House of the Dragon: HBO clarifies why season 2 has lost two episodes

HBO has clarified why House of the Dragon is losing two episodes in season two.

The Game of Thrones prequel, set almost 200 years before the events of the original series, was commissioned for a follow-up season shortly after its successful debut in 2021.

It’s reported that, at the time, the plan was for it to run for 10 episodes, but that it will now be just eight episodes long.

The change comes after a leadershap shake-up at Warner Bros Discovery, which is HBO’s parent company, leading many to assume the decision was due to cutting costs.

But HBO combatted this notion while confirming the eight-episode count, telling Deadline that the shorter run was “story-driven”.

This comes as showrunner Ryan Condal and his team of producers prepare to shoot the second season in the UK ahead of a summer 2024 release. It’s being reported that Condal and George RR Martin, who wrote the source material Fire & Blood, shifted the episode count after working out a game plan for the entire series.

As part of the change, a big battle sequence has rpeortedly been shifted to season three, which could very well be the final season. Sources say that Condal ad Martin are in the process of deciding whether season three or four will conclude the story.

The move comes after Martin said four seasons of 10 episodes is what is needed to tell the story in a satisfying way.

‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)
‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)

It seems likely that HBO will give the pair whatever they need: it was HBO’s most-watched show in 2021 and took home the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama.

House of the Dragon, which is available to stream on NOW, stars Emma D’arcy, Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Eve Best and Rhys Ifans.