‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2: New Cast, Premiere Date News and More – Hollywood Life

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2: Premiere Date Update & More News You Need to Know

'House of the Dragon' season 2 is going to ignite the 2024 TV season. Matt Smith revealed new details about when the second season will premiere.

Reading Time: 9 minutes
Matt Smith
View gallery
Image Credit: HBO

Let the Dance of the Dragons begin. House of the Dragon is coming back for a second season. And rest assured, it will be epic. HBO announced on April 11, 2023, that season 2 was officially in production. The show has continued to film the second season amid the writers’ and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The HOTD team explained why the show was able to film despite other productions being put on hold amid the strikes. Now we have an idea of when season 2 will premiere — thanks to Matt Smith — and it’s not too far off.

House of the Dragon has returned. We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera,” co-creator, showrunner/executive producer Ryan Condal said in an April 2023 statement. “All your favorite characters will soon be conspiring at the council tables, marching with their armies, and riding their dragons into battle. We can’t wait to share what we have in store.”

The hit HBO series and Game of Thrones prequel got the season 2 greenlight back in August 2022, just days after its premiere. The first trailer, which dropped in December 2023 at CCXP, teased all the mayhem to come in season 2. “The war will be fought, many will die, and the victor will eventually ascend the throne,” Alicent says in the trailer. From premiere date news to new cast members, HollywoodLife is breaking down everything we know so far about the second season.

Matt Smith
Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy in season 2. (HBO)

‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 2 Premiere Date

House of the Dragon season 2 doesn’t have an exact premiere date yet, but HBO confirmed in November 2023 that season 2 would premiere in summer 2024. HBO network chief Casey Bloys revealed during a press event that the second season would debut in “early summer,” according to Variety.

In January 2024, Matt Smith divulged new information about the season 2 premiere. The actor revealed on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show that season 2 will premiere in “August, I think.” He didn’t give a specific date, but he said definitely “summer” 2024.

HBO and HBO Max content CEO Casey Bloys told Variety in February 2023 that it was a “good guess” that House of the Dragon season 2 would premiere in 2024. He didn’t reveal a specific date or time of year, but he did hint that season 2 wouldn’t be eligible for the 2024 Emmys. The eligibility period for the 2024 Emmys ends on May 31, 2024. This means that House of the Dragon season 2 will likely premiere in summer 2024 or later.

When the WGA writers’ strike began in May 2023, House of the Dragon didn’t pause filming. Production was able to continue because the scripts for season 2 have been “done for some time,” according to Variety. Showrunner Ryan Condal was still on set in a non-writing capacity.

“The scripts for the eight s2 episodes were all finished months ago, long before the strike began,  Every episode has gone through four or five drafts and numerous rounds of revisions, to address HBO notes, my notes, budget concerns, etc. There will be no further revisions,” author and executive producer George R.R. Martin wrote in a blog post.

On July 13, actors who are part of SAG-AFTRA, the U.S. labor union, went on strike. This prevented actors from filming projects and promoting them until a new contract was made. However, House of the Dragon was not impacted. The prequel series is in a contract production with Equity, the U.K. labor group for actors. Most of the House of the Dragon actors are under Equity contracts and not SAG-AFTRA, so they are still able to film.

“I am told the second season is half done,” George said in a blog post after the actors’ strike began. “ALL of the scripts had been finished months before the WGA strike began. No writing has been done since, to the best of my knowledge. HOTD is shot mostly in London (and a little bit in Wales, Spain, and various other locations), which is why filming has continued.  The actors are members of the British union, Equity, not SAG-AFTRA, and though Equity strongly supports their American cousins (they have a big rally planned to show that support), British law forbids them from staging a sympathy strike. If they walk, they have no protection against being fired for breach of contract, or even sued.”

Emma D'Arcy
Emma D’Arcy in season 2. (HBO)

The first season of House of the Dragon premiered in August 2022. If the show does return in summer 2024, that will be a nearly 2-year wait between seasons.

“We are beyond proud of what the entire House of the Dragon team has accomplished with season 1. 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, Ryan, and Miguel 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 2,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said in a statement.

How Many Episodes Of ‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 2 Will There Be?

House of the Dragon season 2 will consist of 8 episodes, according to Deadline. The second season will be a shorter season compared to the 10-episode first season. The 8-episode season 2 is part of a “long-term plan for the show” after showrunner Ryan Condal and author George R.R. Martin looked at the show as a whole and mapped out the series.

The “initial plan” for season 2 was indeed 10 episodes. When that changed, scripts underwent rewrites. An HBO spokesperson told the outlet that the shorter season was story-driven and not part of cost-cutting measures for Warner Bros. Discovery.

Director Clare Kilner weighed in on the shortened season in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “There are 8 wonderful episodes with so much happening in every episode, and we have trouble, at times, bringing them down to one hour. Ryan’s decision was to give it a good opening and a good ending, and they’re jam-packed with emotional and visually exciting events,” she said.

What Will Happen In ‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 2?

House of the Dragon follows George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, which tells the history of House Targaryen. The series focuses on the Dance of the Dragons, a deadly civil war within House Targaryen. The first season ended with Prince Aegon II usurping the throne (with the help of his mother Queen Alicent and the Greens) and being crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms in the wake of King Viserys I Targaryen’s death.

