*Spoiler warning - discussion of major plot points from season one*
The Dance of Dragons
House of the Dragon is expected to run for at least four seasons - and the overarching storyline will be the epic Targaryen civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons. This conflict (based on the real 12th century period known as The Anarchy) which is covered in George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, takes place after the death of King Viserys I.
As Viserys only died at the very end of episode eight, The Lord of the Tides, the civil war is only just now gearing up. However, season two is expected to kick off with the war in full flow. The Dance of the Dragons will be fought between two rival Targaryen clans, the Greens supporters of Alicent Hightower’s son Aegon II’s claim to the iron throne, and the Blacks, who support Rhaenyra. The civil war will mean lots of major battles, intrigue and backstabbing and will hopefully see the show kick things up a notch, as happened in Game of Thrones when the War of the Five Kings got underway.
I wanna see whatever common people see. Game of Thrones featured many important characters - Bronn, Gendry, Ros, Davos - who were commoners, known as smallfolk in the world of Westeros. The series often switched perspectives between the halls of power and the streets of Flea Bottom, and saw how these two worlds overlapped.
This is something we haven’t seen much of in House of the Dragon thus far - Rhaenyra and Daemon visit a brothel in episode four, King of the Narrow Sea, but even then the smallfolk are just background filler. It would be nice to see the people who the Targaryens are fighting to rule play a role in the conflict to come.
Prophecies that actually mean something
The Prince that was Promised is a prophecy that featured heavily in Thrones for several seasons and seemed to be steeped in meaning, before showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss sacked it off for no apparent reason. The Prince that was Promised was a prophesied saviour from the Targaryen line who would save the world from an impending doom - in thrones it looked like that would be Jon Snow, until Arya came from nowhere to defeat the Night King and his army, stomping on the prophecy in the process.
The prophecy has been discussed several times in House of the Dragon, notably on Viserys’ deathbed. It’s not clear if this simply a nod to the original show or if producers are planning to imbue the prophecy with another meaning, one that is thoughtfully carried out on the screen and not quietly dumped somewhere between the last two seasons.
This seems like a given as the later seasons of the show will be about The Dance of Dragons, a conflict in which the great beasts are utilised by both sides to devastating effect. So many dragons fought and died in the civil war that it became a factor in their total extinction less than 30 years later.
Dragons have featured fairly regularly in the first season, likely eating up much of the $200 million budget, but they’re only likely to become more prominent as the series goes on. The CGI whizzes behind the dragons have done an excellent job, making the creatures believable and intimidating, especially in episode nine, The Green Council.
When will House of the Dragon season 2 be released?
Production has begun on season two of House of the Dragon but filming is not expected to begin until next summer. The next season is likely to arrive in the UK on Sky and NOW some time in 2024. The season one finale will air on Sky and NOW on Monday 24 October.