House of the Dragon season 2: Everything we know so far

Matt Smith in House of the Dragon.

Long-ime Game of Thrones fans are eagerly awaiting the return of House of the Dragon. This prequel series became a genuine phenomenon in its first season, which told the story of the friendship between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower as it soured into what would eventually become an all-out civil war.

HBO renewed the show for a second season almost as soon as the first season began airing, and we already know plenty about where the show will be headed when it returns.

This post does not contain any spoilers for the show’s second season, but it is informed by Fire & Blood, the Targaryen history by George R.R. Martin that the series is adapted from. The show will continue to focus on the conflict between Rhaenyra and her younger half-brother Aegon as they battle for control of the Iron Throne.

What will happen in season 2 of House of the Dragon?

House Of The Dragon | Official Teaser | HBO Max

Without delving into spoilers, the second season of the show is expected to pick up soon after the first season left off. Fans of the show will likely recall that that season ended with Aemond Targaryen’s dragon inadvertently attacking and killing Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys and his dragon. Lucerys’s death is what ultimately brings what had been a simmering conflict closer to a boil, leading to a much greater level of death and destruction.

Based on the latest trailer for the new season, the story will show more of Westeros than what we saw in the previous season. Shots of characters standing atop the Wall and sailing across the seas hint that the Dance of the Dragons will impact all of Westeros as both sides gather allies from all across the Seven Kingdoms. Likewise, the trailer features shots of characters flying dragons, riding horses, and marching with entire armies, teasing a much more action-packed season that harks back to Game of Thrones at its most exciting.

We also know, thanks to an interview with one of the show’s writers, that a moment known to fans as Blood and Cheese will be included on the show. The exact details of that moment are best left to the imagination. But suffice it to say that it’s a moment likely to leave many fans talking.

Where and when did they film the second season?

Daemon reaches out to Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The second season began filming on April 11, 2023, with shooting taking place at the Warner Bros. Studio in England before the production moved to Cáceres, Spain, on May 18. Despite the SAG-AFTRA strike occurring at the time, the show’s predominantly British cast was not affected as it works under the union Equity. As a result, filming was able to proceed without delay until it wrapped on September 29.

Now that the season is close to its premiere date, HBO has released a behind-the-scenes look at the production:

Who is joining the cast for season 2?

A woman and two men sit at a table in House of the Dragon.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Other than the characters who died or played younger versions of some key characters, we expect almost all of the principal actors who appeared in the show’s first season to return for the second. Some new characters have been confirmed for the upcoming season. Actors Gayle Rankin, Simon Russell Beale, Freddie Fox, and Abubakar Salim will portray Alys Rivers of House Strong, Ser Simon Strong, Ser Gwayne Hightower of the City Watch, and Addam of Hull (aka Addam Velaryon), respectively.

There has been debate over whether or not the “dragonseed” Nettles will join Rhaenyra’s army in the new season. There has even been a controversial, unconfirmed rumor that Daemon’s daughter, Rhaena, will tame the dragon Nettles rides in the books.

Likewise, in the months leading up to season 2, rumors circulated online that Henry Cavill and Elizabeth Olsen will have starring roles in the series. Fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, as both Cavill and Olsen have since set the record straight and denied any involvement in the show. For now, at least.

How many episodes will be in the new season?

A dragon attacks a man in House of the Dragon.
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The first season of House of the Dragon ran a total of ten episodes, chronicling the entirety of Viserys I Targaryen’s reign following the death of his wife, Queen Aemma. Deadline reported that the second season will only run eight episodes, although the initial plan was for it to run a full ten.

Sources speaking with Deadline said that the shift was driven by story considerations, and was not done as a cost-cutting mechanism. Fans are skeptical, but only time will tell whether it was the right decision.

Who’s at the helm this season?

A boy sits on his throne in "House of the Dragon" season 2.
Ollie Upton / HBO

Though Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik both served as showrunners last season, the latter departed the series, leaving Condal to oversee the show for season 2. Condal has also written the script for the new season’s first episode.

As for the directors, two of the season’s episodes have been directed by Game of Thrones regular Alan Taylor. The remaining episodes have been divided among directors Clare Kilner (Fallout, Gen V), Geeta Patel (Ahsoka, The Great), Andrij Parekh (Succession, Watchmen), and Loni Peristere (American Horror Story, The Witcher).

When will House of the Dragon season 2 premiere?

Daemon stands next to his dragon in House of the Dragon.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The second season will premiere on June 16, 2024, with each episode debuting weekly until the finale on August 4, 2024. In an interview with Variety, Bloys confirmed that the show will not be eligible for the 2024 Emmys because it is returning after May 31.