Everything We Know About House of the Dragon Season 2 So Far

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| October 6, 2023

With House of the Dragon predicted to return in summer 2024, I’m here with what I’m calling off-season updates! As your resident, A Song of Ice and Fire aficionado, I’m covering all the latest news, including expected release date, episode count, predicted storyline, new cast, new dragons, and more. Now, let’s get into everything, Targaryen.

Expected Release Date

House of the Dragon has been renewed for Season 2. Filming has begun, and right now, it’s expected to premiere sometime during summer 2024. While we don’t have it narrowed down to a specific month yet, considering all the post-production that will need to be done–especially with the inclusion of several new dragons–that’s a pretty reasonable timeline.

Episode Count

Season 2 has reportedly been cut down from Season 1’s 10 episodes to 8 episodes. The decision to shorten the count could be both cost and story-driven, as the current hope is to go through the source material over four seasons, so securing a Season 3 renewal is pivotal.

Rhaenyra mourns her son's death.
Fire and Blood

Predicted Storyline

We left our dragon babies lost in heartbreak. Rhaenyra Targaryen’s young son Lucerys and his dragon Arrax were “accidentally” murdered by her half-brother Aemond Targaryen. Daemon Targaryen, Rhaenyra’s uncle/husband, breaks the news to her, and Season 1 ends with a very Daenerys-esque slow turn toward the camera with the promise of fire and blood burning in Rhaenyra’s eyes.

Now, for a warning. After this point, there are some very, very probable Season 2 spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled, fly away! I will be somewhat vague, covering the main idea as opposed to getting down to fine details, but it’s still spoilers. Also, two disclaimers:

First, these assumptions are based on the Fire & Blood canon lore, and HotD has been known to take liberties and deviate to certain degrees, so read this article with a grain of salt. Second, my opinions of major players in the Dance come from Fire & Blood, and even though HotD has switched things up on me a good bit, I’m still Team Black until convinced otherwise, so take my character stances with a cupful of salt, too. Ye’ve been warned.

Here are my predictions for the major story beats we might see in House of the Dragon Season 2:

Daemon stands with the City Watch.
Daemon and the City Watch

Blood and Cheese

Immediately after the fight above Shipbreaker Bay, in which Lucerys died (ahem. . . was murdered . . .), Daemon gets even. Enlisting help from “friends” in King’s Landing, he arranges the assassination of one of Aegon II’s children as payment for Luke’s death.

Battle of the Burning Mill

Civil war breaks out, and House Blackwood defeats House Bracken. This is important because, one, King Aegon II loses major support in the Riverlands. Two, we meet killer archer Alysanne Blackwood (aka Black Aly). And three, we also meet Bloody Ben Blackwood, whom I mistakenly thought we saw in House of the Dragon Episode 4, “King of the Narrow Sea,” but is actually another relation in House Blackwood. Ben is someone to keep an eye on throughout the Dance.

Alicent and Criston Cole talk in Kings' Landing.
Criston Cole

Criston Cole is Named Hand of the King

However you feel about Ser Criston, he gets named Hand because Otto Hightower’s scheming isn’t producing results fast enough for Aegon II’s liking. Trade one Green for another, okay?

Duel of the Cargyll Twins

Who remembers Erryk and Arryk? These two twins pick separate sides in the war and end up fighting to the death for their respective loyalties in what might have been an assassination attempt. But when you see your twin skulking about in the halls of Dragonstone when they’ve got no business being there, there aren’t many other conclusions to reach.

Rhaenys Targaryen's dragon Meleys roars at Aegon II on his coronation day.

Big Battles

The Sack of Duskendale and the Battle at Rook’s Rest are both important for different reasons. Duskendale is necessary for strategic reasons and results in a win for Team Green, and Rook’s Rest is a brutal blow for Team Black. At Rook’s Rest, Rhaenys rode her dragon Meleys into battle. However, Aegon II had set a trap. Sunfyre and Vhagar appear, and the three dragons fight, crashing to the ground. Rhaenys and Meleys fight bravely and lose their lives in the attack; Vhagar survives, and Sunfyre and Aegon II are severely injured.

Protector of the Realm

Aemond assumes command and styles himself as Protector of the Realm as his brother recovers. Soldiers are posted to protect Sunfyre and keep him fed while he can’t fly. This is an important plot point for interpersonal reasons and sets up a plot twist we won’t see until later on. 

A close-up of Vermithor's eye.

