House of the Dragon Season 2 cut short as HBO series greenlights Season 3

EXCLUSIVE: The upcoming second season of HBO house of the dragon will consist of eight episodes, two fewer than the Critics Choice Award-winning season 1 game of Thrones Precursor. It’s part of a long-term plan for the show that includes HBO considering greenlighting a third season, I’ve been told.

The news comes as production on the second season is about to begin in the UK for an expected premiere in summer 2024.

In a relatively common practice, HBO didn’t reveal the episode order in last summer’s announcement of the renewal of the second season. I understand the original plan was another 10 episode arc that eventually changed and led to some script rewrites. Given the change in leadership at HBO’s parent company, some pointed to Warner Bros. Discovery’s leadership’s focus on cost-cutting. An HBO spokesperson, who confirmed to Deadline that Season 2 will be 8 episodes, stressed that the episode count cut was driven by story.

That has been reported house of the dragon The creative team had envisioned the series for three or four seasons. I’ve heard that executive producer and showrunner Ryan Condal, who works with writer/executive producer George RR Martin, took a step back as Season 2 was being put together to give an overview of the series that follows Martin’s Fire & Bloodand find out the overall narrative flow, including how the stories split from season to season and when the battles to include.

As part of this, I’m hearing that Season 3 has been planned and may get the green light, with HBO seriously considering committing to proceeding with scripts, casting, and a production schedule as the network too tries to think long term rather than next Season to think -season.

With some of the storyline originally slated for Season 2, including a major battle, moving into Season 3, I’m hearing that it’s now more likely that the show would run for four seasons, but that hasn’t been finalized since Condal and Martin continues to go back and forth about the number of seasons (three or four) that would be optimal to tell the full story, sources said.

In an October blog post, Martin talked about liking HBO shows The sopranos used to have 13 episodes per season, which had changed to 10 by the time game of Thrones came with. The Emmy-winning fantasy juggernaut produced six 10-episode seasons, culminating in the final 13-episode chapter, which was split into two parts. That’s more than Amazon’s eight-episode seasons LOTR: The Rings of Power, he noticed.

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“I’m thrilled that we still have 10 hours each season to tell our story,” said Martin house of the dragon. “I hope it stays that way. It will take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do Dragon Dance justice from start to finish.”

house of the dragon takes place 172 years before the events of game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s new regime picked up the series last summer and backed the $200 million production with the largest marketing campaign in HBO’s history, reaching 130 million people in the US, the company estimates.

It prompted a major ratings splash for the series’ August 21 premiere, which was followed a few days later by a second-season renewal.

house of the dragon Stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno and Rhys Ifans.

Condal and Martin are executive producers with Sara Hess, Vince Gerardis, season 2 director Alan Taylor and season 1 director/co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik.

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