House of the Dragon showrunner explains why season 2 has new opening credits

The Dance of the Dragons will be woven into the annals of history before our eyes! House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal explains why the Game of Thrones spinoff is getting a new opening for its second season.
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

We're just around the corner from the premiere of the second season of House of the Dragon, HBO's acclaimed Game of Thrones prequel show. Season 1 featured a cold war between rival branches of the Targaryen family that heated up over the course of decades. In season 2, it all boils over as armies take to the field and dragons to the sky. On the one side we have Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and her Blacks; on the other, King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) and his Greens. Who will emerge triumphant?

House of the Dragon season 2 will feel different from the first season. For one, the narrative will no longer feature time jumps or recast our core cast of characters as they age. That means more screen time with Aegon, his sister-wife Helaena (Phia Saban), his sadistic brother Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), and the rest.

The fact that the cast is now set in stone isn't the only big change we'll see in House of the Dragon season 2. The series is also getting a new opening credits sequence to better suit this part of the story. The first season's opening credits took us through the lineage of House Targaryen, with lines of blood running from symbol to symbol set in King Viserys' model of ancient Valyria, representing how the Targaryen bloodline progressed from Aegon the Conqueror down to characters like Rhaenyra and Aegon II.

Season 2 will feature a different opening credit scene, which reportedly shows a tapestry of Targaryen family history being woven in real-time. Showrunner Ryan Condal explained the change during a season 2 press roundtable attended by io9. “We did decide to go with the new main title sequence this year,” he said. “When we were looking at the sequence we did in season one, which I think works very well, it was visually dynamic and interesting, but it was really about—it was essentially a family tree. It was about the bloodlines of this generational family that begins with Viserys and then goes down through Rhaenyra and Alicent and then on to the generation of their children.”

The first season was about how this particular branch of the Targaryen family tree came to be on such bad terms, so it made sense that a family tree ended up in the opening credits. But now all the players are on the board and war is afoot. Something more dramatic was warranted.

“The family is kind of set at [this] point,” Condal continued. “Game of Thrones loves an evolving title sequence, and we just didn’t really know where to go with it from there. So the idea was, if the first season was about ancestry and bloodlines, season two is now about [being part of] this living history, this period that becomes very seismic, both in this time and then for all the decades to come. This is such a famous time in history that even characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire books are thinking back to the Dance of the Dragons, which is the most brutal and bloody civil war fought in this time.”

As with House of the Dragon season 1, the season 2 opening title will still have the iconic Game of Thrones music by composter Ramin Djawadi. We'll be able to feast our eyes and ears on the new sequence when House of the Dragon premieres on June 16 on HBO and Max.

Next. To House of the Dragon fans: Sorry, but the Greens are right (even though we love the Blacks). To House of the Dragon fans: Sorry, but the Greens are right (even though we love the Blacks). dark

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