The Targaryen civil war will continue when House of the Dragon returns to HBO in the summer of 2024. Season one of the Game of Thrones prequel premiered in August 2022.
According to Entertainment Weekly, HBO teased the return of the hit series at a press event at Warner Bros. Discovery's New York City offices on Thursday. HBO Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys gave journalists an early sneak peek at the anticipated second season. “They are done shooting and in post,” said Bloys. “We hope to have that early summer.”
House of the Dragon is set 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. According to the official House of the Dragon FAQ, “Game of Thrones is based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, but House of the Dragon is based on his ‘history' book, Fire & Blood. The book is credited as written by an Archmaester of Westeros, with various accounts on what happened during the Targaryen reign. House of the Dragon brings us back nearly 200 years to the time in Westerosi history when House Targaryen was at the height of its power. The series begins with the reign of King Viserys I, the fifth Targaryen ruler, the question of his succession, and the events that unfold after he names his daughter, Rhaenyra, heir — a title a woman had never assumed.”
Season One of House of the Dragon Ended with a Cliffhanger
Season one of House of the Dragon set the stage for the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war, as characters began to choose sides and form alliances. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, “Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) was chosen by her father, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), to succeed him on the Iron Throne. Upon his death, however, the Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), and his conspirators stole the crown for his grandson, Rhaenyra's stepbrother, Prince Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney).”
The key characters in the Targaryen saga include Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), dowager Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), Lord Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), Queen Helaena Targaryen (Phia Saban), Prince Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell), Prince Jace Velaryon (Harry Collett), and princesses Baela (Bethany Antonia) and Rhaena Targaryen (Phoebe Campbell).
Season two introduces new cast members, including Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, the Castellan of Harrenhal; Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, son of Otto; Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, a healer and resident of Harrenhal; and Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull, one of the most famous Velaryons.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, D'Arcy said the final episode of season one was a “grueling episode to shoot.” She added:
“When I read it on the page, I was so aware that it wasn't just a mountain of an episode. It's like the Alps. It's literally a rocky, hilly landscape where these state-changing events happen one after another after another.
“The moment that she receives the news of Luke's passing, that attempt at mediation crumbles. I don't think there is any longer the bandwidths to suppress and repress her nature… I am excited to discover what happens when Rhaenyra does less navigating and more acting on her instincts and desires. For so many very legitimate reasons, she has her hands tied practically throughout season one. I have a feeling that the rain might be off for season two.”
Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.