- House of the Dragon season 2 will have fewer episodes to ensure better pacing and story structure, hopefully avoiding the rushed storytelling that plagued Game of Thrones.
- The reduced episode count is a deliberate choice to give the season a strong opening and ending, allowing for more emotional and visually exciting events in each episode.
- While there isn’t a confirmed number of total seasons yet, the reduced episode count in season 2 suggests that House of the Dragon may have more than the originally planned four seasons, potentially going up to five seasons.
House of the Dragon director Clare Kilner explains why season 2 will feature fewer episodes than season 1. Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, season 1 of the Game of Thrones prequel was met with critical acclaim and received nine nominations for the upcoming 2023 Emmy Awards, including a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. The first episode is the most-viewed premiere in HBO history and quickly led to a season 2 renewal, even before the second episode was released.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Kilner explained the reasoning behind why House of the Dragon season 2 will have eight episodes as opposed to the ten-episode count of season 1. The reduced episode count was decided by showrunner Ryan Condal, who is the sole showrunner after Miguel Sapochnik’s departure. Read Kilner’s explanation below:
“There are eight wonderful episodes with so much happening in every episode, and we have trouble, at times, bringing them down to one hour. Ryan’s decision was to give it a good opening and a good ending, and they’re jam-packed with emotional and visually exciting events.”
Why House Of The Dragon’s Reduced Episode Count Is A Good Thing
House of the Dragon‘s reduced episode count could be mistaken as following in the footsteps of a Game of Thrones mistake, but it is actually a good thing. Game of Thrones’ ten-episode count per season changed when season 7 only had seven episodes, and season 8 only had six episodes. These seasons are generally regarded as the weakest of Game of Thrones, with season 7 marking the beginning of its decline in quality. The decrease in episodes contributed to the rushed storytelling that prevented many of the show’s biggest developments from being executed well in the final seasons.
Game of Thrones had a reduced episode count to rush to the end, while House of the Dragon is reducing its episode count for the exact opposite reason. Instead of rushing, House of the Dragon is intent on taking its time and making sure the story is properly paced and that the show’s biggest developments feel earned. Condal’s decision is intended to give House of the Dragon season 2 a strong opening and a strong ending, which seemingly wouldn’t have worked as well with ten episodes.
As for how many seasons House of the Dragon will have, there currently isn’t a confirmed number, although Martin believes the series needs four seasons, each consisting of ten episodes to do the story justice. With season 2 only featuring eight episodes, the series could end up getting five seasons instead. Warner Bros. Discovery will likely want the show to continue as long as possible given its popularity and record-breaking viewership. Regardless, House of the Dragon‘s reduced episode count creates better pacing and story structure not only for season 2, but for all future seasons.