealed a surprise update in the script. At the height of the Hollywood writers’ and SAG-AFTRA strike, the writer confirmed that filming and production of the upcoming season two of the hit series has experienced minimal to no interruptions.

“The scripts for the eight s2 episodes were all finished months ago, long before the strike began, Every episode has gone through four or five drafts and numerous rounds of revisions, to address HBO notes, my notes, budget concerns, etc. There will be no further revisions,” writer and executive producer George R.R. Martin said in a blog post.

Martin further went on to add, “HOTD is shot mostly in London (and a little bit in Wales, Spain, and various other locations), which is why filming has continued. The actors are members of the British union, Equity, not SAG-AFTRA, and though Equity strongly supports their American cousins (they have a big rally planned to show that support), British law forbids them from staging a sympathy strike. If they walk, they have no protection against being fired for breach of contract, or even sued.”

House of the dragon season 2
‘House of the Dragon’ (2023) | Image: HBO

House of the Dragon Season 2 Cast

Expect to see plenty of new and returning faces in the House of the Dragon season two cast. While season one was marked by numerous deaths and characters aging through time jumps, that is now behind us. Showrunner Ryan Condal mentioned in a Deadline interview that the time jumps are “done” and the focus will now shift to the elaborate Dance of the Dragons, better known as the Targaryen Civil War.

“We tell the story in real-time from here forward,” Condal said. “The actors are playing these characters until the end. We’re not recasting anybody. We’re not making any huge jumps forward in time. We are now in the Dance of the Dragons, and we’re gonna tell that story.” The upcoming season will see the return of familiar key cast like Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen as well as the introduction of a bunch of fresh new faces.

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‘House of the Dragon’ (2023) | Image: HBO

New Faces

Per Variety, Gayle Rankin has been cast as Alys Rivers, known as the Witch Queen of Harrenhal and a crucial figure among the Greens in George R. R. Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood.’ Another addition to the cast is Simon Russell Beale, who will be taking on the role of Ser Simon Strong, the great-uncle of Matthew Needham’s Lord Larys Strong. Furthermore, Freddie Fox is set to star as Ser Gwayne Hightower, the brother of Queen Alicent Hightower (played by Olivia Cooke) and the son of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). Abubakar Salim is also joining the cast as Alyn of Hull, described by Variety as “a sailor in the Velaryon fleet who served in the Stepstones campaign.”

As the focus shifts towards new characters and storylines in the upcoming season, it also marks the departure of some familiar faces from season one. Despite their brilliant performance, it’s doubtful that we’ll see the return of Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in their roles as the younger versions of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, respectively. Similarly, Elliot Grihault, who played Prince Lucerys Velaryon and met a tragic end in the finale, is unlikely to make a reappearance.

It’ll also be worth keeping an eye out for potential unexpected cameos in the upcoming season. While there’s no confirmation yet, there are chances that Alicent’s fourth and youngest child, Daeron Targaryen, may make an appearance after being completely absent from the first season. Assuring fans, Ryan Condal shared with Variety, “He does exist. No worries, everybody. He’s the youngest son. He’s warded off at Oldtown to Hobert Hightower and soon to Ormond Hightower, who is Hobert’s nephew, who becomes Lord of Oldtown.”

He further added, “Honestly, this stuff happened all the time in this world. It’s not our modern day where if you had a 6-year-old, you would FaceTime them every day and see how they’re doing and write letters. He’s there. That’s the fact. When he is relevant to be mentioned — and he will be — he will be mentioned.”

