“Fire and blood” come to Westeros in new House of the Dragon S2 trailer

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House of the Dragon returns to HBO Max for an action-packed second season next month.

The second season of House of the Dragon premieres in about a month and we've got one final action-packed trailer to boost anticipation. While the first season felt smaller and quieter—in a good way, more focused on character relationships and political maneuvering—the show seems to be pulling out all the stops in S2 as all-out war breaks out in the legendary "Dance of Dragons."

As previously reported, the series is set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen's reign. The primary source material is Fire and Blood, a fictional history of the Targaryen kings written by George R.R. Martin. As book readers know, those events culminated in a civil war and the extinction of the dragons—at least until Daenerys Targaryen came along.

(Spoilers for S1 below.)

The first season spanned many years and made some pretty significant time jumps, which required replacing the younger actors as their characters aged. The S1 finale brought Westeros to the brink of civil war. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) died, and his second wife, Alicent (Olivia Cooke), conspired with her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), to crown her eldest son, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), as king instead of Viserys' declared heir apparent, Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy).

This kicked off a lot of political maneuvering as both sides tried to shore up support for their chosen heir in preparation for the inevitable fight. Even though she was technically the rightful heir, Rhaenyra actually seemed to be considering House Hightower's conditions for concession—until the arrogant Prince Aemon (Ewan Mitchell), Alicent's younger son, went after Rhaenyra's young son, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault). Both dragonriders failed to control their dragons, and Aemon's much bigger dragon, Vhagar, gobbled up poor Lucerys and his little dragon, Arrax, in mid-air. The season closed with Rhaenyra and her husband/uncle Daemon (Matt Smith) receiving the devastating news, effectively dashing any hope of a peaceful resolution.


The first teaser for S2 dropped in December during CCXP23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We got the expected footage of dragons and dragonriders, a beheading, troops gathering and getting wiped out by dragon fire, and Rhaenyra and Aemon facing enemies with their dragons. And we also had a brief glimpse of a particularly brutal plot point in the source material that we already know closes out S2 (i.e., the "Blood and Cheese" incident, well-known to book readers). The studio followed up in March with two trailers, each presenting the perspective of one side in the bloody conflict, with viewers encouraged to "choose a side"—the Blacks or the Greens.

This latest trailer opens with Rhaenyra in voiceover: "The Targaryen who sits on the Iron Throne is not just a king or a queen. They are a protector of the realm. Now I find myself in an impossible position. The enemy usurped my throne."  Both Blacks and Greens are preparing for war, and while Alicent and other council members advise caution and dignity, King Aegon, aka the Usurper, is having none of it. He wants revenge. As for the other great houses, which side will they choose in the coming conflict? Daemon insists that "the realm's only hope is in a leader strong enough to unite it." But does he mean his wife/niece or himself? Cue a tense scene between the two in which Rhaenyra bluntly asks, "Do you accept me as your queen and ruler?"

Meanwhile, Alicent is having second thoughts, convinced that the "senseless" war must end. Sure, she wants their side to win and her son to sit on the Iron Throne, but she doesn't want to win "like this." This does not earn the respect of Aemon, who declares that his mother's "love" for their enemy (aka Rhaenyra) makes her a "fool." There are still dragons galore and exciting battles, but our characters will also be struggling with their inner demons. As Larys Strong observed in another voiceover, "The enemy without may be fought with swords. The enemy within is more insidious."

The second season of House of the Dragon premieres on HBO Max on June 16, 2024.

Listing image by YouTube/HBO Max