Early during season 1 of “House of the Dragon”, HBO renewed the “Game of Thrones” prequel, confirming that the series would return for a second season. Based on George R.R. Martin’s novel, “Fire & Blood”, which is a history book recounting notable events in Westeros in the 200 years before the original series, “HOTD” will continue to explore the in-fighting and intrigue surrounding House Targaryen.
With season 1 ending in dramatic fashion, with everyone in Westeros seemingly taking sides in the newfound battle between the Black Council and Green Council, here’s what we know about what’s to come in season 2.
Plot and Timeline
After spending most of season 1 establishing the main players in the battle of succession to follow the death of King Viserys (played by Paddy Considine, who will surely be missed), season 2 will inch the series closer and closer to war.
“We will get to the spectacle,” co-creator and showrunner Ryan Condal told The Times. (His co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik is not returning for season 2.) “But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war.” And now that we’ve gotten to know the major characters as well as what’s at stake, “[season] 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.”
According to the GOT fansite, Winter Is Coming, there are several big events coming. “Without getting into too much detail, there will be a conspiracy within the Red Keep, Rhaenys Targaryen will mount Meleys again, and there will be a search for more dragonriders.”
As for Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), the series’ big bad turned internet boyfriend, expect for a lot more exploration into his dynamic with his niece and current wife Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy). “And right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra?” writer Sara Hess told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are many interpretations [in Fire & Blood] to that.”
But considering how much the series has already deviated from Martin’s book, expect even more changes to come.
Cast and Characters
After so many deaths in season 1, there are still a surprising number of major players returning for a second season. Among them are Rhaenyra (D’Arcy) and Daemon (Smith) and their blended family of children, Jacaerys Valeryon, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen as well as the recently-born twins Aegon and Viserys. Considering how young many of the kids are in season 1, it’s likely that the series will age up those characters and recast them in the new episodes.
Then there’s Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke), her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), her children, Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Helaena (Phia Saban), and her loyal servant, Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel). It’s worth mentioning that Alicent’s fourth child with Viserys, Daeron, will make an appearance on the series at some point despite not being mentioned or seen in season 1. According to Martin, who serves as an executive producer on the series, “their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season.”
Of the remaining adult Valeryons, Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) and Corlys a.k.a. the Sea Snake (Steve Toussaint), will return despite so many losses to their family, including Laenor (John Macmillan), who was revealed to still be alive after Rhaenyra and Daemon arranged for his assassination so that they could get married. But despite being seen rowing away on a boat, much like Gendry Baratheon (Joe Dempsie) in “Game of Thrones”, it’s unclear if and when he’ll make a return to the series.
Additionally, other characters introduced in season 1, Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), the Arryk Cargyll twins – Arryk (Luke Tittensor) and Erryk (Elliott Tittensor) – as well as Tyland and Jason Lannister (both played by Jefferson Hall), are all expected to be back.
As for those two Lannisters, expect more from them as the series progresses, with Hall revealing to ET that “this is a story about the Targaryens. And the Lannisters do play a strong role in it, but not from the offset.” He asked for fans “to be patient as far as that’s concerned. Because they are introduced to the story… and they are supporting that story. That’s not to say they don’t have a very strong, pivotal role within it as time goes on.”
As for new cast members, it’s unclear who will join the sprawling ensemble. But Elizabeth Olsen addressed rumors that she is headed to Westeros, telling ET, “Dream casting is fun, yeah, but I heard it was, like, announced though, which is weirder… I never heard of such a thing.”
That being said, Olsen would be happy to be a part of it if something came up. “I mean, sure, yeah. [I’d like do to] anything that’s worth telling, that’s a good story, that’s innovative, that’s great great characters,” she offered.
Return and Premiere Date
Writing of the new episodes has already started with production expected to begin in late 2022, with filming itself lasting until the summer of 2023. According to Winter Is Coming, the series is expected to return to Cáceres, Spain, where it has filmed many scenes set in King’s Landing.
Season 2 isn’t expected to return to HBO until 2024.