Here’s the anticipated complete cast for ‘House of the Dragon‘ season two:

  • Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen
  • Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen
  • Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower
  • Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower
  • Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen
  • Steve Touissant as Corlys Velaryon
  • Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
  • Matthew Needham as Larys Strong
  • Ewan Mitchell as Aemond Targaryen
  • Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon Targaryen
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
  • Harry Collett as Prince Jacaerys Velaryon
  • Bethany Antonia as Baela Targaryen
  • Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena Targaryen
  • Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen
  • Jefferson Hall as Ser Tyland Lannister
  • Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hul
  • Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers
  • Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower
  • Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong
  • Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark
  • Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull
  • Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome
  • Kieran Bew as Hugh
  • Tom Bennett as Ulf
  • Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne
House of the dragon princess rhaenyra targaryen prince daemon targaryen
‘House of the Dragon’ (2023) | Image: HBO

House of the Dragon Season 2 Rumoured Plot

Even though House of the Dragon season two is adapted from George R.R. Martin’s finished novel, Fire & Blood, the prequel series has managed to somehow maintain suspense by keeping the fates of many central characters in the balance. The second season is expected to pick up the story right where we last saw it in the first season, with Rhaenyra on the path of vengeance against those who wronged her.

Following the tragic death of her second-born son, Prince Lucerys “Luke” Velaryon (Elliot Grihault), in the season one finale, Rhaenyra ‘s thirst for revenge is almost inevitable. Without giving much away, the recent House of the Dragon season two teaser also hints at the bloody conflict and the war for the Iron Throne that’s set to begin.

As Rhys Ifans’ Ser Otto Hightower puts it in the trailer, “Errors were made in the hours following King Viserys’s death.” While talking with Deadline about the upcoming season, showrunner Ryan Condal hinted at the inevitable war also highlighting the importance of understanding the characters’ complexities.

“We will get to the spectacle, but you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war,” he said. “Series two will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones, but it will have been earned and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in.” Condal even assured that House of the Dragon season two will also bring in more humour, promising “natural pathways into moments of levity.”

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‘House of the Dragon’ (2023) | Image: HBO

What We Think Season 2 of House of the Dragon Will Be About

While HBO has kept season two story details under tight wraps, the recent trailer’s fiery glimpse of dragon battles coupled with the events last season hints at an epic, blood-soaked conflict on the horizon. With civil war looming over Westeros, citizens and nobles will have to choose their allegiance in the conflict for the Iron Throne.

Season two of House of the Dragon will most likely dive into the treacherous lead-up to the Dance of the Dragons. Driven by grief and vengeance after Prince Lucerys’ death, the Blacks (who supported the ascent of Rhaenyra) will enlist the deadly assassins Blood and Cheese to infiltrate the Red Keep and strike a devastating blow to the Greens.

However, season two will not only explore the horrors of war, violence, and bloodshed but also dive into the complex dynamics between Rhaenyra and her cousin Daemon, whose private marriage to preserve the Targaryen bloodline intensifies the brewing conflict. Discussing the upcoming season with The Hollywood Reporter, Sara Hess, the writer and executive producer of House of the Dragon, explained, “Right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations (in Fire & Blood) to that.”

While Rhaenyra and Daemon’s marriage sure was surprising, to say the least, the internet seems surprisingly charmed by the rogue prince. “He’s become Internet Boyfriend in a way that baffles me,” Sara Hess told The Hollywood Reporter. “Not that Matt (Smith) isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s incredible in the role. But Daemon himself is … I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?'”

House of the Dragon Season 2 Renewal

Reeling viewers back in after a lacklustre ending to Game of Thrones, the prequel series debut pulled in the biggest audience for any show at premiere across BINGE and Foxtel. In the United States, the first episode garnered 10 million viewers, breaking a viewership record for HBO.

House of the Dragon is co-created and executive produced by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal. The star-studded ensemble cast includes Paddy Considine (The Third Day), Matt Smith (The Crown), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers), Steve Toussaint (Doctor Who), Eve Best (Nurse Jackie), Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina), Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill).

“We are beyond proud of what the entire House of the Dragon team has accomplished with season one,” Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President of HBO Programming, said in a statement. “Our phenomenal cast and crew undertook a massive challenge and exceeded all expectations, delivering a show that has already established itself as must-see-TV.”

Where to Watch House of the Dragon?

To tide you over until season two arrives, binge-watch all 10 episodes of House of the Dragon season one on Binge and Foxtel.

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‘House of the Dragon’ (2023) | Image: HBO