House of the Dragon - Season 2

REBerg

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Its not uncommon for hit shows to have spin offs and them to flop. Stargate Universe comes to mind along with Babylon 5's Crusade. I get they aren't on the same level budget and viewership, but big bucks go into shows and its understandable that the studio doesn't go in long term without a few episode ratings to support the investment. I might argue that Friends was bigger the GOT (subjectively) at the time and Joey was a complete flop. Hard to say...what do you think?
 
“But now I am back in the salt mine, working… working on so many bloody things, my head may soon explode. Yes, Winds of Winter, yes, yes. And House of the Dragon, season two. And several of the other successor shows that we’re developing with HBO,” Martin wrote, before explaining that this summer’s tumult at HBO Max has significantly altered the plans for what we might see out of Westeros in the far future.

“Some of those are moving faster than others, as is always the case with development. None have been greenlit yet, though we are hoping… maybe soon. A couple have been shelved, but I would not agree that they are dead. You can take something off the shelf as easily as you can put it on the shelf,” Martin continued. “All the changes at HBO Max have impacted us, certainly. We are also still developing the Wild Cards tv series for Peacock, based (largely) on FORT FREAK. And I have Wild Cards books to edit. Oh, and did I forget Winds of Winter? No, of course I didn’t. But if I ever did, I know you folks will remind me.”

Beyond House of the Dragon, all we know about potential future Game of Thrones spinoffs are the aforementioned Dunk and Egg series—adapting Martin’s novellas following the adventures of hedge knight Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg, secretly Aegon V Targaryen—and a sequel series set after the conclusion of Game of Thrones following Kit Harington’s Jon Snow. Martin makes it sound like even more could’ve been on the way, but are now on the backburner. But like the author says, these things can be put on and hold and taken off at any time—and given House of the Dragon’s strong debut this year, many of the doubts that Game of Thrones’ controversial legacy could entire people back to Westeros have been proven wrong.
 
With House of the Dragon season 2 on the horizon though, it sounds like the Game of Thrones decision-makers want to make up for Blackwater and Euron’s relative faults and finally stage an epic battle on the open seas. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter‘s interview with House of the Dragon stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam.

Much of the interview focuses on Irlam and his team’s superb HotD season 1 stunt work. Then, near the end, Irlam stretches his NDA as far as it will go to hint at an upcoming major battle in season 2.

“It’s not a secret that in this story there’s a battle at sea [Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which describes the massive Battle of the Gullet]. I think that’s where we’re headed,” Irlam told THR.

The Battle of the Gullet that THR helpfully fills in the blanks on is indeed a massive one. According to the canonical sources in Martin’s Targaryen prequel Fire & Blood, it’s one of the largest known sea battles in Westerosi history (though the fictional Archmaester writing Martin’s book had not yet witnessed the events of Blackwater). Not only that but “The Gullet” refers to a geographical feature of Blackwater Bay. It’s basically the Blackwater Battle 1.0.

The Battle of the Gullet occurred in the year 130 AC and was one of the Dance of the Dragon civil war’s earliest confrontations. If House of the Dragon wants to include the Gullet, it will almost certainly have to occur in season 2.
 
The first bit of news is a casting. Per Winter is Coming, compiling a report from reliable scoop site Redanian Intelligence, Amanda Collin has been cast as Jeyne Arryn. Sci-fi fans will be familiar with Collin through her role as the enigmatic and powerful android Mother on HBO Max series Raised by Wolves. Interestingly enough, House of the Dragon has also reportedly cast her android “Father” counterpart in that show, Abubakar Salim, as Alyn of Hull in season 2.

In Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire timeline, Jeyne Arryn was the Head of House Arryn and the Lady of the Eyrie through the reign of four Targaryen monarchs. As a female ruler of her region, Lady Jeyne understandably has some Westerosi bullsh** to deal with, including the fact that the fictional “historians” presented in Fire & Blood have a lot to say about her sexuality. The source Mushroom insists that she had a voracious appetite for men. Septon Eustace points to her lifelong friendship with Jessamyn Redford as an indication she was attracted to women. House of the Dragon will have a chance to answer that question, but more importantly will also get to depict House Arryn’s continuing frayed relationship with House Targaryen, following Prince Daemon’s likely murder of The Vale’s own Lady Rhea Royce.

The casting of Jeyne Arryn will be an opportunity for season 2 to spend more time with one of its most important characters: Queen Rhaenyra’s eldest son Jacaerys Velaryon. You might recall that in House of the Dragon season 1’s final episode, Rhaenyra sent her two eldest boys on recruiting missions. The younger Lucerys “Luke” was sent south to the Stormlands on what was seen as the relatively safer journey, while the older “Jace” was sent north for the more perilous route.

Unfortunately, even the “easier” task ended up costing Luke his life. How then will Jace be able to handle his northern responsibilities? The introduction of Jeyne Arryn suggests that it might go better than one might think … as does the inclusion of a region north of The Vale. And that brings us to the set photos.
 

Most of the S1 main cast members are returning for S2 (those whose characters survived). And we've got some new faces in the mix: Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull; 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 as Lord Cregan Stark; and Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne.

The teaser opens by setting the stakes, with Alicent's father, Otto Hightower, admitting that "errors were made in the hours following King Viserys' death," and Alicent declaring, "The war will be fought. Many will die. And the victor will eventually ascend the throne." So it's definitely business as usual in Westeros. There are dragons and dragonriders, a beheading, troops gathering and getting wiped out by dragon fire, and Rhaenyra and Aemon facing off with their dragons. Clearly Rhaenyra will not heed the warning of Rhaenys: "There is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin. And no war so bloody as a war between dragons."

There is also one brief scene with Aemon's sister-wife, Helaena, being held with a knife to her throat. It's already been confirmed that a particularly brutal plot point in the source material will close out S2, and this looks like it might be a reference to that infamous "Blood and Cheese" incident.

Summer 24
 
What's up with time lately? It keeps disappearing. Could have sworn I only just watched Season 1, but then I saw the dates on the ep threads - 2022? Are we sure? It was just on the week before last, I'm certain!

Anyway, I expect I'll blink and it'll be 2030 and the fifth season will just be ending...
 

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