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This post contains spoilers for the Season One finale of House of the Dragon.
It's a great day to be a House of The Dragon fan. Though the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have shut down Hollywood for nearly six months, HBO chief Casey Bloys announced that Season Two will debut in summer 2024. Due to its UK-based union contract, the HBO production was able to film throughout this past summer.
Bloys broke the news during a media presentation on Thursday morning, where he also debuted sneak peak at the upcoming batch of episodes. Unfortunately, the Season Two trailer is not yet public. Francesca Orsi, the Executive Vice President of Drama Series at HBO, reaffirmed back in May that the series was targeting a summer 2024 return while the network also focused on restarting production for The Last of Us and The White Lotus. "We have a beautiful cast that was assembled by Kate Rhodes [James], and we just are proud of seeing how those scripts are coming alive,” she said in an interview with Deadline. “The emotionality that the cast is bringing to it is something that we feel confident with and know that we’re going to deliver something special."
So, what can we expect to see next year? The exact plot for House of The Dragon Season Two is under wraps, but the series showrunner, Ryan Condal, told The Hollywood Reporter that many new characters will appear. "We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera," he said. "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."
If you were watching House of the Dragon's first season and noticed a surprising lack of actual dragons—as I was!—Season Two will also reportedly introduce us to some new winged beasts. Finally! “You’re going to meet five new dragons,” Condal revealed at a recent event in Los Angeles. Wow. Five? Oddly specific, but intriguing! You could honestly go full Dragon Tales and not even give me the people. I'm even ready for the dragons to talk like the whales in Avatar: The Way of Water, but one can only be so greedy. Remember Thrones fans, we still don't have The Winds of Winter in our hands to read. Until then, five more dragons it is.
What Could Happen in Season Two of House of the Dragon?
Unlike the fandom's obsessive theorizing with Thrones, House of Dragon is being adapted from George R.R. Martin's finished novel, Fire & Blood, so its course is pretty much laid out. Yet, so far, fans of the fantasy series have been doing a fantastic job not revealing the fates of many of its popular main characters, even as many of the show's deaths and major plot twists have been coming fast and loose.
In the latter half of Season One, the series controversially united Rhaenyra and her uncle, Daemon, in marriage—though many fans don't seem to mind. "He’s become Internet Boyfriend in a way that baffles me," House of the Dragon writer 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?'" She also teased what's to come past Season One for the couple. "And right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra?" Hess continued. "There are many interpretations [in George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood] to that." Uh Oh! Trouble in uncle-husband-neice-wife paradise?
The couple will face off in a Targaryen civil war against the newly crowned Aegon II, Rhaenyra's half-brother. Alongside Rhaenyra and Daemon are House Velaryon—possessors of the largest navy in Westeros—and over a dozen dragons. They're referred to as the "Blacks," due to their House colors. Meanwhile, the "Greens" consist of the group at King Landing, including King Aegon II, Alicent, Otto Hightower, Ser Criston Cole, Aemond, and Vhagar—the largest dragon in the world. In the shocking Season Finale, Aemond and Vhagar slaughter Rhaenyra's son, Luke, marking the first death in the civil war following Aegon II's ascension.
"The moment that she receives the news of Luke's passing, that attempt at mediation crumbles," Emma D'Arcy told Entertainment Weekly about Rhaenyra's change come Season Two. "I don't think there is any longer the bandwidth to suppress and repress her nature... I am excited to discover what happens when Rhaenyra does less navigating and more acting on her instincts and desires. For so many very legitimate reasons, she has her hands tied practically throughout Season One. I have a feeling that the rain might be off for Season Two." Steal Rhaenyra's crown and kill her son? War couldn't be any more imminent.