Tom Glynn-Carney
Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon II Targaryen. (HBO)

King Viserys had previously anointed his eldest child, Princess Rhaenrya, as his successor. His decision was met with criticism by many over the idea of a female ruler. After lingering scandal over the legitimacy of her first three children, Rhaenrya left King’s Landing for Dragonstone. By the end of the season, she had married Prince Daemon Targaryen, her uncle, and had three more children. Tragically, Rhaenyra and Daemon’s daughter was stillborn.

The season 1 finale set the Dance of the Dragons in motion. Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys Velaryon, was sent to Storm’s End as an envoy for the Blacks to raise support for Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne. While in Storm’s End, he crossed paths with Aemond Targaryen. Aemond had long held a grudge against Lucerys for taking out his eye when they were kids. Aemond taunted Lucerys while on dragonback in the final moments of the finale, and Vhagar accidentally ate Lucerys and his dragon, Arrax.

Ewan Mitchell
Ewan Mitchell in season 2. (HBO)

If House of the Dragon season 2 continues to follow the timeline of Fire & Blood, things are about to get very dicey in Westeros. Here are some of the key moments and a crucial character to look forward to:

Blood & Cheese

Blood and Cheese will inevitably be one of the most shocking moments in House of the Dragon history. As told in Fire & Blood, Blood and Cheese’s actions were a direct response to Lucerys’ death. Blood, a butcher, and Cheese, a ratcatcher, were hired by Daemon to kill Prince Jaehaerys, King Aegon II’s firstborn son and his heir to the Iron Throne.

Blood and Cheese broke into the Red Keep and held Alicent, Helaena, and her three children captive. The captors forced Helaena to choose which of her sons, Jaehaerys or Maelor, would die. Helaena offered her own life, but they refused. She eventually chose her youngest, Maelor, to die, but Blood and Cheese killed Jaehaerys instead.

Battle at Rook’s Rest

While there’s no official word about how far into the Dance of the Dragons season 2 will get, it’s likely to feature the Battle at Rook’s Rest. This was a key battle in the Dance that ended in Rhaenys’ death and Aegon II getting severely injured.

Cregan Stark

At the end of the first season, Rhaenyra’s oldest son, Jaehaerys, was sent to Winterfell to meet with Cregan Stark. During Jace’s time at Winterfell, he and Cregan formed a close bond. Cregan will be a crucial figure down the road.

‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 2 Cast

The main characters of House of the Dragon season 1 will be back in season 2. This includes Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenrya Targaryen, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon II Targaryen, Ewan Mitchell as Aemond Targaryen, Harry Collett as Jacaerys Velaryon, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen, Matthew Needham as Larys Strong, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Elliot Tittensor as Erryk Cargyll, Luke Tittensor as Arryk Cargyll, Bethany Antonia as Baela Targaryen, and Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena Targaryen. Phia Saban and Jefferson Hall will also return as Helaena Targaryen and Ser Tyland Lannister.

Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke in season 2. (HBO)

Gayle Rankin will play Alys Rivers. She’s supposedly a bastard child of Lord Lyonel Strong and a witch. She comes romantically involved with Aemond Targaryen. Simon Russell Beale will play Ser Simon Strong, Lord Larys Strong’s great-uncle. Freddie Fox will play Ser Gwayne Hightower, Otto Hightower’s son and Queen Alicent’s brother. Finally, Abubakar Salim has joined the cast as Alyn of Hull, a key player going forward who is allegedly Corlys Velaryon’s bastard son.

The role of Cregan Stark will be played by Tom Taylor. Fans had theorized that Vikings: Valhalla star Leo Suter may have been cast as Cregan because Fabien and Emma followed him on Instagram. In the end, Tom was cast as the pivotal character.

The first half of House of the Dragon season 1 featured breakout stars Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as young Rhaenyra and Alicent. When the show flashed forward 10 years, Emma and Olivia took over the roles.

Showrunner Ryan Condal revealed that Milly and Emily will not be seen in flashbacks in the second season, but he isn’t ruling out a return in the future. “[They] are not a part of the story that we’re telling yet,” he told Variety. “That’s not a thing that we’re doing right now.”

Behind the scenes, there’s been a major shift going into season 2. Director Miguel Sapochnik, the show’s co-showrunner in season 1, stepped down ahead of the second season. He will still serve as an executive producer moving forward. Alan Taylor, who directed several Game of Thrones episodes, has joined the show as an executive producer and is set to direct several season 2 episodes, according to THR.

Will There Be ‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 3?

HBO is already “mulling a green light for a third season” of House of the Dragon, according to Deadline. The creative team is looking for House of the Dragon to run 3 or 4 seasons and has been working on what stories and major battles to include in which season. Season 3 is reportedly already “mapped out,” and the network is “seriously considering” moving forward with it sooner rather than later.

A “portion of the plot” was originally set for season 2, including a major battle, but is now moving into season 3. That major battle is likely the Battle Above the God’s Eye, an epic face-off between Daemon and Aemond. As of right now, it’s looking like House of the Dragon will run for a total of 4 seasons.

George previously said that he wanted to be able to tell the entire story of the Dance of the Dragons across 4 seasons. “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,” the author and show co-creator wrote on his blog in October 2022.