House of the Dragon will get an abbreviated second season as HBO seeks to greenlight third season

The planning strategy for the full run of the Game of Thrones prequel sees a benefit in shortening its second season for story flow.

Last Updated on March 31, 2023

House of the Dragon

Production on season 2 of House of the Dragon is about to begin in the UK. When HBO moved forward with the Game of Thrones prequel, they did not announce the number of episodes they had ordered for the follow-up season. Deadline has learned that this may be by design.

HBO is inevitably looking to be in the Game of Thrones business for a while, and as they eye a greenlight for a third season, the premium channel has announced their plan to shorten season 2 by two episodes. Since the initial plan was to release ten episodes for this upcoming season, the consensus upon hearing this announcement lends to the belief that this may be a case of Warner Bros. Discovery cutting costs again. However, an HBO spokesperson who confirmed the announcement has emphasized that this decision is story driven.

The creative team behind House of the Dragon planned for a three or four-season arc for the show’s run. Word is that the showrunner and executive producer, Ryan Condal, is taking a step back for an overall view of the narrative and the flow of story arcs for the full series run. Season 2 is being assembled a bit differently to accommodate George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood adaptation so that the stories can be broken down from one season to another, as well as regarding which battles they plan to include and when they do include them

This also means that season 3 is being mapped out as well, although HBO hasn’t officially greenlighted it. HBO is reportedly looking at the big picture of the series, as opposed to planning things out season by season, especially given how poorly received the last season of Game of Thrones was when the writers had to finish a story without the benefit of source material. HBO is seriously considering moving forward with the scripts, casting, production schedules, etc., as they plan on greenlighting a third season for the prequel series.

A chunk of the plot intended for season 2 would now be held off for the next, which includes a major battle. Condal and Martin are determined not to beat around the bush when finishing the story. Even though they haven’t settled on three or four seasons, they likely feel like four seasons would be the ideal length to tell this entire story.

Source: Deadline

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.