Tom Glynn-Carney, who plays King Aegon II, all but confirmed the bloody conflict to come at HBO's first-ever Game of Thrones Fan Convention in Los Angeles. According to Entertainment Weekly, the actor said during a Q&A panel that while he had to watch his words about Season Two, he was still "looking forward to having Aegon have a lot more meat to get his teeth stuck into and to cause more havoc, really... which he does so well." When asked if we would see King Aegon II ride his dragon, Sunfyre, in Season Two, Glynn-Carney responded that, "All I can tell you is that we're training very hard and we are making sure our bodies are in good enough condition for how strenuous Season Two is gonna be." (Since the actors are not riding actual dragons, I'm not sure what this could mean, but I imagine all that warring and sword-fighting must require one to be physically fit.)
"He was always gonna be a tricky one because, on paper, he can very easily come across as an out-and-out villain, and someone who's dark and cold," Glynn-Carney continued. "I think he is all those things, but I think there's way more layers to him, as well. He's not an out-and-out psychopath. There are complexities and intricacies within him that make him an absolute gift to play. He keeps me guessing, so hopefully that translates to keep everyone else on their toes. No one should really be able to make up their mind about him straight away, and hopefully they'll give him a little bit of a chance. But we'll see. It's not looking good!"
Who Will Return for Season Two?
The current cast will likely all return for a second season unless we're surprised by another major casting shakeup. The time jumps are "done," according to a Deadline interview with showrunner Ryan Condal, but there are still plenty of surprises left in store for us. One major bummer, however, is that Milly Alcock will likely not be back for any Season Two flashbacks as the young Rhaenyra. If you ask me, she was easily the best part of early House of the Dragon episodes, before Emma D'Arcy took over the role following a time jump. In an interview with Deadline about her part in West End's The Crucible, Alcock responded to rumors that she was returning for Season Two by briefly saying, "No. It’s done."
Any future work on House of the Dragon will also no longer be led by Miguel Sapochnik. The co-showrunner announced that he would be stepping down to work on and develop new projects with HBO following this debut season. Before House of the Dragon, Sapochnik directed several popular Game of Thrones episodes, including "Hardhome" and "The Battle of the Bastards." THR confirmed that he will still be credited as an executive producer.
"Working within the GOT universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, especially spending the last two with the amazing cast and crew of House of the Dragon," Sapochnik said in a statement. "I am so proud of what we accomplished with Season One and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers. It was incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally."
Condal, Sapochnik's current partner in creation, will act as the sole showrunner going into Season Two, with fellow Thrones director Alan Taylor joining for additional directing and executive producing. "While we would have loved to have Miguel continue in the same role, we are thrilled to have his ongoing collaboration in this new creative capacity," HBO said in a statement. "Looking forward, we’ve had a decades-long relationship with Alan Taylor, and we are delighted to have him join Ryan and the rest of the talented team."
How Many Episodes Will We See in Season Two?
Season Two will likely only consist of eight episodes—two less than House of the Dragon's first season—as the show plans its long-term future. Condal and George R.R. Martin reportedly "took a step back" to look at the overarching story across three to four seasons, per Deadline, in the hopes that the series could get an early reneweal for Season Three as well. So, less dragons, but better dragons? "I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale," Martin originally blogged about House of the Dragon back in October. “I hope that will continue to be true. It is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.” We shall see. Many things can change in the dance of dragons.
With fire and blood. Congratulations to the House of the Dragon cast and crew on their Golden Globes award for Best Drama Series, and SAG Awards nomination for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series. pic.twitter.com/3ufXAQaRdH
— House of the Dragon (@HouseofDragon) January 11, 2023
When Will Season Two of House of the Dragon Premiere?
Season Two will premiere next summer, according to HBO Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys. "My philosophy is a good script is number one priority," he previously told Variety. "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." Those CGI dragons don't grow on trees, after all!
Back in October, Bloys revealed to Vulture that "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." It took 10 months just to film the first season of House of the Dragon, which doesn't consider the massive amount of post-production and visual effects that likely took months to finalize. "We've chosen a story that's almost like Star Wars: Episode IV," Sapochnik previously told EW about House of the Dragon's overarching story. "It's the New Hope. We can go backwards, we can go forwards. There's a lot of opportunities there."
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