Since 2011, Game of Thrones has cast a large shadow as one of the best HBO shows ever. The prequel series, House of the Dragon, also proved to be a massive hit when it premiered on HBO and Max in 2022.
Now, HBO and Max have provided the first look at House of the Dragon season 2, which officially puts the realms at war between the rightful Queen of Westeros and her half-brother, who has essentially stolen the throne out from under her to become the new king. But there can only be one ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, and it’s going to lead to one of the most destructive wars in the history of men and dragons. To prepare viewers for the battles to come, we’re sharing everything we know about House of the Dragon season 2.
The first season of House of the Dragon depicted the falling out between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her former best friend, Alicent Hightower, who became the new queen when Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys Targaryen, named Alicent as his new wife. Rhaenyra was already named Viserys’ heir, but Alicent’s male children meant that Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne was weakened.
Before he died, Viserys tried to heal the rift between his daughter and his wife, as well as their children. Unfortunately, Alicent misinterpreted Viserys’ last wishes and arranged for her first-born son, Aegon II Targaryen, to be named king in defiance of the previously laid out plans for Rhaenyra to take the Iron Throne.
While both sides of the Targaryen family tried to shore up support for an inevitable civil war, Alicent’s second son, Prince Aemond, took the opportunity to avenge the loss of his eye by attacking Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys. But even Aemond was surprised when his dragon murdered his cousin during their dragon duel in the sky. Word quickly reached Rhaenyra that her son was dead, and all hope for any peaceful resolution went with him.
Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke are once again back as the rival queens, Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. The following are also returning:
- Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
- Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower
- Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon
- Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
- Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
- Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
- Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling
- Matthew Needham as Lord Larys Strong
- Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister and Ser Tyland Lannister
- Harry Collett as Prince Jacaerys “Jace” Velaryon
- Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II Targaryen
- Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen
New cast members for season 2 include Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, and Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull.
Technically, HBO and Max are calling it a “teaser.” But yes, there is a brief trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 that has us hyped to reenter the world of Game of Thrones. It’s very light on story details, but the tone is extremely foreboding as both sides of the conflict realize that a war between dragons may leave few survivors.
In the backstory of Game of Thrones, the currently unfolding Targaryen civil war was known as “The Dance of the Dragons.” It’s also the reason why dragons were thought to be extinct prior to the first season of Game of Thrones. There will eventually be a definitive victor, but it will come at a very high price for both sides of the family.
HBO and Max have not officially announced a renewal for House of the Dragon yet. But the show may have already been unofficially renewed. Earlier this month, Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin wrote on his blog that he “spent two days locked in a room with Ryan Condal and his writing staff (Sara Hess, Ti Mikkel, David Hancock, and Philippa Goslett) talking about the third and fourth seasons of House of the Dragon. They were lively, fun discussions, and we got some good work done … though two days was not nearly enough. There is so much ground to cover that I am not sure twenty days would have been enough.”
Given the success of the first season, it seems like a safe bet that seasons 3 and 4 will follow. Beyond that, only the show’s creative team knows for sure.
There is currently no release date for House of the Dragon season 2, but there have been reports that HBO and Max are looking to premiere the eight-episode second season in mid-2024. That would suggest a summer debut.
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