The 'Game of Thrones' spinoff series 'Dunk and Egg' will also begin production next year.
Early during season 1 of House of the Dragon, HBO renewed the Game of Thrones prequel, confirming that the series would return for a second season. Based on George R.R. Martin’s novel, Fire & Blood, which is a history book recounting notable events in Westeros in the 200 years before the original series, HOTD will continue to explore the in-fighting and intrigue surrounding House Targaryen.
Now, HBO has officially announced that House of the Dragon season 2 will premiere in summer 2024.
Season 1 ended in dramatic fashion, with everyone in Westeros seemingly taking sides in the newfound battle between the Black Council and Green Council, here's what we know about what's to come in season 2, from new cast members to episode count and everything else in between.
Plot and Timeline
After spending most of season 1 establishing the main players in the battle of succession to follow the death of King Viserys (played by Paddy Considine, who will surely be missed), season 2 will inch the series closer and closer to war.
"We will get to the spectacle," co-creator and showrunner Ryan Condal told The Times. (His co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik is not returning for season 2.) "But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war." And now that we've gotten to know the major characters as well as what's at stake, "[season] 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."
According to the GOT fansite, Winter Is Coming, there are several big events coming. "Without getting into too much detail, there will be a conspiracy within the Red Keep, Rhaenys Targaryen will mount Meleys again, and there will be a search for more dragonriders."
As for Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), the series' big bad turned internet boyfriend, expect for a lot more exploration into his dynamic with his niece and current wife Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy). "And right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra?" writer Sara Hess told The Hollywood Reporter. "There are many interpretations [in Fire & Blood] to that."
But considering how much the series has already deviated from Martin's book, expect even more changes to come.
In March 2023, THR reported that Condal revealed one telling detail about the new episodes. "You’re going to meet five new dragons," he teased.
Returning Cast and Characters
After so many deaths in season 1, there are still a surprising number of major players returning for a second season. Among them are Rhaenyra (D'Arcy) and Daemon (Smith) and their blended family of children, Jacaerys Valeryon, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen as well as the recently-born twins Aegon and Viserys. Considering how young many of the kids are in season 1, it's likely that the series will age up those characters and recast them in the new episodes.
Then there's Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke), her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), her children, Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Helaena (Phia Saban), and her loyal servant, Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel). It's worth mentioning that Alicent's fourth child with Viserys, Daeron, will make an appearance on the series at some point despite not being mentioned or seen in season 1. According to Martin, who serves as an executive producer on the series, "their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season."
Of the remaining adult Valeryons, Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) and Corlys a.k.a. the Sea Snake (Steve Toussaint), will return despite so many losses to their family, including Laenor (John Macmillan), who was revealed to still be alive after Rhaenyra and Daemon arranged for his assassination so that they could get married. But despite being seen rowing away on a boat, much like Gendry Baratheon (Joe Dempsie) in Game of Thrones, it's unclear if and when he'll make a return to the series.
Additionally, other characters introduced in season 1, Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), the Arryk Cargyll twins -- Arryk (Luke Tittensor) and Erryk (Elliott Tittensor) -- as well as Tyland and Jason Lannister (both played by Jefferson Hall), are all expected to be back.
As for those two Lannisters, expect more from them as the series progresses, with Hall revealing to ET that “this is a story about the Targaryens. And the Lannisters do play a strong role in it, but not from the offset.” He asked for fans “to be patient as far as that’s concerned. Because they are introduced to the story… and they are supporting that story. That’s not to say they don’t have a very strong, pivotal role within it as time goes on."
In April 2023, HBO confirmed that the returning cast members include Smith, Cooke, D’Arcy, Best, Toussaint, Frankel, Mitchell, Glynn-Carney, Mizuno and Ifans are all back as series regulars for season 2.
Additional returning cast members include Hall, Saban, Harry Collett, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell and Matthew Needham.
New Cast and Characters
As for new cast members, only a few names have been revealed so far. ET has confirmed that Simon Russell Beale, Freddie Fox, Gayle Rankin and Abubakar Salim have joined the sprawling ensemble.
Beale will play Ser Simon Strong, the Castellan of Harrenhal and great-uncle to Lord Larys (Needham). Fox has been added as Ser Gwayne Hightower, the Son of Otto Hightower and brother to Queen Alicent as well as the uncle to King Aegon, Queen Helaena and Prince Aemond.
Additionally, Rankin will appear as Alys Rivers, a healer and resident of Harrenhal while Salim will play Alyn of Hull, a sailor in the Velaryon fleet who served in the Stepstones campaign.
As for Elizabeth Olsen, the actress addressed rumors that she is headed to Westeros by telling ET, "Dream casting is fun, yeah, but I heard it was, like, announced though, which is weirder... I never heard of such a thing."
That being said, Olsen would be happy to be a part of it if something came up. "I mean, sure, yeah. [I'd like do to] anything that's worth telling, that's a good story, that's innovative, that's great great characters," she offered.
Return and Premiere Date
HBO announced on April 11, 2023 that filming had officially commenced at Leavesden Studios in the U.K., with Condal sharing, "House of the Dragon has returned... All your favorite 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."
While there were hopes for another 10-episode season, ET has since learned that season 2 will consist of eight episodes simply because of what the story merited.
HBO announced in November 2023 that season 2 will premiere in summer 2024.
House of the Dragon season 1 is now streaming on Max.
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