House of the Dragon season 2: release date speculation, cast, plot rumors, and more

Queen Rhaenyra stands stoically alone on a shoreline in House of the Dragon season 2
Rhaenyra is going to war with her former best friend in House of the Dragon's second season. (Image credit: Theo Whitman/HBO)
House of the Dragon season 2: key information

- Set to release in mid-2024
- Actor Matt Smith suggests it'll arrive in August
- Will debut on Max (US), Sky (UK), and Binge (Australia)
- Filming not impacted despite 2023 Hollywood strikes
- First trailer roared online in December
- Key cast members set to return
- New character details revealed
- No plot synopsis revealed yet
- More seasons on the way

Get ready, everyone: House of the Dragon season 2 premieres this year. Exactly when the R-rated fantasy show will return, we aren't sure – but there are rumors swirling about its apparent release date that have piqued our interest.

So, when could House of the Dragon's second season take flight? You'll have to read on to find out more. If you do, we can promise that you'll learn even more about the Game of Thrones prequel series' next outing. Indeed, you can read everything about its confirmed cast list, what one of the best Max shows' first entry sets up plot wise for its successor, its first trailer, whether a third season has been greenlit yet, and more. 

Bear in mind that full spoilers for House of the Dragon season 1 follow, so don't read on if you're yet to watch it. Potential spoilers for season 2 are also discussed.

House of the Dragon season 2 release date: what we know

Alicent Hightower looks concerned at something off-screen in House of the Dragon season 2

Getting into your horse-drawn carriage to catch House of the Dragon season 2 on TV like... (Image credit: Theo Whitman/HBO)

House of the Dragon season 2 doesn't have a confirmed release date. However, while we know it's currently slated to arrive in mid-2024 – but actor Matt Smith, who plays Daemon Targaryen, seemingly revealed an August release window on a January edition of the UK's Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

Asked for a comment on Smith's apparent leak, HBO told TechRadar it had "nothing to announce" about House of the Dragon 2's rumored release date. Meanwhile, speaking to The Wrap, HBO CEO Casey Bloys refused to confirm whether it'll land on Max that month.

While many productions were affected by 2023's Hollywood strikes, filming on House of the Dragon season 2 was able to continue. That's because series was shot in the UK and comprises a mostly British cast, many of whom aren't members of the Screen Actors Guild of America. Principal photography had begun in April and wrapped in late September.

Unlike its predecessor, which comprised 10 episodes, season 2 will only have eight entries. It's unclear why next season is shorter than its forebear, but it's likely due to the more cohesive and potentially less expansive (from a location perspective) story it'll tell.

House of the Dragon season 2 trailer

The first trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 was released in early December, and it teases a fiery and bloody beginning to the Dance of the Dragons.

Indeed, despite being on the short side, the teaser promised more dragons, the brewing war between former best friends Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower (and their various allies), plenty of bloodshed, and further exploration of the intense and complicated relationships between the series' numerous characters.

With many months to go until the series' next installment, we expect another trailer or two to drop before it debuts.

House of the Dragon season 2 cast

Daemon Targaryen sits wearing his suit of armor in House of the Dragon season 2

Welcome back, Prince Daemon!  (Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

Spoilers follow for House of the Dragon season 1.

Here's who is returning for House of the Dragon season 2:

  • Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen
  • Olivia Cookie as Alicent Hightower
  • Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen
  • Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower
  • Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon
  • Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
  • Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole
  • Graham McTavish as Harrold Westerling
  • Matthew Needham as Larys Strong
  • Jefferson Hall as Jason and Tyland Lannister
  • Harry Collett as Jacerys 'Jace' Velaryon
  • Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon II Targaryen
  • Ewan Mitchell as Aemond Targaryen
  • Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen
  • Bethany Antonia as Baela Targaryen
  • Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena Targaryen

Given the time jump midway in season 1, it's unclear if we'll see younger versions of characters Rhaenyra and Alicent (and their actors) return in flashback sequences for season 2. However, there are a few faces who won't be back, such as Rhaenyra's second born Lucerys, who was killed by Aemond and his dragon Vhagar in the season 1 finale.

There are more characters set to join the fray in season 2, though. Take a look at the newly announced cast members and who they'll portray below:

  • Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull, a sailor in the Velaryon fleet who served in the Stepstones campaign
  • Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, a healer and resident of Harrenhal, within the Targaryen’s Green faction
  • Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, the son of Otto Hightower, brother to Queen Alicent
  • Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, the Castellan of Harrenhal and great-uncle to Lord Larys Strong
  • Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull
  • Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome
  • Kieran Bew as Hugh Hammer, a dragonseed turned dragon ride
  • Tom Bennet as Ulf the White, a dragonseed of Dragonstone
  • Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark, Lord of Winterfell
  • Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne

If you’re struggling to remember everyone’s names, we don’t blame you. There’s a lot of characters to keep track of, but when season 2 comes to fruition, we know it’ll all come together nicely. 

