Some significant House of the Dragon news reported by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, who has received word (and confirmed some parts of it with HBO) that for “story-driven” reasons the plan of a 10 episode 2nd season has been changed to an 8 episode 2nd season, which has necessitated some re-writing and likely has contributed to the slight delays to the planned commencement of filming (however, production is imminent and the prospective air date remains summer 2024). Per Andreeva’s report:
“It has been reported that House of the Dragon‘s creative team had envisioned the series running for three or four seasons. I hear executive producer-showrunner Ryan Condal, working with author/executive producer George R.R. Martin, took a step back as Season 2 was being put together to take a big-picture view of the series, which follows Martin’s Fire & Blood, and figure out the overall narrative flow, including how to break up the stories season-to-season and what battles to include and when.”
Interestingly, Andreeva notes that even with the reduction of two episodes, Condal and GRRM are still discussing whether three or four seasons work better. Her piece goes into some more detail about just what was moved out of the 2nd season for the prospective 3rd season, which we’ll quote below and speculate on a bit.
“With a portion of the plot originally intended for Season 2, including a major battle, moving to Season 3, I hear it is now more likely that the series would run for four seasons, but that has not been determined as Condal and Martin continue to go back-and-forth on the number of seasons (three or four) that would be optimal to tell the full story, sources said.”
A major battle, eh? Our guess (and it’s only a guess) is that it’s the Battle of the Gullet, a major naval battle that has important implications to the conflict. Many thought it would be presented before another very notable event of the war, as it is in Fire and Blood, but we suspect that event will close the second season instead and then the battle will feature instead in the 3rd season.