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Tom Power

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

Jace and Rhaenyra look out onto the ocean from Dragonstone in House of the Dragon season 2.
House of the Dragon season 2: key information

- Launching in June
- Will debut on Max (US), Sky/Now TV (UK), and Binge/Foxtel (Australia)
- Comprises eight episodes
- Three official trailers released online in late March
- First trailer roared online in December 2023
- Key cast members set to return
- New character details revealed
- No official story synopsis revealed
- More seasons on the way

House of the Dragon season 2 is finally ready to spread its wings. The popular, R-rated high fantasy series will roar back onto our screens in June – and, with the Dance of the Dragons set to begin when it returns, you need to decide if you'll be supporting Team Black (the Targaryens) or Team Green (the Hightowers).

Before you make that difficult decision, though, you'll want to know everything we know so far about House of the Dragon's (HotD) second season. Below, we've rounded up every piece of information (and the odd rumor) we could find about the Game of Thrones (GoT) prequel series' next entry, including its launch date, cast list, numerous trailers, story synopsis, and more.

Full spoilers follow for House of the Dragon season 1 on Max, so proceed at your own risk. Potential spoilers for season 2 are also on the way.

House of the Dragon season 2 release date

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 will debut in the US on Sunday, June 16. Its official Max release date was announced in late March alongside three new trailers (more on those below). UK and Australian viewers will have to wait until Monday, June 17, though, to catch it on Sky Atlantic/Now TV and Binge/Foxtel respectively.

We had a good idea that HotD would return in mid-2024. Indeed, Warner Bros. Discovery's Head of Streaming J.B. Perrette confirmed season 2 would be released in June a few weeks before its official launch date was announced.

That means one of the best Max shows' second season will debut two months earlier than Matt Smith, who plays Daemon Targaryen, seemingly revealed on a January edition of the UK's Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. In the wake of Smith's apparent revelation, HBO told TechRadar it had "nothing to announce" about House of the Dragon 2's rumored release date.

HotD season 2 will also be shorter than its forebear, with just eight episodes than its predecessor's 10. Based on its many trailers (we're getting to them now, don't worry), however, it'll be as melodramatic and brutal as season 1 was.

House of the Dragon season 2 trailer

Not content with releasing one new House of the Dragon season 2 trailer in March, HBO gave us three instead. The first, which you can view above, has been dubbed the "dueling" trailer, and its 40-second runtime teases the ominous and fiery showdown that's set to play out between House Targaryen and the House Hightower.

So, what about the other teasers? They're the Team Black and Team Green ones, which shine a biased spotlight on each House ahead of season 2's arrival. They're both tasty affairs, too, so they're well worth watching.

Missed the very first trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 in December 2023, which it teases a fiery and bloody beginning to the Dance of the Dragons? Watch it below:

House of the Dragon season 2 cast

Welcome back, Prince Daemon!  (Image credit: HBO/Theo Whitman)

Spoilers follow for House of the Dragon season 1.

Here's who's 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
  • 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
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
  • 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 joining the fray in season 2, though. Take a look at the new cast additions and the characters they'll be playing 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 dragon-seed turned dragon rider
  • Tom Bennet as Ulf the White, a dragon-seed 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

Aemon Targaryen II (aka Aemon Hightowner) sits upon the Iron Throne, and the actual Targaryens aren't happy. (Image credit: HBO/Ollie Upton)

Full spoilers follow for House of the Dragon season 1.

HBO is keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to House of the Dragon season 2's plot. Indeed, it hasn't released an official story synopsis for the sequel season. However, based on the trailers, what happened in the season 1 finale, and a recent trailer breakdown from Entertainment Weekly (EW), we have a clearer picture of what will happen.

To begin with, though, let's take a look at its source material. The rich tapestry of George R.R. Martin’s 'Fire & Blood' novel is what House of the Dragon's TV adaptation is based on. Fans of that book are already privy to many story-based spoilers and, while HBO's take on Martin's literary works has made some changes to the tale that plays out on the pages, there are particular narrative beats it has to hit – the Dance of the Dragons, aka the Targaryen civil war, among them.

Aemond (right) has got a lot to answer for when it comes to the start of the Targaryen civil war... (Image credit: HBO/Ollie Upton)

House of the Dragon season 2’s story, then, picks up directly after the first (per EW). The season 1 finale lined up viewers for a descent into familial infighting, with the forthcoming conflict set up in aggressive and jaw-dropping fashion with Lucerys, Rhaenyra’s second son, and his dragon being murdered by Aemond and the latter's fire-breathing beast Vhagar. 

