'House of the Dragon' Season 2: Everything We Know

The Dance of the Dragons is on its way.

house of the dragon season 2
(Image credit: Theo Whitman/HBO)

HBO's hit show and pop culture phenomenon Game of Thrones is officially a franchise. The first in-universe spinoff, House of the Dragon brought back the world of Westeros with a prequel story filled with royal intrigue and stunning dragons, led by a stacked cast of warring Targaryens.

Though some fans were skeptical of the show's chances after Thrones' divisive finale, House of the Dragon's renewal chances skyrocketed when its premiere episode brought in nearly 10 million viewers, the highest ratings for an HBO premiere ever. In response, the network decided to go all in on the Game of Thrones spinoff.

"We are beyond proud of what the entire House of the Dragon team has accomplished with season 1," Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said in a statement. "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 co-creator and executive producer George R.R. Martin and co-creator and showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik] 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.”

Here's what we know about the forthcoming second season so far.

'House of the Dragon' season 2 release date

After months of hinting, HBO revealed in March 2024 that House of the Dragon season 2 will premiere on June 16, 2024. The announcement came a few weeks after Warner Bros. Discovery streaming and gaming chief J.B. Perrette said in a Variety interview that the acclaimed GoT spinoff would return this June.

HBO chief Casey Bloys previously revealed during a November 2023 press event that House of the Dragon would return in “early summer” 2024. Bloys also confirmed that season 2 will consist of eight episodes, two fewer than season 1. (Boo.)

The network announced in April 2023 that production had begun on season 2 at Leavesden Studios in the U.K., with the show's official X (formerly Twitter) account posting a new photo from the set. Variety later reported that the show's production wouldn't be affected by the SAG-AFTRA strike, as its cast largely features U.K. actors working under contracts governed by the local union, Equity.

"House of the Dragon has returned," showrunner Ryan Condal said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera. 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."

'House of the Dragon' season 2 trailer

With just one month until premiere day, HBO released a final trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 on May 14. The theme for this clip seems to be devastation; while the other teasers have focused on taking a side, this trailer shows glimpses of how the Dance of the Dragons will bring violence and misery to both sides of the conflict. After all, as Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) says in one scene, "There is more than one way to fight a war." (And as book fans know, this war will reach new levels of brutality.)

Along with the official release date, HBO debuted two(!) trailers for House of the Dragon season 2 in March, marking the network's first-ever use of "dueling" trailers to highlight the upcoming war between the Greens and the Blacks. The Green trailer focuses on the front led by King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) in King's Landing, where he, Alicent (Olivia Cooke), Otto (Rhys Ifans), and Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) are preparing for war to defend their claim on the Iron Throne.

Meanwhile, the Black trailer shows Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and Daemon (Matt Smith) gathering their forces on Dragonstone and recruiting more allies, including a glimpse of a trip to the snowy North. The Dance of the Dragons is about to begin, and as the clips say, "All Must Choose."

On December 2, 2023, HBO released the first look at House of the Dragon season 2, via a set of first-look images and the first teaser. The minute-long clip sets up the upcoming season's clash over the Iron Throne between Rhaenyra and Aegon II, with Aegon's mother Alicent Hightower stating, "The war will be fought, many will die, and the victor will eventually ascend the throne." As expected of a Targaryen civil war, the teaser is also filled with dragons and dragon fire, as we see one of the first battles of the epic conflict.

"There is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin," Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) says, "and no war so bloody as a war between dragons."

rhaenyra targaryen in house of the dragon season 2

Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) in House of the Dragon season 2.

(Image credit: Theo Whitman/HBO)

olivia cooke in house of the dragon season 2

Alicent Hightower (played by Olivia Cooke) in House of the Dragon season 2.

(Image credit: Theo Whitman/HBO)

daemon targaryen in house of the dragon season 2

Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in House of the Dragon season 2.

(Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

matt smith and emma d'arcy in house of the dragon season 2

Daemon (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) in House of the Dragon season 2.

(Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

aemond targaryen in house of the dragon season 2

Prince Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) in House of the Dragon season 2.

(Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

'House of the Dragon' season 2 cast

HBO has confirmed which of the House of the Dragon cast is returning for the next season, including all of the main players in the Dance of the Dragons: Emma D’Arcy (Rhaenyra Targaryen), Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower), Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen), Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower), Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole), Steve Touissant (Corlys Targaryen), Eve Best (Rhaenys Targaryen), Harry Collett (Jacaerys Velaryon), Tom Glynn-Carney (Aegon II) and Ewan Mitchell (Aemond Targaryen). Among the actors we lost in Season 1 are Paddy Considine as King Viserys and Elliot Grihault as Lucerys.

Other returning actors include Bethany Antonia (Baela Targaryen), Phoebe Campbell (Rhaena Targaryen), Phia Saban (Helaena Targaryen), Jefferson Hall (Jason Lannister), and Matthew Needham (Larys Strong). Another surprising (unless you're a book fan), familiar name on the list is Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, a.k.a. the White Worm. It seems as though she survived the Hightowers' murder attempt at the end of season 1 to live another day.

next generation of targaryens in house of the dragon

The next generation of Targaryens from left to right: Baela (Bethany Antonia), Jacaerys (Harry Collett), Lucerys (Elliot Grihault), and Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell).

(Image credit: Ollie Upton / HBO)

HBO has also confirmed the new cast members joining the series. The most exciting new character for GoT fans will likely be Cregan Stark (played by Tom Taylor), an ancestor to the original series' leads who will become an important ally to one of the sides of the upcoming conflict. Cregan's father, Lord Rickon Stark, has also been confirmed and will be played by Vincent Regan. Other new cast members include Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull, Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew as Hugh, and Tom Bennett as Ulf.

As for the younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent, actors Milly Alcock and Emily Carey are officially not returning for season 2. Showrunner Ryan Condal told Variety that the two characters will not be involved, though they may return through flashbacks in later seasons. "[Alcock and Carey] are not a part of the story that we’re telling, yet. That’s not a thing that we’re doing right now," he said.

"There are things that we haven’t fully sorted out," he added. "I’m not closing the door on anything. So there, how’s that for an answer?"

'House of the Dragon' season 2 plot

Season 2 is expected to pick up immediately following the tragic death of Rhaenyra’s son, Prince Lucerys "Luke" Velaryon (Elliot Grihault), at the hands of Alicent’s son Prince Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) in the devastating House of the Dragon season 1 finale. Rhaenyra had initially been a proponent of peace after her father King Viserys' death, but in the epic final shot of season 1, it was clear on Rhaenyra's furious face that blood would answer for blood. The Dance of the Dragons is officially a go.

Book readers (or the spoiler-prone) know who ends up on the Iron Throne at the end of it all, but if you're following along with the show, there are few hints to find of the specifics of the upcoming season. It's been confirmed that future seasons of HotD won't include the drastic time jumps employed in bringing the season from Rhaenyra and Alicent's childhood days to the start of the war. Co-creator Ryan Condal confirmed to Deadline in October 2022 that there won't be more decade-spanning, recast-mandating time jumps in the next season.

"We tell the story in real-time from here forward," he told the outlet. "The actors are playing these characters until the end. We’re not recasting anybody. We’re not making any huge jumps forward in time. We are now in the Dance of the Dragons, and we’re gonna tell that story.

daemon and rhaenyra in house of the dragon season 1

Daemon (Matt Smith) crowns Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) as the rightful queen of Westeros in the House of the Dragon season 1 finale.

(Image credit: Ollie Upton / HBO)

Future seasons of 'House of the Dragon'

One big question about the GoT prequel is whether it'll face the same fate as Thrones: having more seasons than the source material (to the show's detriment). Luckily, the creative team already has a plan for the end of the series. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the showrunners revealed that they have an ending in mind and a plan for the show to run a certain number of seasons, with sources saying that three to four seasons are plotted so far.

They also hinted that the show, or a subsequent spinoff, could explore another period of the Targaryen dynasty, which stretches back to the Doom of Valyria, or the destruction of the family's first home country, and King Aegon I's conquest of Westeros.

“The Targaryens span both directions,” season 1 director Miguel Sapochnik told the outlet. “So as a spine to other possible stories and spinoffs … this is a great place to start.”

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.