House of the Dragon is returning for its sophomore run, and HBO has dropped its first trailer. Debuted at this year’s Comic-Con Experience (CCXP) in Brazil, the footage teases a broken Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) preparing for the long-promised Dance of the Dragons, the civil war amongst the family that would decide who succeeds over the Iron Throne and mould the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Season 2, however, will only be composed of eight episodes since creator Ryan J. Condal wants each upcoming chapter to have a good opening and ending, rather than stretch out the plot to cater to a 10-episode limit.
The House of the Dragon season 2 teaser trailer opens with a shot of a troubled Queen Rhaenyra looking out over the sea and contemplating her next move as the fated war brews. “Errors were made in the hours following King Viserys’ death,” Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) says, having cunningly ensured that his grandson Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) ascended the spiky seat, giving him the ultimate power. For the uninitiated, season one’s finale saw an unexpected death as Rhaenyra’s dreams of a peaceful unification with her once-close-friend Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) got crushed when the former’s eldest child Lucerys Targaryen (Elliot Grihault) and his dragon Arrax were devoured by Vhagar, the giant dragon mounted by prince Aemond. The Queen’s expression is quite reminiscent of Daenerys Targaryen’s at the end of Game of Thrones season 8, hinting at a response that’s fuelled by vengeance.
While the conflict has certainly become personal now, with no option of turning back, the House of the Dragon season 2 teaser trailer still offers some hope of peaceful reconciliation. “There is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin, and no war so bloody as a war between dragons,” the once-rightful heir Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) tries to change Rhaenyra’s plans as frightening visuals of the war play out, with countless soldiers being slain and roasted to death by the dragons. Meanwhile, Queen Alicent is too tired to deal with the repercussions of what she started but is driven by the result, which would place her family as rulers for oncoming generations. The trailer ends with a clip of Rhaenyra riding atop her dragon Syrax and entering the battlefield to everyone’s amazement.
Much of the original cast returns in the second season, including Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, who slaughtered all attendees during a young Princess Rhaenyra’s (Milly Alcock) wedding. Adapted from author George R.R. Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood,’ House of the Dragon is set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, serving as a history lesson on the Targaryen family, the royal line of dragon kings and queens. The first season secured eight Emmy nominations, including Best Drama Series, with the pilot episode drawing over 10 million viewers on Max — formerly HBO Max. Series creator Condal will be working closely with GRRM and director Alan Taylor for future seasons of the show.