We're finally getting a little bit closer to the release of House of the Dragon season 2 and star Matt Smith might have just given away the release window for the show.

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The first season left us on a major cliffhanger after the death of Rhaenyra Targaryen's son Lucerys. In true Game of Thrones style, it proved no one is safe and peace will never last for very long.

A dramatic trailer, released in December, showed Emma D'Arcy's Rhaenyra Targaryen being warned that, "there is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin, and no war so bloody as a war between dragons".

However, that doesn't seem to stop anyone, as the broken mother seeks vengeance for the death of her son.

We'll see much of the star-studded cast back in action, including Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, and, of course, D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen.

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So, when can we expect season 2 of House of the Dragon?

House of the Dragon season 2 release date speculation

It seems like House of the Dragon season 2 will be released in August 2024, according to star Matt Smith.

During a recent appearance on Zoe Ball's Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, he was asked when we can expect it, replying: "August, I think, I think summer. This summer, yeah."

Exciting news!

Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen in House of the Dragon. Ollie Upton/HBO

HBO's Network Chief, Casey Bloys, previously announced that we can expect the new season this summer during press event, with a trailer of the upcoming season being shown to a select few there.

Previously 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."

The trailer, released in December 2023, confirmed the release window of summer 2024.

Filming for season 2 began in April 2023 and wrapped in September the same year.

Who will star in House of the Dragon season 2?

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:

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon.
Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon. HBO

We can also expect new faces to join the fray. The following will be joining the cast:

  • Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers
  • Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong
  • Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower
  • Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull

We also have some new confirmations after the trailer dropped. They are:

  • Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan
  • Stark Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull
  • Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome
  • Kieran Bew as Hugh
  • Tom Bennett as Ulf Vincent
  • Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne

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.

Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower, Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole in House of the Dragon
Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower, Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole in House of the Dragon. Ollie Upton/HBO

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.

Eve Best plays Princess Rhaenys in House of the Dragon
Eve Best plays Princess Rhaenys 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.

"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?

Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria in House of the Dragon
Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria in House of the Dragon. HBO

House of the Dragon season 2 is expected to consist of eight episodes, two shorter than the first season's 10-episode run.

Discussing the reasoning behind the shorter second season, Clare Kilner told The Hollywood Reporter that season 2 has “eight wonderful episodes with so much happening in every episode, and we have trouble, at times, bringing them down to one hour".

She added that showrunner Ryan Condal made the choice “to give it a good opening and a good ending,” and teased that the episodes are “jam-packed with emotional and visually exciting events".

George RR Martin wrote on his blog previously that he was 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?

Emma D'Arcy stars in House of the Dragon episode 10
Emma D'Arcy stars in House of the Dragon episode 10. 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 noted 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."

Showrunner Ryan Condal has also explained that they're upping the scale of the dragons in season 2, confirming to Deadline that there are five new fire-breathers on their way.

Plus, writer Sara Hess has teased that the new season will cover one of the most brutal storylines covered in the book A Dance of Dragons, known to fans simply as Blood and Cheese.

It concerns two characters who are hired by Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) and Queen Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) to carry out a particularly nasty mission against Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) – with rather grisly consequences.

Asked in a recent interview with Variety if this plot point would feature in the second run, Hess responded: “We are currently writing the finale of season 2. I don’t think you will be disappointed."

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?

Yes! Check out the fiery, action-packed teaser trailer below.

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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