The Dragonseeds

At this point, Team Black has lost Lucerys and Rhaenys and their dragons, Arrax and Meleys. However, they have spare dragons in need of riders if they want to maintain the advantage. So, they find new riders. How? Well, the Targaryens . . . ahem, sowed their seed far and wide, so there are lots of people around Dragonstone who can claim the blood of the dragon. Several of these Dragonseeds take their chances at winning the unclaimed dragons, and if someone managed to get a dragon to like them, they got to ride it into battle. Sadly, my poor baby Vermithor bonds with a truly annoying (to say the least) human being, and I will not be happy about it.

High Tide castle.
High Tide

Battle of the Gullet

THIS. This is a finale-level event. In short, in a scheme of the Greens, Daemon and Rhaenyra’s sons, Prince Aegon III and Prince Viserys II, were captured by the Triarchy’s fleet. Prince Aegon III managed to escape, and Prince Jacaerys flew to attack the offending galleys. Jace is joined by several of his fellow dragon riders, and between him and the dragonseeds, the fleet is shattered. However, in the heat of battle, Jace flew his dragon too low and crashed into the sea. Afterward, the remaining enemy ships destroy Corlys Velaryon’s treasured High Tide and a third of his fleet. This culminates in a devastating blow to Corlys’ home, Rhaenyra’s heart, and–at best–a disputed victory.

If I were going to pick a finale episode, that would be it. If you want spoilers and want to form your own opinions on what we’re likely to see in Season 2 and beyond, you can read the entire Dance of the Dragons event list here.

New Cast

Here’s a short rundown of the currently known new cast members:

Portrait of Gayle Rankin.
Gayle Rankin

Gayle Rankin has been cast as Alys Rivers, a witch who’s at Harrenhal when Daemon assaults the castle and later spends a lot of time with Aemond, becoming a Green ally. I have an unconfirmed head cannon that she’s Melisandre, but like I said, it’s only a “me theory.”

Portrait of Abubakar Salim.
Abubakar Salim

Abubakar Salim is cast as Alyn of Hull, brother to Ser Addam Velaryon and later heir to Driftmark and House Velaryon.

Portrait of Simon Russell Beale.
Simon Russell Beale

Simon Russell Beale will appear as Ser Simon Strong, castellan of Harrenhal after Lyonel and Harwin’s deaths in Season 1.

Portrait of Freddie Fox.
Freddie Fox

Freddie Fox will play Alicent’s brother, Ser Gwayne Hightower, part of the City Watch.

Portrait of Tom Taylor.
Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor is rumored to be playing the Wolf of Winterfell, Cregan Stark, who holds an important role throughout the rest of the dance. However, this has not yet been officially confirmed.

As of the date of this article, we’re still waiting for major casting announcements such as Daeron Targaryen, Nettles, and a few more to be announced.

Caraxes breathes fire in war.

New Dragons

Lots of dragons are on the way! Regarding dragons we’ve already met, we’ll likely be seeing more of Caraxes, Syrax, Vermithor, Sunfyre, Vermax, and Seasmoke, to name a few.

Since we only got a glimpse of Vermithor, I’ll introduce him to you. This magnificent beast was King Jaehaerys I’s dragon from before Viserys’s reign, and he outlived one of my favorite Targaryen rulers to fly a new rider in the Dance.

Silverwing was Queen Alysanne’s dragon. Alysanne was Jaehaerys’s wife, and Vermithor and Silverwing spent a lot of time flying together. This detail is important to the story.

Sunfyre is Aegon II’s golden dragon. We didn’t see much of Sunfyre–only a peek at Driftmark, I think–but there’s a lot more to come.

Sheepstealer will be Nettles’s mount, and I’m interested to see the dragon’s design.

We might see a little of Helaena’s dragon Dreamfyre, and Grey Ghost or the Cannibal, two wild dragons alive around Dragonstone at the time of the Dance of the Dragons that are important to the story, but I’m not sure yet.

Dragons fly in the sky above High Tide
The dragons before the Dance.

That pretty much covers the information we have so far. I’m still waiting to see who they cast as Daeron! Season 2 should also see more dragon action to juxtapose the sly maneuverings at court. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some court intrigue, but I’m also ready for some dragon fights that aren’t just a really scary snap, if you know what I mean. And did I mention we’re gearing up for another season of Decoding Dragons to match?

Have you read Fire & Blood, or are you going into Season 2 unspoiled? Let me know what you’re most excited to see in the comments below!

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