House Of The Dragon Season 2 – When Will The Game Of Thrones Prequel Return To HBO?

House of the Dragon Season 2 is in the works on HBO but it won't be out until at least 2024

By Rick Gonzales | Published

If HBO is trying to wash away the bad taste in the mouths of Game of Thrones fans that was the series’ final season, then it is doing a wonderful job with House of the Dragon. Of course, nothing could ever completely remove the blundering of GoT’s final season, but with the premiere of House of the Dragon, the new series is clearly putting it in the rearview. So, what does all this mean for a possible second season of the House of the Dragon?

HBO RENEWED HOUSE OF THE DRAGON FOR SEASON 2 ONE WEEK INTO THE FIRST SEASON

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House of the Dragon premiered on HBO on August 21, 2022, to much fanfare. The anticipation was high as fans who followed author George R. R. Martin’s novels, as well as the HBO series Game of Thrones, hoped they were in for a wild ride. The series didn’t disappoint (you can read our season 1 finale review here).

The premiere episode of House of the Dragon tallied over 10 million viewers, which ended up being the most-watched series premiere in the history of HBO. For this reason, HBO doubled down on the series. Not even a week after the premiere, HBO announced that there would be a season 2 of their new hit series.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON TAKES PLACE 200 YEARS BEFORE GAME OF THRONES

house of the dragon season 2

So, when it comes to House of the Dragon, where does it stand in time when compared to Game of Thrones? Well, the series is based on Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice novels that started with A Game of Thrones (1991), then moved on to A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feast for Crows (2005), and finally A Dance with Dragons (2011).

Martin also has plans for two final novels in the series, the first one (which will be the sixth in the series) called The Winds of Winter and the seventh and final titled A Dream of Spring. There are no publication dates for those final two novels.

House of the Dragon is a prequel to what was seen in Game of Thrones. The series is set some 200 years before GoT and around 172 years before the birth of one of GoT’s favorite characters, Daenerys Targaryen, in a star-turning portrayal by Emilia Clarke. The setup also finds House of the Dragon nearly 100 years after the Targaryen Conquest united the Seven Kingdoms which began the end of House Targaryen.

The series specifically covers a period of time known as the “Dance of the Dragons,” in which rival Targaryen factions engage in civil war for the Iron Throne. On one side, there is Rhaenyra (played by Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy), the daughter of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), who is controversial simply by dint of being designated heir to the throne despite being a woman. On the other, there is her young half-brother Aegon (Ty Tennant and Tom Glynn-Carney), who is crowned king in a political coup by his mother Queen Alicent (Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke) and grandfather Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).

Of course, given that this is part of GoT, there are innumerable supporting characters, all with their own political ambitions, foibles, and plots.

THERE ARE PLANS FOR FOUR SEASONS

We know without a doubt that House of the Dragon will have at least two seasons. The first season comprised of ten episodes, so you can expect season two to have just as many. After that, though, there comes the question if there will be more and if there is, just how much.

At one point, the idea behind a new Game of Thrones series was to turn the whole thing into a Targaryen anthology series, but the heavy lifting to pull that off was, well, heavy. The series would have followed House Targaryen into the past and future, but then a bunch of recasting would be necessary, so the idea, while impressive, was scraped. From that, though, it appears to have born another nearly half-dozen prequels or spin-offs.

George R.R. Martin has a solid idea as to how much more House of the Dragon needs to be seen for the entire story to be given its justice. While he does have a specific number in mind, he backed off a bit, knowing how OCD fandom has become and understanding the backlash the series would get for lack of pacing. He explained this in a blog post.

“If HOUSE OF THE DRAGON had 13 episodes per season, maybe we could have shown all the things we had to “time jump” over… though that would have risked having some viewers complain that the show was too “slow,” that “nothing happened.” As it is, I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale. (RINGS OF POWER has only 8, as you may have noticed, and my AMC show DARK WINDS is doing 6 episode seasons). 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.”

So, there you have it, from the pen of the dragon. Martin claims four seasons with 13 episodes in each would tell the entire saga and tell it well. But fans (audiences in general) lack patience, which is sad. Sometimes stories need to marinate to allow the big stuff to have more emotional impact, something that House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal explained they leaned into during the first season.

Condal did not hide the fact that producers deliberately decided to slow the pacing of the first season just so the House of the Dragon audience could get more invested in the characters’ journeys. They wanted an investment from viewers and there was a specific reason for it. Condal says they want the audience to “feel the tragedies.”

“We will get to the spectacle,” he told The Times. “But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war.” So, what does that mean for season 2? “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.”

THE SHOW HAS TONED DOWN THE SEXUAL VIOLENCE

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, then you are well aware of the sexual violence that took place during the series’ run. There was plenty of it, making some of the viewing quite uncomfortable to watch. With the House of the Dragon, they have taken a different approach – the less seen, the better.

Much of the sexual violence in House of the Dragon is implied off-screen. Condal explained, “While there are uncomfortable scenes in the show, we tried to stay away from anything that felt superfluous in the telling of the story. [SPOILERS] So when the rape [by Prince Aegon of a servant girl] happened in episode eight, it haunts viewers because they see what it does to the young woman instead of seeing the event itself. It is the story we are telling — we can imagine what it looked like. We have seen it on TV before. You don’t need to see the act itself.”

One thing Condal and the cast of House of the Dragon hope to bring to season 2 is a little more humor. As Condal says, the writers are looking to find ways to introduce “natural pathways into moments of levity” into some of the heavy drama the series has given so far. He even has one specific person in mind.

One person Condal feels that can carry some humor is Matt Smith, who plays Daemon Targaryen. “I think Matt Smith is very funny. If there is one character that does not care, it is Daemon.”

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON SEASON 2 ISN’T SCHEDULED UNTIL 2024

Unfortunately for fans of House of the Dragon, the wait for a season two might be a long one. HBO hasn’t even offered a guess when the second season would premiere, so we are going to have to do a little bit of math to get in the ballpark. Wish us luck.

The filming for the first season of House of the Dragon began back in April 2021 with the series premiering 15 months later. So, if the second season starts filming in December 2022 (filming was said to be starting in late 2022), then we are looking at an early 2024 season 2 premiere date. This means the entire 2023 will be without Dragons.

Of course, this is also assuming that production on the second season will actually start in late 2022. Turnaround, regardless, looks to be a year to a year and a half, so there is even a good possibility that fans won’t see season 2 of House of the Dragons until the summer of 2024. Yikes. Hopefully, it is worth the wait.