House of the Dragon Season 2 Trailer Breakdown: Cregan Stark, Alys Rivers, and More

The House of the Dragon season 2 trailer is filled with juicy Fire & Blood details for Game of Thrones fans.

Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in House of the Dragon season 2
Photo: Theo Whitman | HBO

This trailer breakdown contains no spoilers for House of the Dragon season 2. But it does broadly allude to events from the source material Fire & Blood.

Don’t be alarmed if you heard a crash around 11:07 a.m. ET on May 14, 2024. That was merely the sound of Jeff Bezos smashing his desk into pieces upon discovering that HBO had released a House of the Dragon season 2 trailer just over an hour after Prime Video unveiled its first teaser for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2.

Based on the trailer, it once again appears as though no expense was spared for the latest season of this Game of Thrones prequel that explores the Dance of the Dragons civil war. Season 1 set up the many pieces of this Targaryen family squabble and now those pieces are set to smash into one another in season 2. While the first round of House of the Dragon trailers (broken up into halves for Rhaenyra’s Team Black and Alicent’s Team Green) were creative, they weren’t particularly revealing. That all changes with this two-and-a-half-minute stunner that has a lot of ink (and tea) to spill about the war to come.

Let’s break down the finer points of the House of the Dragon season 2 trailer now.

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A Game of Thrones Reminder

The trailer opens with an ominous voiceover from Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) as she discusses the impossibility of ruling over a fractured land. How can a Targaryen queen be a protector of the realm while waging a war that will irrevocably harm it? It’s a good question and it’s not one that the Seven Kingdoms ever figures out the answer to.

To hammer that point home, we get a brief shot of three dragon eggs simmering in a fire. While this might not be actual footage from Game of Thrones (in this era of Westerosi history, Targaryens have no shortage of dragon eggs to incubate in fires), the callback to Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons is unavoidable. Recall that Dany’s dragons were special because no one had seen a dragon in over a century due to their near extinction during this brutal civil war. And the arc of Dany herself on Game of Thrones reminds us of what happens when vengeance and pride takes over the driver seat for a Targaryen monarch.


Speaking of dragons, this trailer has plenty of them. George R.R. Martin’s source material, Fire & Blood, features around 20 dragons. The first season of House of the Dragon included eight of those dragons and showrunner Ryan Condal has promised five more for season 2.

The House of the Dragon season 2 trailer includes plenty of looks at some familiar dragon faces like Daemon’s Caraxes and Rhaenyra’s Syrax. Around the 1:24-minute mark though you can see a new scaly friend Everybody, meet Sunfyre! This golden lizard is described in Martin’s books as one of the most beautiful creatures ever seen. For some reason Sunfyre chooses to bond with ugly-ass King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney).

Cregan Stark

A Game of Thrones story without House Stark seems unthinkable. And yet, House of the Dragon has done mostly fine without featuring any Wolves of the North (aside from a very brief appearance from a Stark Lord in the series’ prologue). To reward fans for their patience, House of the Dragon will introduce its first proper Stark in season 2 – current Warden of the North Lord Cregan Stark (Tom Taylor).

You can see him with Rhaenyra’s son Jace (Harry Collett) at the 1:40 mark. Jace is meeting with Cregan in The North to convince him to bring his banners to Rhaenyra’s cause. Knowing what we know about Northerners, that could end up being a hard sell.

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Aegon II, The Next Mad King?

Back in House of the Dragon season 1, King Viserys I’s eldest son Aegon had no interest in succeeding his father. He seemed so comfortable with being a failson that he actually had to be captured and dragged to his own coronation by his brother Aemond (Ewan Mitchell). Still, crowns and thrones have a way of changing people. And if this this trailer is to be believed, power has changed Aegon for the worse.

“Fuck dignity, I want revenge!” King Aegon II cries as he waves around the legendary Valyrian steel dagger during a Small Council meeting. This petulance, combined with the Targaryen predilection for madness, does not bode well for the realm.

Lannister Banners (Among Others)

“News spreads through the realm, the Great Houses will come to our side,” Hand of the King Ser Otto Hightower (Rhyfs Ifans) says midway through the trailer. Ser Otto is right. Great Houses will come to the side of King Aegon II and Team Green. But many of them will feel compelled to join Queen Rhaenyra and Team Black. That’s how civil wars work, you see.

There are a couple of shots in this trailer that really communicate just how country-wide an affair this Dance of the Dragons will be. Around the 47-second mark, we see banners displaying the unmistakable sigil and colors of House Lannister. Then around the 55-second mark (in the screen grab above), we see a whole regiment of soldiers gathered from no fewer than three Houses. Based on the heraldry seen on shields, the folks involved seem sworn to: House Darklyn of Duskendale, House Rosby of Rosby, and House Stokeworth of Stokeworth (all in the Crownlands near King’s Landing).

The Velaryon Fleet

With King Aegon II already on the Iron Throne in King’s Landing, Rhaenyra’s cause may seem hopeless at first. But remember that Viserys’ eldest daughter not only has dragons, but also access to one of the greatest naval fleets in world history. Seen in the trailer is a brief glimpse of some Velaryon ships. With much of this conflict set in the watery Crownloads, the naval power of Corlys Velaryon (Steve Touissant) should prove particularly useful.

Alyn of Hull

Speaking of naval power, it’s on the Velaryon side of things where House of the Dragon gets to introduce one of its major new characters. Alongside the aforementioned Cregan Stark, HBO has announced the introduction of: Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew as Hugh, Tom Bennett as Ulf, Tom Taylor, Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne.

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The biggest new player, however, is Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull – who you can see in the trailer screen grab above. Alyn will be introduced as a modest sailor in the Velaryon fleet. But as time goes on will leave his mark on future seasons of House of the Dragon and Westerosi history altogether.

Is This Alys Rivers?

Joining Cregan Stark and Alyn of Hull in House of the Dragon season 2’s canon of important new characters is Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers. But where is she in the trailer? After some digging, fans appear to have settled on two potential Alys appearances. One is the screengrab above and occurs at the 1:54 minute mark (though she is not known to have blonde hair). The other is at the 1:50 minute mark and features Aemond in bed with an unseen woman.

It’s fitting that Alys’ identity is hard to pin down because she is one of this story’s most mysterious figures. Some historical records of even consider her to be a witch. As her “Rivers” surname suggests, she’s a bastard of the Riverlands. Given that this conflict is bound to make its way through the Riverlands and arrive at Harrenhal (where she lives as a wet nurse), Alys will enter the proceedings soon.

Chaos at King’s Landing

For a well-protected capital city, King’s Landing sure does endure a lot of sackings and rioting. The end of the trailer reveals that all is not well outside of the Red Keep. Fire & Blood readers may have their suspicions as to what is going on here. But season 2 does seem a little early in the story for that. Regardless of what’s going on, it’s not good news for Team Green.

Blood and Cheese

And finally we come, as we always do, to Blood and Cheese. If you’ve read any of our pre-release House of the Dragon season 2 coverage, you know that we frequently allude to an upcoming event known as “Blood and Cheese.” That’s because Blood and Cheese is one of the Game of Thrones‘ franchise’s most intense moments and it is scheduled to occur in season 2 (likely early on).

We’ll continue our tradition of not spoiling the exact details of Blood and Cheese here but suffice it to say the final 30 seconds or so of this trailer features a lot of foreshadowing for its cheesy goodness.

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House of the Dragon season 2 premieres Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.