Unsurprisingly, vengeance is on the menu for Rhaenyra. Speaking in a separate EW article to the one posted above, 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 and Rhaenys Velaryon must decide which side of the fight they'll be on. (Image credit: HBO/Ollie Upton)

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, too. Season 1 episode 9 saw Prince Aegon II – Alicent's second born and Rhaenyra’s half-brother – become 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 Martin style – are most certainly blurred.

"This is not a story of goodies and baddies, black hats and white hats," showrunner and co-creator Ryan Condal told EW. "It's a story of this family that's been rent open by this dispute over who is meant to wear the crown after Viserys passes. 

"Some people think it's Rhaenyra, some people think it's Aegon, and then there are other people within who think, 'Why should it be one of the two of them? Maybe it should be somebody else. Maybe it should be me!' The fun of this Greek tragedy is seeing, when you introduce a power vacuum to a world like this, how all of these individuals react". In short: expect plenty of backstabbing, side switching, and the like moving forward.

In keeping with the show’s name, Condal also told Deadline that there are five new dragons joining season 2. One of that number will be Sunfyre, who is described as "the most beautiful dragon who ever lived", Condal (per EW) says in reference to Martin's novel. "I think it was incumbent upon us to try to rise and meet that challenge, but doing so in a way that didn't seem like we were making a dragon from a different show – a 'fantasy dragon,' for lack of a better word. So Sunfyre had to exist as a cut above that would be recognized as distinctly beautiful within a world that has 17 other dragons running around."

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. Still, in a series based around said winged beasts, you can never have enough of them.

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

Considering it's a precursor to GoT, House of the Dragon's first season had its fair share of call backs. Season 2 will deliver more on that front, too, including a return to The Wall, which sees Rhaenyra's eldest son Jace travel to in order to rally the Starks – led by Lord Cregan during this Westerosi period – to fight for the Targaryens in the war to come.

"He [Cregan] is very powerful," Condal told EW. "Everybody's vying for his army. He's quite a bit younger than Ned Stark was, so it's interesting to see the Young Wolf, the young Stark lord, and how he carries himself in the world, and the burden that's on his shoulders being the Warden of the North. I'm excited for the audience to see and experience that."

The Wall won't be the only location in season 2 that GoT fans will recognize. Harrenhaal will also play a prominent role this season, with Condal teasing: "Harrenhal definitely is its own character in the show. It had its own character in the original books, in the original series when Arya was playing cup bearer for Tywin there. Other than the Red Keep, it's probably the most talked-about, storied castle in Westeros, and we really wanted to pay service to it.

"Whether it's real or rumored, it does have this supernatural aura around it that does put people off. "We were excited to play that out as storytellers."

Even though it has two less episodes than season 1, HotD season 2 will also devote more screen time to he series' supporting cast, some of whom didn't get more service last time around.

"The characters that I immediately wanted to get into are the characters that we didn't get to spend a ton of time with at the end of the season because of the needing to move through 20 years of narrative," Condal revealed to EW. "We did not get to spend a lot of time with Aemond, Helaena, Jace, Baela, or Rhaena. Those characters are so immediately connected to Rhaenyra, Alicent, Daemon, Viserys, and Otto that we wanted to immediately shine the spotlight on them and get into their internal lives and what they make of all of this."

Meanwhile, Martin has expressed how "cool" he found all the "weird ass stuff" Condal and the show's creative team have included (per Deadline). 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. Oh, and there'll plenty for those of an action mindset to enjoy, too – Condal telling EW that season 2 has £two of the largest sequences that certainly I've ever done... certainly that House of the Dragon has ever done". We can't wait.

While we wait for next season to arrive, read up on five big questions House of the Dragon season 2 needs to tackle.

Where to watch House of the Dragon

Will Daemon and Rhaeynra still see eye-to-eye in season 2? (Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

Planning to watch House of the Dragon season 1 again (or stream it for the first time) before its follow-up arrives? Every episode (10, to be exact) is available on Max in the US, Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK, and Binge and Foxtel in Australia.

Game of Thrones' eight seasons can also be seen on these platforms so, if you want to become engrossed in more of Martin's cut-throat fantasy world, you can stream all 80 episodes on the same platforms. Once you're done, see if you agree with our ranking of best Game of Thrones seasons

Is House of the Dragon going to get another season?

We'll take more bloody and brutal action sequences like this in season 2 and beyond, HBO. (Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon season 2 won't be the show's last entry. Indeed, it has many more episodes in the tank, with Martin telling BangCast that the series' executive team are "planning for the third season." Some pretty positive news, then.

Deadline has also suggested that season 3 has been "mapped out" for a while, so it's only a matter of time before House of the Dragon season 3 is announced. Here's hoping we get the confirmation sooner rather than later.

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