House of the Dragon season 2 story speculation

Aemond Targaryen sits next to a fire in House of the Dragon season 2

Aemond Targaryen has got a lot to answer for... (Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

Full spoilers follow for House of the Dragon season 1.

The rich tapestry of Martin’s 'Fire & Blood' novel paves the way for House of the Dragon. While fans of the source material are already privy to plenty of story-based spoilers, aside from certain changes that the show has made (and will continue to make), House of the Dragon season 2’s story will most certainly pick up where season 1 left off.

As viewers watched rivalry, dirty work, and conflict unfold, season 1 set out to explain and explore the true nature of the rivalry between the Greens (led by Alicent Hightower) and Blacks (led by Rhaenyra Targaryen), as well as how their feud truly began.

The season 1 finale lined up viewers for a descent into civil war, with the forthcoming conflict set up in aggressive and jaw-dropping fashion with Lucerys, Rhaenyra’s second son, murdered by Aemond and his dragon Vhagar. 

Unsurprisingly, vengeance is on the menu for Rhaenyra. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, D'Arcy said: "The moment that she receives the news of Luke’s passing, that attempt at mediation [with Alicent] crumbles. I don’t think there is any longer the bandwidth to suppress and repress her nature… I am excited to discover what happens when Rhaenyra does less navigating, and more acting on her instincts and desires. For so many very legitimate reasons she has her hands tied practically throughout season 1. I have a feeling that the rain might be off for season 2."

Corlys Valeryon stands in a dark room by a fireplace in House of the Dragon season 2

Will Corlys Velaryon continue to support Rhaenyra in her battle against the Greens? (Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

The conflict over who has claim to – and will eventually reign on – the Iron Throne burns bright as we head into House of the Dragon season 2. As we saw in season 1 episode 9, Prince Aegon II – Alicent's second born Rhaenyra’s half-brother – is Westeros' new ruler. However, while there may be two clear sides to the fight, the allegiance of the many key figures and players – in true George R.R. Martin style – are most certainly blurred. Expect plenty of backstabbing, side switching, and the like moving forward.

In keeping with the show’s name, showrunner Ryan Condal also told Deadline that there are five new dragons joining season 2. If you've found it hard to keep track of all the human characters in the series so far, you might face a similar problem with its winged beasts.

A dragon flies over a body of water in House of the Dragon season 2

We're never mad about more dragons... (Image credit: HBO)

Meanwhile, Martin has expressed how "cool" he found all the "weird ass stuff" Condal and the rest of the show's creative team have included (per Deadline) in the series. Elsewhere, Condal told The Hollywood Reporter that fans can expect more where that came from with their favorite characters "conspiring at the council tables, marching with their armies, and riding their dragons into battle". 

With multiple new dragons and fascinating characters, plus a plot ripe for unraveling a thread of deceit, discord, and war, House of the Dragon season 2 will be filled with more of the Game of Thrones' epic tales. Indeed, given the footage shown in its teaser trailer. a war between kin is being cultivated as both houses gather armies and dragons to fight for the Iron Throne – and we can't wait. While we wait for its arrival, read up on five big questions House of the Dragon season 2 needs to tackle.

Where to watch House of the Dragon

Otto and Alicent chat in a firelit room in House of the Dragon season 2

What are Otto and Alicent plotting for season 2? (Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

Planning a re-watch House of the Dragon season 1 (or stream it for the first time) before its successor arrives? Good news – every episode (10, to be exact) is available on Max in the US, Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK, and Binge in Australia.

Game of Thrones' eight seasons are also viewable on these platforms so, if you want to become engrossed in more of Martin's cut-throat fantasy world, stream all 80 episodes on their respective platforms. Once you're done, see how we ranked best every season of Game of Thrones from worst to best.

Will House of the Dragon season 2 be the show's final entry?

Daemon whispers in Rhaenyra's ear in House of the Dragon season 2

Let's hope Daemon and Rhaenyra continue to see eye to eye. (Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

House of the Dragon season 2 won't be the show's final installment. It'll come as no surprise that it has many more episodes in the tank, with Martin recently sharing some exciting season 3 news. Speaking with BangCast, he revealed the show's executive team would be "planning for the third season soon." Some pretty positive news, then.

This also comes alongside a Deadline report hat season 3 has been "mapped out and might be greenlighted", so it seems like it's only a matter of time before a third installment is confirmed by HBO. Before then, let’s embark on season 2's likely stunning eight-episode entry and see if our fragile hearts can take any more.

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Grace is a freelance writer for TechRadar, with past work at sites like GamesRadar, Metro and The Loadout. 

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