House of the Dragon Season 2 is being cut short

House of the Dragon Season 2 is being cut short
Images via HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman


16th Aug 2023 16:54

Things are heating up in the Seven Kingdoms, and as our scaly steeds are ready to spread their wings once again, House of the Dragon Season 2 is set to torch the competition. Harking back to the golden days of Game of Thrones before it dropped off in later seasons, this prequel was a Drogon-sized hit in 2022.

Taking place some 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, the fantasy series charts the devastating Targaryen civil war known as the "Dance of the Dragons." Only adapting part of George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood history book, we always knew the warring Targaryens would return if the series were a success.

How many episodes does House of the Dragon Season 2 have?

House of the Dragon King Viserys mask
Click to enlarge

Although House of the Dragon wrapped after what felt like too few episodes, things were only just warming up as we got to the end of Episode 10. If you were hoping for more of the same, we've got bad news that House of the Dragon Season 2 will be a little shorter.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Director Clare Kilner explained why House of the Dragon Season 2 will only have eight episodes. When asked about why we're getting a shorter run of episodes, Kilner promised, "There are eight wonderful episodes with so much happening in every episode."

She continued, "We have trouble, at times, bringing them down to one hour. Ryan’s decision was to give it a good opening and a good ending, and they’re jam-packed with emotional and visually exciting events." Season 1 had runtimes ranging from 54 minutes (Ep 2) to 68 (Ep 6 and Ep 8), so they're still pretty beefy outings.

Does House of the Dragon Season 2 have a release date?

House of the Dragon older Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen
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It might be disappointing that House of the Dragon is being cut down to just eight episodes, but given how Season 1 rarely dropped the ball, we're all for tighter storytelling - as long as we don't fall into the Game of Thrones Season 8 trap. 

Importantly, a shorter Season 2 is apparently there to secure Season 3. Deadline first reported on a shorter House of the Dragon Season 2, explaining that a major battle will be pushed into Season 3. It sounds like the next run of episodes will be ending on a cliffhanger, and you might remember how GoT loved them.

With a shorter season on the cards, it means House of the Dragon Season 2 will inevitably be over before it's even begun, well, that's if we had a release date. Due to its largely UK-based cast and filming schedule, it's been able to continue filming during the actor and writer strikes that have stalled the American industry.

HBO's Casey Bloys pencilled in a mid-2024 release, and with the network CEO telling Variety House of the Dragon Season 2 likely won't be eligible for the Emmys, it means we can narrow things down to sometime after April. As the strikes show no sign of stopping, at least we should have something to watch next year.

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