As war comes to Westeros in the House of the Dragon finale, fans are wondering when season 2’s release date is going to arrive. But like with most expensive productions these days, we are very far from a yearly schedule. Even though House of the Dragon premiered in August 2022, we now know that season 2 will not arrive anywhere close to a year later.
This confirmation comes from HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys who says House of the Dragon’s release date will be “sometimes in ’24.” Speaking to Vulture, he said: “We’re just starting to put the plan together, and just like last time, there are so many unknowns. It’s not to be coy or secretive, but you don’t want to say it’s going to be ready on this date, and then you have to move it.”
And then just: “Don’t expect it in 2023.”
We can at least try to do a rough estimate based on the length of time between Game of Thrones seasons, given that the productions are of at least somewhat similar size and scope.
For a very, very long time, HBO had Game of Thrones seasons down to a pretty regimented schedule. The show would arrive in April and run until June. That was the case from 2011 to 2016 with just nine month waits between seasons, but then things changed. Season 7 debuted 13 months after season 6, and then season 8 debuted about 20 months after season 7 premiered.
If we are closer to the latter era of Game of Thrones now, bare minimum, it would be about 14 months since season 1 of House of the Dragon aired to make it arrive in January 2024. It seems more likely it could be closer to a year and a half, so 18 months would take it closer to April 2024 instead, back to traditional Game of Thrones release timing. Two full years would of course take us all the way to October 2024, and I don’t think anyone wants that.
It’s becoming more and more common for there to be lengthy stretches between seasons of especially big TV shows. Almost nothing had the traditional “release during this month every year” window anymore. This was obviously disrupted by the pandemic, which delayed the production of literally everything, but even afterward, it’s still happening, and seems to be the new norm for many productions. I do wonder if some of this may be due to a backlog of VFX studio work that’s currently plaguing Hollywood, in addition to other issues.
So yes, you will have to wait a while for House of the Dragon season 2. Production and filming should begin early next year, and we’ll see where we go from there.
Update (10/31): Some new information about what to expect from season 2, according to the showrunner (via Deadline):
“We will get to the spectacle, but you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war. 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.”
Condal also spoke about how season 1 kept leaping forward through time, with the huge time skips often causing actors to be recast two or even three times. That is over, and the cast is the cast for the rest of the series now, it seems:
“I will say, as a reward to our wonderful audience for following us through all the time jumps and recasts, they are done…We tell the story in real time from here forward.”
It certainly was an adjustment to trade in the two young lead actresses for new versions midway through the season, but by now, I think most fans have gotten used to Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke and appreciate them in the roles, so it’s good to know we’re not jumping even more decades forward that would require use to switch cast members again. And we’ve gone through a zillion different Velaryons at this point too.
So yes, season 2 will be a while, but it should be a bit more stable than season 1 when it gets here.