House of the Dragon concluded with a brutal yet triumphant finale which featured an unexpected death and a dangerous dance between dragons.

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The prequel series whisked us back to roughly two centuries before the events of the original smash hit, showing us a time when House Targaryen ruled supreme with an arsenal of dragons at their disposal.

However, all was not well within the boundaries of King's Landing, where divisions and rivalries within the family pushed it to the brink of civil war – which finally sparked following the death of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine).

The finale featured Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) sending her son Prince Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) to Storm's End after she is crowned Queen of Westeros at Dragonstone. He becomes embroiled in a chase in the sky with Prince Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) while riding his dragon Arrax but ends up eaten by the enormous dragon Vhagar.

Worst of all - but in a welcome adaptational change - Aemond did not set out to kill Lucerys.

Speaking about the dramatic ending, showrunner Ryan Condal told EW: "The war is called the Dance of the Dragons, and this is the first dragon fight that has happened since Old Valyria.

"So the fact that is the first shot, to me, made it an almost necessary end point for the first season. Aegon sees Rhaenyra's crown and throne claim here, but now the stakes have gone up to this point. What's going to happen next? It's such a great precipice to leave everybody on going into the second season."

House of the Dragon scored an early renewal from US broadcaster HBO after only its first episode had aired, so we can be sure that this story will continue. Here's everything we know so far about season 2.

**Spoiler warning for House of the Dragon season 1**

House of the Dragons season 2 release date speculation: When will new episodes be released?

Emma D'Arcy stars in House of the Dragon episode 10
Emma D'Arcy stars in House of the Dragon episode 10 HBO

House of the Dragon season 2 is widely expected to be released on Sky Atlantic and NOW in 2024.

Filming on the new episodes is due to commence early next year in 2023.

Speaking to Vulture, HBO Max's chief content officer Casey Bloys revealed: "Don't expect it in '23, but I think sometime in '24.

"We're just starting to put the plan together, and just like last time, there are so many unknowns. It's not to be coy or secretive, but you don't want to say it's going to be ready on this date, and then you have to move it."

It's likely the series will take between six to nine months to shoot, before then entering the lengthy post-production process to polish up its substantial visual effects among other editing jobs.

That means a conservative estimate is that House of the Dragon season 2 could premiere in spring 2024, which could see the show return to the April launch date that the original Game of Thrones stuck to for most of its run.

Who will star in House of the Dragon season 2?

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon burned through a lot of actors in its first season, with numerous characters either being killed off or aged up over the course of 10 episodes.

However, the following members of the House of the Dragon cast are currently expected to return for the second season. Expect more details over the coming months.

It is uncertain whether Graham McTavish will reprise his role as Ser Harrold Westerling as the character has no role in the civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, according to George RR Martin's book Fire and Blood. He was also seen to resign from the Kingsguard in the ninth episode of the season.

It is unlikely that we will see Paddy Considine reprise his role as the late King Viserys I Targaryen, who was in an awful state when we bid him farewell unless he appears in flashbacks.

The same can also be said for young Elliot Grihault as Prince Lucerys Velaryon, who met a bloody death in the finale.

The same is also true for Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as the younger versions of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, respectively, although that may irk fans given the high praise both actors received.

Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon HBO

"[They're] not a part of the story that we’re telling, yet. That’s not a thing that we’re doing right now,” said showrunner Ryan Condal (via Variety), who later added: "I'm not closing the door on anything."

We can likely expect returns from supporting characters, including Kurt Egyiawan as Grand Maester Orwyle, Paul Kennedy as Lord Jasper Wylde, Phil Daniels as Grand Maester Gerardys, Luke Tittensor as Ser Arryk Cargyll, Elliott Tittensor as Ser Erryk Cargyll, and Roger Evans as Lord Borros Baratheon.

Additionally, there will inevitably be a plethora of new characters introduced in the second season.

Among the new figures who could be introduced are Lord Cregan Stark of Winterfell and Lady Jeyne Arryn of the Eyrie, both of whom are mentioned in the season 1 finale and who would be strong potential allies to Rhaenrya. The Queen sent her son Prince Jacaerys to treat with them - will he succeed?

Harry Collett as Prince Jacaerys Velaryon in House of the Dragon
Harry Collett as Prince Jacaerys Velaryon in House of the Dragon HBO

Another figure who is set to be at least mentioned is Alicent and Viserys' third son, Prince Daeron Targaryen, who was absent from the first season.

Condal told to Variety: "He does exist. No worries, everybody. He’s the youngest son. He’s warded off at Oldtown to Hobert Hightower and soon to Ormond Hightower, who is Hobert’s nephew, who becomes Lord of Oldtown.

"Honestly, this stuff happened all the time in this world. It’s not our modern day where if you had a 6-year-old, you would FaceTime them every day and see how they’re doing and write letters. He’s there. That’s the fact.

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"When he is relevant to be mentioned — and he will be — he will be mentioned."

How many episodes do we expect for House of the Dragon season 2?

Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans and Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans and Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon HBO

House of the Dragon season 2 is expected to consist of 10 episodes, just as the first season did.

George R. R. Martin wrote on his blog that he is still "thrilled" that the show gets to have "10 hours every season to tell our tale".

He added that "it is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish".

House of the Dragon season 2 plot: What happens next?

Elliot Grihault as Prince Lucerys Velaryon and Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Elliot Grihault as Prince Lucerys Velaryon and Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon HBO

Picking up where season 1 left off, House of the Dragon's next chapter will dive headfirst into the devastating Targaryen civil war, known among fans as the Dance of the Dragons.

The conflict will see the citizens and nobles of Westeros side with who they want to see take the Iron Throne, with their options being Queen Rhaenyra I Targaryen and the young King Aegon II Targaryen.

Of course, Rhaenyra will want revenge after the horrifying death of Prince Lucerys Velaryon in the season 1 finale. If the series follows the book, expect a particularly brutal response to what happened.

Expect more gory violence to ensue as well as quieter, more emotional scenes as the human cost of the war is explored, which will take a particularly heavy toll on former friends Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower.

House of the Dragon writer and executive producer Sara Hess has also told The Hollywood Reporter that season 2 will examine the uncomfortable dynamic between Rhaenyra and her husband/uncle Daemon.

"Right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations [in Fire & Blood] to that," she said.

The season finale certainly outlined the more toxic elements of their marriage. Is this a sign of things to come?

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon. HBO

The second season will also dramatically open up the focus to the entire ensemble cast instead of the few central characters in the first run, but still stay grounded in the story of Rhaenyra and Alicent.

Showrunner Ryan Condal notes to Entertainment Weekly that the second run "does fall into that ensemble piece where you're following multiple characters. They're not all in the same place, but this is still very much a story of Alicent and Rhaenyra and their families pitted against each other.

"We're not gonna suddenly pull away from telling their stories. It's just the nature of this thing, in season 2, it really opens up the world in a big way and the sprawl grows quite a bit."

The second season of the series is also compared to the third to sixth seasons of Game of Thrones in execution.

Is there a House of the Dragon season 2 trailer?

Not just yet! Given the huge amount of work that goes into every episode of the show, we would guess that fans are a while off from seeing any footage from the new episodes.

Rest assured, we'll update this page as soon as anything does arrive.

In the meantime, watch this behind-the-scenes episode on the tenth and final episode of House of the Dragon season 1.

Read more:

House of the Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic and is available on NOW – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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