‘House of the Dragon’ Boss Says Season 2 Will Have Spectacle & ‘Moments of Levity’

House of the Dragon - Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith
Ollie Upton/HBO

With House of the Dragon airing its first-season finale on Sunday, October 23 — and as HBO tries to keep leaked copies of the finale offline — showrunner Ryan Condal is already outlining his plans for Season 2.

In a new interview with British newspaper The Times, House of the Dragon’s sole showrunner (following Miguel Sapochnik’s exit) says that he and the HBO show’s other writers have spent Season 1 on character development.

“We will get to the spectacle,” Condal promises (via Deadline). “But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war.”

Season 2, though, will be different. Condal says that House of the Dragon’s sophomore season, which has already been given the go-ahead from HBO, “will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones, but it will have been earned, and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in.”

House of the Dragon - Season 1 Episode 8 - Olivia Cooke as Alicent


House of Dragons is setting itself apart from its predecessor, however, by keeping sexual violence off-screen. “While there are uncomfortable scenes in the show, we tried to stay away from anything that felt superfluous in the telling of the story,” Condal explains. “So when the rape [by Prince Aegon of a servant girl] happened in episode eight, it haunts viewers because they see what it does to the young woman instead of seeing the event itself. It is the story we are telling — we can imagine what it looked like. We have seen it on TV before. You don’t need to see the act itself.”

Amid the doom and gloom of Game of Thrones, characters like Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) provided comic relief, and Condal wants to bring light-hearted scenes to House of the Dragon, too. He and the other writers will find “natural pathways into moments of levity” for the show, he tells The Times.

“I think Matt Smith is very funny,” he adds. “If there is one character that does not care, it is Daemon.”

Season 1 Episode 3 GIF by Game of Thrones - Find & Share on GIPHY

For now, though, Condal is relieved audiences are connecting with the Game of Thrones prequel. “It is a challenging series because we live in a world where people are torn between multiple screens and channels, and we are requiring you to pay attention through crazy timeline shifting and actor recasting,” he says. “But it’s made an impact.”

House of the Dragon, Season 1 Finale, Sunday, October 23, 9 p.m. ET, HBO