House of the Dragon is one of HBO’s biggest shows of all time. The fantasy drama television series based on George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones prequel novel titled Fire & Blood debuted to record viewership numbers with nearly 10 million people tuning in across its linear channels as well as HBO Max.
Its impressive performance led to a renewal a mere five days after its premiere and landed it a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama.
Now, according to a new Deadline report, the television network is considering giving its go-ahead for a third season of the show.
The report also revealed that HBO has taken the decision to reduce the show’s season two episode count from ten episodes to eight episodes. While there is speculation that the reduction is the result of cost-cutting measures at HBO, an HBO spokesperson confirmed to the publication that the decision is dictated by the show’s story – or the new direction they have decided to take.
Last October, Martin stated his preference for ten-episode seasons. In his words, "I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale. I hope that will continue to be true. It is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish."
Given the latest development, it stands to reason that the decision to reduce Season 2’s episode count didn’t come lightly. Without the conviction that the show’s story will benefit from a shorter season, we doubt they would have taken the decision to reduce the episodes.
Martin and fellow show creator Ryan Condal always planned for the series to unfold over three or four seasons. Following the show’s season two renewal, Martin and Condal reportedly took a step back to "figure out the overall narrative flow, including how to break up the stories season-to-season and what battles to include and when." Among other things, they moved part of the original Season 2 plot, including a major battle, to Season 3. However, they haven’t decided whether three seasons will be enough to tell the story they have in mind or whether they will need four seasons.
Given this development, HBO is considering giving its go-ahead for a third season – a decision that will see work begin on scriptwriting, casting, and production.
House of the Dragon stars numerous A-list actors including Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Eve Best, Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Graham McTavish. The television series was created by Martin and Condal, both of whom also serve as executive producers alongside Sara Hess, Vince Gerardis, Ron Schmidt, Miguel Sapochnik, and Jocelyn Diaz.
By the way, Condal revealed at the recent FYC HBO event in New York that Season 2 will introduce five new dragons into the series.
With filming set to start in the UK, House of the Dragon Season 2 is currently expected to arrive sometime in the summer of 2024.