House of the Dragon Will Finally Become the Show That Season 1 Promised It Would Be

“We will not even remember what began the war in the first place.”

Harry Collett, Emma D’Arcy, and Oscar Eskinazi in 'House of the Dragon' Season 2

Coming off Game of Thrones’ universally disliked ending in 2019, there was a fair amount of skepticism surrounding HBO’s first Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon, heading into its August 2022 premiere. Fans had been so badly burned by its predecessor’s final season that many wondered whether or not HBO would be able to save the reputation of its most popular media franchise. Fortunately, House of the Dragon’s first season received largely positive reviews from both TV critics and readers of George R. R. Martin’s original Song of Ice and Fire books.

That’s not to say, though, that House of the Dragon Season 1 didn’t receive any fair criticisms over the course of its 10-episode run. On the contrary, many were understandably put off and frustrated by the season’s structure, which not only relies on multiple time jumps but also more table-setting than actual action. The inciting incident of the series’ central conflict, the legendary Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, doesn’t happen until the penultimate episode of House of the Dragon’s debut season.

Some viewers, consequently, felt like the season functioned more as a prologue to its show’s story than a proper beginning to it. Wherever you stand on that conversation, it doesn’t seem like House of the Dragon Season 2 is going to open itself up to the same criticisms.

After initially releasing a brief teaser back in December for House of the Dragon’s forthcoming second season, HBO unveiled two more, full-fledged trailers for it this past week. One focuses on Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and her allies, aka the Blacks, the other on Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) and his forces, aka the Greens. Despite the different characters spotlighted throughout them, both trailers offer a similarly explosive, war-ravaged look at House of the Dragon Season 2.

From unexpected conflicts like the civil war in the Riverlands to several major, inevitable dragon battles, the two trailers tease what might end up being the most action-packed season of television in the Game of Thrones franchise’s history. That may not come as much of a surprise to those who have read Fire & Blood, the Targaryen-centric book upon which House of the Dragon is based, but it is worth noting nonetheless. House of the Dragon Season 1 ends with the murder of Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault), which is the moment that, according to all available Westerosi historical accounts, essentially kicks off the Dance of the Dragons.

Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like House of the Dragon Season 2 will waste any time diving headfirst into the Dance. After forcing viewers to wait almost 10 hours for the infamous civil war, that’s a wise decision to make. Based upon the sheer number of battles, set pieces, and noteworthy moments that have so far been featured and teased throughout its trailers, it looks like the new season will adapt a sizable chunk of the Dance of the Dragons, too. It doesn’t, in other words, appear as though House of the Dragon is going to draw out its primary conflict longer than necessary, which should further comfort all the viewers who might have been concerned about its pace.

“Our terms are very simple: Renounce the false king and bend the knee to the queen, or your house burns.”


It’s still unclear exactly how much time will pass throughout House of the Dragon Season 2’s eight episodes and which moment in the Dance of the Dragons will serve as its ending. For now, though, those who felt unsatisfied by the show’s first season can rest easy knowing that there won’t be nearly as much table-setting in its new episodes. The Dance of the Dragons has begun and House of the Dragon Season 2 isn’t going to delay the action, bloodshed, and destruction wrought by it any longer — regardless of whether viewers are truly ready for what lies in store or not.

House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres Sunday, June 16 on HBO.

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