‘House of the Dragon’ Just Got More Complicated as Four New Members Join the Cast

‘House of the Dragon’ Just Got More Complicated as Four New Members Join the Cast

You can send up a prayer of thanks to the old gods and the new, because House of the Dragon is already renewed for season 2. We’ve watched all of the first season, and we can now relax knowing there will be at least one more season’s worth of Easter eggs, theories, and Oh my god, did that just happen? moments. This renewal isn’t a total surprise considering how much money HBO is pouring into this show and how many people are watching (the premiere episode broke an HBO record for total viewers at 10 million), but it’s still good news.

Here’s what Francesca Orsi, executive VP of HBO programming, had to say about the renewal: “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 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 everything we know about season 2, including casting news, spoilers, and plot details.

First things first, when is it happening?

Great question. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the first season took 10 months to film, with months’ more work after that on VFX, etc. In a February 22 interview with Variety, Casey Bloys, who runs content at HBO, said that production on season 2 is just now starting, so a 2024 premiere—summer 2024 specifically—is likely.

What will the second season be about?

Now that we’ve seen the finale of season 1, we finally know where we’re going with season 2. This show is *also* based on a portion of a book, so we know what the series as a whole will be about. [Spoilers ahead for the season 1 finale.] In the finale of the first season, we saw the first big death of the war that’s to come between the Green Council (Alicent and co) and the Black Council (Rhaenyra and co).

In the lead-up to the season 1 finale, Condal teased a little of what to expect from the show’s sophomore season—and it’s going to be more war but also more laughs (somehow).

“We will get to the spectacle, but you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war. Series 2 will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones, but it will have been earned and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in,” he explained (per Deadline), also promising that more House of the Dragon humor is headed our way as the show will find “natural pathways into moments of levity” next season, even amid all the extra tragedies and bloodshed, apparently.

And just yesterday, it was reported that Condal confirmed five new dragons in the series’s second installment…a tidbit that I’m sure will definitely please Martin lol. Apparently, the novelist recently attended an FYC event for HBO and admitted that he wasn’t impressed with the dragons in Game of Thrones because, “They were like all the same.” As for the fire breathers in the House of the Dragon? “They had personality,” he gushed. “They came alive. It came as great satisfaction to me.” So there ya have it, folks! Martin asked and Condal delivered.

Who’s returning?

Probably anyone who doesn’t die in season 1, TBH! Although we do know that both Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who play the young versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent, are being replaced halfway through the season with actors playing the older versions of their characters (Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively). It’s unclear whether Milly and Emily will still appear in the show in flashbacks or not. The little-kid actors were replaced as well (Aemond, Aegon, etc.), and those older actors will probably also return. Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen is officially RIP, so he probably will not come back either. Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen is likely to return as well.

Are any new faces joining the cast?

If you thought it was already complicated to remember everyone’s name, then you better get ready. Not only are our faves all coming back, but there are some brand new cast members who are joining in for season 2.

Variety reported that House of the Dragon will be adding four new faces for season 2.

Gayle Rankin will play Alys Rivers, a healer and resident of Harrenhal. “She is a witch who has mystical visions and becomes a powerful figure within the Targaryen’s Green faction.”

Abubakar Salim will play Alyn of Hull, “a sailor in the Velaryon fleet who served in the Stepstones campaign.”

Freddie Fox will play Ser Gwayne Hightower, “the son of Otto Hightower, brother to Queen Alicent and uncle to her children King Aegon, Queen Helaena and Prince Aemond.”

Abubakar Salim will play Alyn of Hull, “a sailor in the Velaryon fleet who served in the Stepstones campaign.”

Will I ever stop calling it Game of Thrones instead of House of the Dragon?

Probably not.

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