'House of the Dragon' season 2 just dropped new 'dueling trailers' — here's what we know about the HBO hit's return

Harry Collett, Emma D'Arcy, Oscar Eskinazi in "House of the Dragon" season 2
"House of the Dragon" season two premieres in June.Theo Whitman/HBO
  • HBO's "House of the Dragon" season two will premiere on June 16.

  • HBO released "dueling trailers" for season two, split between the Black Council and Green Council.

  • Here's everything we know about the new season.

Get ready, because the second season of "House of the Dragon" is only months away.

The "Game of Thrones" spinoff series is based on George R.R. Martin's book "Fire and Blood," itself a history of the fictional Targaryen family that once ruled his fantasy land of Westeros. The show depicts the events of the Dance of the Dragons, the violent Targaryen civil war.

Like its predecessor, "House of the Dragon" was also a massive hit, and was renewed for a second season shortly after its premiere.

Here's everything you need to know about the eagerly anticipated second season.

'House of the Dragon' season 2 premieres in June

"House of the Dragon" season two will arrive on HBO on June 16, the network revealed in March 2024.

"House of the Dragon" was one of the few major series that was virtually unaffected by the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes in 2023. Martin wrote on his blog in May 2023 that scripts for season two had been finalized long before the strike began, and that filming for the series had begun in April in London and Wales. Additionally, the actors on the show belong to the British actors' union, not SAG-AFTRA.

HBO released elaborate 'dueling trailers' for 'House of the Dragon' season 2

In March, HBO provided fans with double the trailer material. The "Green" and "Black" trailers focus on two different sides of the Dance of the Dragons: the Green Council, in support of King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), and the Black Council, in support of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), respectively. There's also a trailer for the trailers, if you're into that.

"My father chose me, his firstborn child, to succeed him," Rhaenrya says at the beginning of the black trailer. "He held to his decision until death. And yet, Alicent's son sits on my throne. I mean to fight this war, and win it."

As EW reported, you'll see a few glimpses of other characters in the black trailer as well: Cregan Stark (Tom Taylor), the Lord of Winterfell, and Gwayne Hightower (Freddie Fox), Alicent's eldest brother.

The green trailer shows us the other side of the Targaryen war.

"Only weeks ago, my lord husband was alive, and the realm was at peace," Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) says in the green trailer. "On his death bed, he knew the realm would never accept a queen. Rhaenyra's supporters will believe what they wish, but Viserys wanted Aegon to succeed him."

You can catch a glimpse of Sunfyre, a uniquely beautiful dragon, in the green trailer.

"That dragon was described so specifically in the book as the most beautiful dragon who ever lived," showrunner Ryan Condal told EW. "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."

The first 'House of the Dragon' trailer came out in December 2023

HBO released the first trailer for the second season on December 2, 2023 during the "House of the Dragon" panel at CCXP23 in São Paulo, Brazil. It teases more fighting, plenty of dragon-riding, and lots of fire.

You can check it out here:

The 'House of the Dragon' season 2 cast features new and familiar faces

Much of the show's season one cast will return for the second season, including Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Matthew Needham, Eve Best, Rhys Ifans, and Phoebe Campbell, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Per EW, Bethany Antonia, Ewan Mitchell, Fabien Frankel, Harry Collett, Jefferson Hall, Olivia Cooke, Phia Saban, Steve Toussaint, and Tom Glynn-Carney will also return.

Daemon (Smith) and adult Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) in "House of the Dragon" season 2
Daemon (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) in "House of the Dragon" season 2.Ollie Upton/HBO

Some won't reprise their characters in the new season: Milly Alcock, who played young Rhaenyra in season one, told Deadline in March 2023 that her time on the show was "done." And given King Viserys I's fate in season one, it's unlikely that we'll see more of Paddy Considine, barring flashbacks.

Several newcomers were announced in 2023, per EW: Simon Russell Beale will play Ser Simon Strong, and Freddie Fox will play Ser Gwayne Hightower, Gayle Rankin will play Alys Rivers, and Abubakar Salim will play Alyn of Hull.

And the first trailer released in December revealed even more new actors joining the series this year. According to Deadline, Clinton Liberty plays Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna plays Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew plays Hugh, Tom Bennett plays Ulf, Tom Taylor plays Lord Cregan Stark, and Vincent Regan plays Ser Rickard Thorne.

Okay, so what about the dragons?

Aside from the dragons of season one, there are a few more who could appear in season two. In the green trailer released in March, we got a glimpse of Sunfyre, as well as Seasmoke, previously ridden by Lord Corlys Velaryon.

It's still possible that we could see Vermithor, Dreamfyre, Tessarion, Moondancer, Tyraxes, and other wild dragons in season two, or further down the line.

'House of the Dragon' season 2 will be a little shorter than season 1

Olivia Cooke in HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2
Olivia Cooke as Alicent in "House of the Dragon" season two.Theo Whiteman/HBO

While season one of "House of the Dragon" had 10 episodes, season two will only have eight, Deadline reported in March 2023.

According to Deadline, the original season two plan included 10 episodes. An HBO spokesperson told Deadline that the cut to eight episodes was for story-related reasons.

'House of the Dragon' now has only one showrunner

Ewan Mitchell in HBO's House of the Dragon Season 2
Ewan Mitchell as Aemond Targaryen in "House of the Dragon" season two.Ollie Upton/HBO

On the heels of the series premiere, co-showrunner and director Miguel Sapochnik announced he was leaving the show after the first season, though he would remain an executive producer and still has a first-look deal with HBO for new projects.

"I am so proud of what we accomplished with season one and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers," Sapochnik said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "It was incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally."

Co-creator Ryan Condal will now be the only showrunner on the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Alan Taylor, who previously worked on "Game of Thrones," will serve as an executive producer and direct some season two episodes.

'House of the Dragon' season 2 dives more into the Targaryen civil war

As of season two, there won't be any more big time jumps, Condal told Deadline. The first season had multiple time jumps to show the events that led to civil war in Westeros, and consequently recast Alicent and Rhaenyra in the second half of the season as a result.

Season two will continue to follow the Targaryen civil war, leaning further into the violent conflict known as the Dance of the Dragons. Two teaser posters for season two showed that side, depicting Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen in dark lighting, surrounded by embers. Their posters bore the text "blood for blood" and "fire to fire." The "dueling trailers" released in March leaned further into that concept, splitting between the two sides of the war.

Glynn-Carney, who plays Aegon on the show, said at the Game of Thrones Fan Convention in December 2022 that he was anticipating his character having "a lot more meat to get his teeth stuck into and to cause more havoc," EW reported.

D'Arcy told EW that their character, Rhaenyra, is ready to dig in as well.

"I don't think there is any longer the bandwidths 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," D'Arcy said. "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."

Read the original article on Business Insider