House of the Dragon director reveals why season 2 was cut down to eight episodes

Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon director Clare Kilner has revealed why season 2 of the fantasy drama is two episodes shorter than season 1, with eight episodes instead of 10.

"There are eight wonderful episodes with so much happening in every episode, and we have trouble, at times, bringing them down to one hour," Kilner told The Hollywood Reporter when asked why it made sense to go shorter for round two. "Ryan [Condal, showrunner]’s decision was to give it a good opening and a good ending, and they’re jam-packed with emotional and visually exciting events."

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, which tells the story of House Targaryen. Set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series follows the civil war between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and her former childhood best friend-turned-stepmother Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) that became known as the 'Dance of the Dragons'. Martin, however, has previously argued 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".

The new season has continued to shoot despite writers' and actors' strikes in Hollywood, as the cast is predominantly UK actors and therefore not SAG members, and the new episodes had already been written before production kicked off (although WGA industrial action means that any potential rewrites and reshoots will be more difficult without writers on set).

House of the Dragon season 2 is currently set to release sometime in 2024. While we wait for the next installment of the series to arrive on our screens, fill out your watch list with our picks of the other best new TV shows coming our way in 2023 and beyond. 

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.