This article contains light spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 10 and some future events in Fire & Blood.
Peace was never an option for Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).
It was always obvious that a civil war between the Blacks and the Greens was coming on House of the Dragon. Stories about happy mixed families who learn to co-exist with one another is not really George R.R. Martin’s whole vibe. Not only that but the show’s producers were upfront that the series would be covering the event know as the “Dance of the Dragons” before the first episode even aired. Now, as of episodes 9 and 10, the war is finally here and it’s already proven to be a costly one.
The loss of life seen in House of the Dragon season 1’s final act is just an appetizer for the real carnage to come. HBO renewed House of the Dragon season 2 mere days after the first episode premiered. In the time since, Martin has confirmed that the series is looking at a four-season and 40-episode plan, and some eagle eyes fans have spotted a filming announcement for early 2023 in a Spanish newspaper.
House of the Dragon season 2 likely won’t arrive until sometime in 2024, but rest assured that it is most certainly on the way. As one noble Westerosi house likes to put it: “The Second Season of a Beloved Fantasy Prequel…is Coming.” But what exactly will House of the Dragon season 2 look like? Thankfully, we have Martin’s source material in the form of Fire & Blood to better prepare for it. What follows are a handful of moments, features, and characters you can expect to see in House of the Dragon season 2.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We will try to avoid major spoilers in the following paragraphs. We won’t discuss military victories or character deaths. But we will mention the arrival of some new characters and tease certain destructive events. If you want a completely unsullied experience, it’s probably best to avoid this one.
New Characters…Including a Famous Stark
Make no mistake: the Dance of the Dragons is no mere squabble between combatants within House Targaryen … this is a legitimate continent-spanning civil war. Most, if not all of the major houses of Westeros will be forced to pick sides in the conflict to come. This means that individuals from House Lannister, House Arryn, House Greyjoy, and even House Tully will be making appearances soon. In fact, House Tully will feature some eminently recognizable names.
Of course, aside from the house of the dragon itself, viewers are likely looking forward to an appearance of the Game of Thrones‘ world’s other most prominent family: the Starks. As evidenced by Jacaerys Velaryon (Harry Collett) being sent off to Winterfell on a recruiting mission, the wolves of Winterfell will be playing a role in the war to come. Not only that, but the Stark Lord in charge of the North right now just happens to be a fan favorite.
Cregan Stark (not yet cast) has been briefly mentioned as a famous Stark warden in both Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels and on Game of Thrones. In Martin’s Fire & Blood, we finally get a sense for why he is so beloved in Stark history. Cregan Stark ruled for a very long time, which is not necessarily the norm for nobles in this harsh world. He was also known as a fair, even-handed Warden of the North. Like many of his fellow Starks, he is an intensely serious individual and a capable leader.
Remember when Ned Stark rode south to King’s Landing with every intention of setting things in the capital straight through sheer grit and an obsession with doing things “honorably?” Cregan Stark has similar ambitions but unlike Ned, he may actually have the gravitas to pull them off.
The Next Red Wedding
Even after all these years, “The Red Wedding” looms large as the most shocking, upsetting, and violent event in Game of Thrones history. Despite many other contenders like The Mountain v. The Viper, Wildfire at the Great Sept of Baelor, and even the most recent aerial skirmish above Storm’s End, the murders of Robb Stark and Catelyn Stark at the Twins remains hard to top. In House of the Dragon season 2, however, we may finally get a moment that is equally as upsetting, if not more so.
The event in question is known as “Blood and Cheese.” And we won’t say much more beyond that. If there’s one thing you don’t want spoiled it’s probably this one. Though do feel free to Google it if you can’t bear to wait any longer. One thing we will say though is that don’t be surprised if this momentous occasion arrives earlier than one might expect. In fact, given the timeline that House of the Dragon is working with, we could see “Blood and Cheese” as early as episode 1 of season 2. Gods help us.
Thus far, the Dance of the Dragons hasn’t had many full-scale battles. Episode 10 depicts the war’s first truly tragic casualty but that was more of a one-on-one score-settling than it was a pitched skirmish between two opposing armies. If it’s more budget-bursting carnage you seek, then we have some good news on that front. The Dance of the Dragons contains many actual battles and plenty of them should occur in season 2.
Should House of the Dragon‘s storytellers want to do it (and should HBO be willing to pony up the dough to pull it off), just about every episode of season 2 could contain its own Blackwater or Battle of the Bastards-style military engagement. In fact, in the Wiki of Ice and Fire’s entry for the Dance of the Dragons, there are 26 different named events in this war. We’ve only gotten through four of them in season 1 and of the renaming 22, around 13 could be reasonably described as a battle.
New Dragons and Dragonriders
During the reign of King Viserys I, House Targaryen is considered at the very apex of its power. It’s no coincidence that that apex just happens to coincide with the family possessing the most dragons it ever will. House of the Dragon will eventually include up to 17 scaly beasts. As of the season 1 finale, viewers have been introduced to around 10 of them (with some not appearing onscreen yet but can be reasonably assumed to exist offscreen).
That leaves plenty more dragons to come and an important question to confront: who will be riding these things? Most of the main combatants – Aegon II, Aegon, Rhaenyra, Daemon, Rhaenys, etc., are already spoken for in the dragon department. But in this war, each side will understandably want to have as many mounted dragonriders as possible. If the most suitable dragonriders are of Targaryen blood, then team Green and team Black are going to need to find individuals with Targaryen blood ASAP.
Unfortunately, most of the Targaryens are in marriages currently and it would be immoral to produce children outside the bonds of holy matrimony. It’s not like there are dozens of silver-haired bastards out there just waiting to be found. Oh well!