After the controversial climax to Game Of Thrones set off a wildfire blast within the fandom, House Of The Dragon has been a welcome reset. While sticking to the same formula of warring siblings, succession tussles and slightly-too-much incest, this prequel features a cast of overlooked veterans and young talent which has largely refreshed the familiar elements.
The show’s potential, however, is perhaps only just beginning. Based on George R.R. Martin’s fictional history book, Fire & Blood, there’s a stack of Targaryen history to cover through the Dance Of The Dragons and beyond. So what do we know about season two?
Has House Of The Dragon season two been confirmed?
HBO renewed House Of The Dragon on August 26, after the show’s first episode racked up 20million viewers in the US.
Francesca Orsi, executive vp of HBO programming, said: “We are beyond proud of what the entire House Of The Dragon team has accomplished with season one. 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.
“A huge thank you to George R.R. Martin, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik for leading us on this journey. We couldn’t be more excited to continue bringing to life the epic saga of House Targaryen with season two.”
— House of the Dragon (@HouseofDragon) August 26, 2022
Do we know a release date for season two?
We have a couple of winters yet
A release date has yet to be officially announced, although we have an indication judging by reported filming schedules.
According to WinterIsComing, production on the second season will be underway from March 2023 in Spain. Filming on the first season began in April 2021 and concluded in February 2022, before it was released later that year in August.
As such, when following the same timeframe, it’s likely the show will return in mid-2024 at the earliest.
HBO chief content officer, Casey Bloys, confirmed to Vulture the show wouldn’t return in 2023. “Don’t expect it in ‘23, but I think sometime in ‘24.”
He added: “We’re just starting to put the plan together, and just like last time, there are so many unknowns. 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.”
Who is returning for season two?
There’s a shift in showrunners
As confirmed in September, Miguel Sapochnik stepped down as co-showrunner on the series, with Ryan Condal set to serve as the sole lead on season two. Sapochnik will, however, be credited as an executive producer.
“Working within the Thrones universe for the past few years has been an honour and a privilege, especially spending the last two with the amazing cast and crew of House Of The Dragon,” Sapochnik said.
“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.”
The current main cast are all expected to return, including Matt Smith as Daemon, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon and Eve Best as Rhaenys. Aegon II and Aemond Targaryen, played by Tom Glynn-Carney and Ewan Mitchell, are also expected to have an expanded role in season two.
Speaking to Variety, Condal however appeared to rule out the return of Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as the younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent in season two.
Asked if we’ll see the younger pair again, Condal said: “I mean, look, I don’t know.” In regard to season two, he said young Rhaenyra and Alicent “are not part of the story that we’re telling, yet. That’s not a thing that we’re doing right now.”
Condal however didn’t shut down the possibility for future seasons, saying House Of The Dragon can get “a little bit more fancy” with its narrative structure compared to Game Of Thrones. “There are things that we haven’t fully sorted out,” Condal added. “I’m not closing the door on anything.”
What can we expect in House Of The Dragon season two?
A different side to Daemon
House Of The Dragon producer Sara Hess teased we’ll see a “different side” to Daemon in the season one finale, which will carry through into season two and his relationship with Rhaenyra.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Hess said: “Right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of [Daemon’s] relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations [in Fire & Blood] to that.”
In an interview with Collider, showrunner Ryan Condal teased the overarching story could span several hundred years, saying: “I think we have a fairly good plan laid out.”
He added: “There’s 170 years of history in front of us, so you have to figure out, at what point do you lower the curtain on this particular story? We’ve always had a good sense of that. I think we have a good plan for season two…. There is really 300 years of Targaryen history to explore, and there are many stories within there that are really fascinating.
“There’s the story of the conquest, the story before the conquest, the Targaryens leaving Old Valyria. You have a tale like this, where the Targaryens have dragons and are in power. And then, there are also stories where the Targaryens no longer have dragons, but are still in power. What changes there, and how is that different? It’s a very rich tapestry.”
Following the season one finale, showrunner Ryan Condal confirmed to Deadline there would be no more recasting of characters moving forward.
“As a reward to our wonderful audience for following us through all the time jumps and recasts, they are done,” Condal said. “We tell the story in real time from here forward. 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.”
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Condal explained the pace will also ramp up in season two. “We will get to the spectacle,” he said. “But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war.”
He added: “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.”
During a panel at the official Game Of Thrones convention (via Entertainment Weekly), Tom Glynn-Carney, who plays Aegon II Targaryen, teased the second season. “I didn’t really get a great run at things [in season one],” Glynn-Carney said. “It felt very quick. I was in a few scenes. Season two will be a lot more meaty, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The actor also said he’s looking forward to exploring “the constant battle” within Aegon “between vulnerability and his darkness”.
“I think one breeds the other,” he added. “I think it’s his vulnerability that breeds the darkness. It’s the way he copes, it’s his security, it’s his safety blanket, it’s an addictive coping mechanism for him to shut things out and to be cold. I wanna push that further, and I want to see where we can take him.”
Are there any other Game Of Thrones spin-off shows in development?
According to reports, more than you could possibly want
If you’re looking beyond House Of The Dragon, there’s a bunch of other Game Of Thrones spin-off shows reportedly in development.
As reported in March 2021, HBO is apparently working on three further spin-off shows. The furthest along in development, according to Deadline, is The Sea Snake, formerly titled Nine Voyages. The prequel would focus on Corlys Velaryon aka the Sea Snake, who is played by Steve Toussaint in House Of The Dragon.
Another project believed to be in the works is Ten Thousand Ships, which is set 1,000 years before Game Of Thrones and would follow Princess Nymeria, an ancestor of House Martell.
The other rumoured shows include an untitled Jon Snow sequel series with Kit Harington, a series based on the Tales Of Dunk And Egg novellas, a show set in Flea Bottom, and an animated series titled The Golden Empire set in Yi Ti.