In season 2 of House of the Dragon, what direction does the show take us?
As the first season of House of the Dragon comes to a close, let’s speculate on what might happen in the next second season, including the upcoming battle for the Iron Throne.
When writing about House of the Dragon, it’s important to keep in mind that not all viewers will be familiar with George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire and Blood, which serves as the show’s basis. Because of this, The A.V. Club created two distinct guides for Game of Thrones while season was airing: one for aficionados and another for newcomers. With the exception of a few oblique references, we have avoided discussing any major plot points from House of the Dragon. We’ll keep that in mind here; the following is only conjecture based on where Season 1 left off and what the showrunners have said in interviews about Season 2 thus far. Book readers who think they know what’s going to happen might be surprised to learn that the show has already deviated from the book in a number of ways (the ages and timeline adjustments, Laenor’s death, Rhaenys’ escape on Meleys, a missing Targaryen-Hightower son who might show up in the next season).
Status quo in the civil war
In this season’s ninth and tenth episodes, we saw the other side rally their troops. All the official emblems of authority, including the king, are on the side of the Greens, as are three dragons, an army, and several of the major houses, including the Lannisters. To compensate for their inferior weaponry, they will need to bolster their supporters and convince the lords who formerly swore allegiance to Rhaenyra to bow the knee to Aegon II instead before the conflict begins. Even if it was an accident, they have taken the first decisive steps toward winning over House Baratheon by slaying Prince Lucerys.
A valid claim to the throne, a fleet of Velaryon ships, at least six dragons (minus unfortunate Arrax), and an irate queen give the Blacks a fighting chance. In addition, the king’s guard has been divided, with three members travelling to Rhaenyra and the other three remaining with Aegon II. Ser Harrold Westerling, who renounced his white cloak in Season 9, may or may not make a declaration. We can’t wait to watch Jace fly his dragon into Winterfell. To return to that area would be a pleasant experience. We can only hope that he is met with warmer greeting than Luke was at Storm’s End.
While the Greens currently have the upper hand, with Rhaenys protecting the Gullet and Daemon guarding Harrenhal, the Blacks should be able to exact some measure of revenge when the show resumes. At this point, Rhaenyra’s self-control is exhausted, and Daemon isn’t the forgiving sort.
Motions of arrival and departure
Since August, we’ve had formal confirmation that Season 2 of Game of Thrones is in the works; but, it was always a safe assumption that HBO wouldn’t risk losing so much money on the show after its first season’s success. Some personnel shifts have already taken place. Miguel Sapochnik, the showrunner, is leaving after this season despite his extensive knowledge of Westeros thanks to his work on Game of Thrones. Co-showrunner Ryan Condal has left the show but has not officially said why; nonetheless, in an interview, he suggested that he had just become tired of the brand. Alan Taylor, a veteran of the cast of Game of Thrones, will take his position.
Sadly, Elliot Grihault’s role as Luke will not be reprised (we still haven’t gotten over it), but Tom Glynn-Aegon Carney’s II, Ewan Mitchell’s Aemond Targaryen, Harry Collett’s Jace, Bethany Antonia’s Baela, and Phoebe Campbell’s Rhaena will all be returning. Actors Matt Smith and Rhys Ifans, as well as series regulars Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, will return for future episodes.
Various alterations not related to the text
Condal has promised that the show’s second season will have a more consistent pace, like that which is recognisable to viewers of Game of Thrones, beyond the core story elements. The stage has been set, and the battle has begun, therefore there won’t be as many time leaps required. Condal also promised more humour than we saw in season one in the same interview with The Times in London. As he put it, there will be “natural routes into moments of levity,” especially with Matt Smith as Daemon.
Writing staff member and executive producer Sara Hess recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the next season will focus on the developing romance between Rhaenyra and Daemon. The second season is currently being written, and the writers are trying to determine “what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra?” The meaning might be taken in various ways,” she remarked.
How soon will we see the return of House of the Dragon?
The Spanish daily Hoy stated that the crew will be returning to the city of Cáceres in March, which is where all the King’s Landing street scenes were filmed, but we have yet to hear anything official from HBO about when we’ll be returning to Westeros. There’s a chance we’ll see flying dragons again by the end of 2023 if production schedules are anything like they are this year.