House of the Dragon season 2: Everything we know about the new season

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

We finally have some exciting House of the Dragon season 2 news. The hit Game of Thrones spin-off is officially returning to screens in summer 2024

Filming wrapped earlier this year after its first season won over audiences in 2022. Hopes are high then for the return to Westeros, as we get into the dramatic consequences of the season 2 finale (don't worry, we've got a recap on that below too). And if you're curious about what will happen next in the fantasy show, we've also got all of the details on the looming civil war between Rhaenyera of the blacks and Aegon of the greens.

In short, we've got everything you need to know about House of the Dragon season 2 right here, including the latest casting updates, information on the episode count, what the plot might cover, and much more besides – including our best guess at the exact release date for the new episodes. So, for all that and more, see our ultimate guide below. Prepare for fire and blood...

House of the Dragon season 2 release date speculation

Eve Best in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon season 2 will begin in summer 2024

Unfortunately, that's the only window have at the moment, but we'll take it. Filming wrapped earlier in 2023 after the show kept filming during the WGA writers' strike and the SAG-AFTRA actors' strike. 

House of the Dragon season 2 cast

House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Despite the time jumps, we can expect the House of the Dragon season 2 cast to be broadly similar to season 1, with a few key absences, of course. Paddy Considine won't be back as King Viserys, for one thing, and we also likely won't be seeing Milly Alcock or Emily Carey back as young Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower – though it's possible they could return via flashback.

As for who definitely will be back, HBO confirmed the show's returning cast members when the start of filming was announced in April 2023. Emma D'Arcy is back as Rhaenyra, along with Matt Smith as her uncle/husband Daemon Targaryen, and Harry Collett as Rhaenyra's firstborn son Jacaerys "Jace" Velaryon. 

Eve Best returns as Rhaenys Targaryen, as well as Steve Toussaint as her husband Corlys Velaryon, Bethany Antonia as Baela Targaryen, and Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena Targaryen, Daemon's daughters with the late Laena Velaryon. 

As for the greens, Olivia Cooke is back as Alicent, along with Rhys Ifans as her father Otto, Fabien Frankel as Kinsguard member Ser Criston Cole, and Matthew Needham back as the Littlefinger-esque Larys Strong. Tom-Glynn Carney will return as newly crowned king Aegon Targaryen, with Ewan Mitchell back as his brother Aemond Targaryen, and Phia Saban back as their sister (and Aegon's wife) Helaena Targaryen. There's also Jefferson Hall as twins Jason and Tyland Lannister and Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, AKA the White Worm

Newcomers to the cast include Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, Larys's great-uncle. Freddie Fox will play Ser Gwayne Hightower, Alicent's brother and otto's son. Gayle Rankin will be Alys Rivers, a potential witch. Abubakar Salim is Alyn of Hull, a member of the Velaryon fleet of sailors who participated in the Stepstones battles. 

House of the Dragon season 2 plot: here's what the next season could cover

House of the Dragon episode 8

(Image credit: HBO)

We won't go too far into spoilers from George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, but it's safe to say that the Dance of the Dragons will be in full swing following the season 1 finale. The Targaryen civil war will bring in new characters and new dragons, and we can assume there'll be fewer time skips as the Dance barrels full speed ahead. Showrunner Ryan Condal has said that the pace will pick up, explaining: "Series 2 will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones, but it will have been earned, and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in."

As for key events, expect to see Blood and Cheese ("We are currently writing the finale of season 2," writer Sara Hess revealed to Variety when asked if it had been scripted yet. "I don't think you will be disappointed"), a clash between brothers, and a lot of battles. We might also be introduced to Daeron Targaryen, a child of Alicent and Viserys who hasn't yet appeared in the show, but has been confirmed by Martin to still exist. Plus, we know that there are no more time jumps or recastings in the show's future.

Hess has also teased to The Hollywood Reporter what's coming up for Daemon and Rhaenyra in season 2: "And right now, we're writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of [Daemon's] relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations [in George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood] to that."

"I think pretty much, as is indicated at the end of this last season, is the fact that he decided, 'Whatever I may think about Rhaenyra personally, she is the rightful heir to the throne.' The land grab the Hightowers have done is treacherous, and they need to be made to pay for that. Plus… the fact is my grandson has been killed. Even though we know he's not my grandson, but he's my grandson. So, I think that's kind of where he's at, and that has to be paid for," Steve Toussaint teased to Collider of his character Lord Corlys' thirst for revenge.

"I'm looking forward to having Aegon have a lot more meat to get his teeth stuck into and to cause more havoc, really, and to throw a spanner in the works, which he does so well," actor Tom Glynn-Carney said at an official Game of Thrones Fan Convention on Friday, December 9. "He's not an out-and-out psychopath. There are complexities and intricacies within him that make him an absolute gift to play. He keeps me guessing, so hopefully that translates to keep everyone else on their toes."

Ryan Condal, who will assume sole showrunner duties in season 2 now that Miguel Sapochnik has taken a step back, revealed at the same event that viewers will be seeing a lot more of Baela and Rhaena in the next chapter.

House of the Dragon season 2 showrunners and episode count 

House of the Dragon episode 9

(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon season 1 showrunner Miguel Sapochnik stepped away from the series for season 2, meaning the second installment will be in the hands of Ryan Condal and Sapochnik's replacement Alan Taylor. Taylor directed episodes of seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones, while Condal was co-showrunner of House of the Dragon season 1. 

While George R.R. Martin has suggested on his blog that all seasons of the show will be 10 episodes,  season 2 will actually consist of just 8 episodes. Reportedly, part of the plot meant for season 2, including a major battle, has been shifted to season 3 (though a third season has not been officially greenlit just yet). 

And that's a wrap on everything we know about House of the Dragon season 2. While you wait for more, check out our guide to the best TV shows of all time to fill out your watchlist. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.