Harrenhal almost sounds like it's literally haunted in House of the Dragon season 2

Daemon Targaryen will be spending a lot of time in the cursed castle of Harrnehal in House of the Dragon season 2. "We definitely were thinking of it as the Overlook Hotel [from The Shining]."
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

The second season of House of the Dragon is nearly here, and while the first concentrated most of the action on Dragonstone, Driftmark and in King's Landing, the second will spread out to all corners of the Seven Kingdoms. Westeros is at war, with Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen battling her younger half-brother King Aegon for the Iron Throne, and both sides will be trying to lay claim to as much territory as possible. Get ready to return to the Wall and the Vale, as well as revisit the crumbling castle of Harrenhal, where Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) will establish a base of operations in the Riverlands, fighting in the name of his wife Queen Rhaenyra.

We've visited Harrenhal on both Game of Thrones and in House of the Dragon, where it's currently overseen by House Strong. Harrenhal is considered cursed because everyone who owns it seems to come to a nasty end; we saw that first hand in House of the Dragon season 1, when Larys Strong burned his brother and father alive within its walls. In season 2, we'll meet a servant working at the castle named Alys Rivers (Gayle Rankin), who moonlights as a woods witch and prognosticator. It's just a spooky place, is Harrenhal...although George R.R. Martin didn't seem spooked when he visited the set:

But is Harrenhal literally cursed, or just called cursed on account of its spotty reputation? Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, producer Sara Hess downplayed the idea that anything literally supernatural was going on. "Nobody's giving birth to a smoke baby, let's put it that way," she said of Alys, who shares a few things in common with Melisandre from Game of Thrones but who apparently cannot give birth to vaporous monsters. "We definitely were thinking of it as [The Shining's] Overlook Hotel. It's super fun in that it's atmospheric."

Supernatural or not, hanging out in Harrenahl starts to affect Daemon. "He can't sleep. There's weird shit going on. He's not sure if it's real or if it's in his own head. We just wanted to have unexplained things and then use that as a conduit to lay him open a little more than he would be in normal life."

What I'm hoping is that the mysteries of Harrenhal will be presented as more metaphorical and eerie than literal and terrifying. We don't want things to slide into camp. We'll find out the specifics when House of the Dragon returns for its second season on Sunday, June 16 on HBO and Max.

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