House of the Dragon season two is filming now, HBO confirms who is coming back

Mild Spoilers for House of the Dragon season two
House of the Dragon, the awesome Game of Thrones prequel that premiered last August, has just started filming season two in the United Kingdom. Though it won’t premiere until 2024, showrunner Ryan Condal has confirmed that season two shooting has started, the main players from last season are returning, and there will be some new characters as well.

As Emmy season begins rearing its head, one of the big awards contenders is officially back in production.

House of the Dragon season 2 has begun filming at Leavesden in the U.K., and HBO has announced the season 1 veterans returning for all the fire and blood.

As expected, the main players in the Dance of the Dragons have all been confirmed: Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen), Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower), Emma D’Arcy (Rhaenyra Targaryen), Eve Best (Princess Rhaenys Targaryen), Steve Toussaint (Corlys Velaryon), Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole), Ewan Mitchell (Prince Aemond Targaryen), Tom Glynn-Carney (Aegon II Targaryen), Sonoya Mizuno (Mysaria), and Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower).

For non-book readers, this signals that Mysaria, a.k.a. the White Worm, lives on, despite a hooded henchmen setting her house ablaze at the end of season 1.

Other returning cast members for season 2 include Harry Collett (Jace Velaryon), Bethany Antonia (Baela Targaryen), Phoebe Campbell (Rhaena Targaryen), Phia Saban (Helaena Targaryen), Jefferson Hall (Jason Lannister), and Matthew Needham (Larys Strong).

Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who played younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent for half of season 1, won’t be returning. Condal previously confirmed this to Variety, saying they “are not a part of the story that we’re telling, yet.”

HBO marked the start of filming with a behind-the-scenes image of the Iron Throne, over which Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon are currently warring.

“House of the Dragon has returned,” says Ryan Condal, now the sole showrunner on season 2 after Miguel Sapochnik stepped back. “We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera. All your favorite characters will soon be conspiring at the council tables, marching with their armies, and riding their dragons into battle. We can’t wait to share what we have in store.”

Alan Taylor, a Game of Thrones directing veteran, has already stepped in as a director. He’s also among the executive producers alongside Sara Hess, Melissa Bernstein, Kevin de la Noy, Loni Peristere, and Vince Gerardis.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

All the main characters/actors who were in place by the end of season one will be returning, including the Targaryen/Velaryon “Blacks” and the Targaryen/Hightower “Greens” (including the cursed Criston Cole and skeevy Larys Strong). The article notes that since Mysaria is confirmed to be returning, that means she didn’t die at the end of season one, but I wasn’t a book reader so I didn’t realize that was significant. Ryan Condal has previously confirmed that there will be no time jumps next season, so we can expect less confusion with some characters aging through three different actors while others don’t change at all. The words about Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, the actors who played younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent, are curious. They’re not returning in season two, but there’s a “yet” in that confirmation statement. So maybe they’ll appear in flashback at some point later down the line? All I know is the last few episodes of the season were great and we can expect to see a lot of action in the second season as the war proceeds. I’m looking forward to some new characters, too, and expanding the world a bit more. I didn’t read the books so I’m excited to be pleasantly surprised by the story and the improved pacing without the time jumps.

— House of the Dragon (@HouseofDragon) April 11, 2023

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