House Of The Dragon’s second season might be shorter than the first

Emma D’Arcy
Emma D’Arcy

In a move that should give Game Of Thrones fans flashbacks, the next season of House Of The Dragon will be a few episodes shorter than the first. Deadline reports season two will drop the episode count from 10 to eight. However, this is a little different from Game Of Thrones, which ended its six seasons by slowly decreasing the episode count and levels of enjoyment. House Of The Dragon’s decision was reportedly “story-driven” and “part of a long-term plan for the show” as it awaits a season-three pickup. Though, when phrased like that, it sounds like the show’s writers are holding the last two episodes of the season hostage, and we won’t get to see them unless there’s a third season, which, per Deadline’s reporting, is sort of the point. The production is punting season two plotlines to season three.

With “a portion of the plot” and a “major battle” moving to season three, Dragon is expected to run for four seasons; though, there’s lingering uncertainty. Unlike House Of The Dragon’s sworn enemy in the war for streaming fantasy series supremacy, Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power and its planned 50 hours of television, HBO, George R.R. Martin, and showrunner Ryan Condal are still unsure how long the show will be, with Martin and Condal going “back-and-forth on the number of seasons (three or four).” Likewise, there was never an official plan for the spin-off, with HBO hoping to wing it so it could wrap as successfully as Game Of Thrones. The network never explicitly stated in its renewal that there would be a 10-episode second season, either. Nevertheless, HBO is starting to consider a longer-term plan for House Of The Dragon and is considering moving forward with scripts for season three.

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Earlier this year, HBO and HBO Max content CEO Casey Bloys expressed confidence surrounding the show’s production, stating that they’re not turning cameras on before they have a solid foundation. “My philosophy is a good script is number one priority,” Bloys said. “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.” As such, production hasn’t begun on season two yet—though it seems likely the show will return in 2024.

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