Fabien Frankel promises "really different" House of the Dragon season 2

House of the Dragon returns to our screens in just a couple months! Star Fabien Frankel promises it will be "different" from before, but how does he mean?
House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO
House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO /

The second season of HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon is almost upon us! Come this June, we'll finally catch up with characters like Rhaenyra Targaryen, Daemon Targaryen, Alicent Hightower and the rest, all of them now choosing sides in a Westerosi civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. There will be blood and plenty of it.

Like Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon has a deep bench of characters. One of the most loathsome from the first season is Criston Cole, a Kingsguard knight who is seduced by the young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and then who, after she does her duty and marries another for the good of her family, basically dedicates the rest of his life to making hers miserable. Needless to say, in the battle for the Iron Throne between Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon II Targaryen, Criston is on Aegon's side.

Criston is played by Fabien Frankel, who is gracing the spring/summer issue of Man About Town Magazine, wearing Dior. Amusingly, the magazine says he discusses his character's "ineptitude for heartbreak," which is certainly one way of putting it.

Frankel also teased the upcoming episodes in general: “It's a really different season," he said. "I think the audience will be very surprised. I don't think whatever you're expecting to happen is what will and that definitely applies to Criston.”

How will House of the Dragon season 2 be "really different" from season 1?

Teasing season 2 as "really different" is interesting. Before those who have read George R.R. Martin book Fire & Blood get nervous, I doubt he means that they're changing a ton about the source material, although I do expect changes; season 1 had plenty. I'm guessing that Frankel is talking more about the shape of the upcoming season. The first season was unusual in that it featured several large time jumps between episodes as lead characters aged from kids to young adults to adults with teenage kids of their own, some characters were even played by multiple actors as time moved forward. In season 2, everyone has reached the ages that they'll be for the remainder of the series, so the second season will be more straightforward.

Now that things have settled, House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal has said that the second season will feel more like Game of Thrones, which is a welcome development. We'll see exactly what he and his team have in mind when the season 2 premiere drops on HBO and Max on Sunday, June 16.

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