Small Council: What did we think of the new House of the Dragon trailers?

What did we think of the new trailer(s) for House of the Dragon season 2? We'd hyped out of our minds, obviously. The details:
House of the Dragon | Official Black Trailer | Max
House of the Dragon | Official Black Trailer | Max / Max

The other day, HBO gifted us with not one but TWO new trailers for House of the Dragon season 2. Watch the Team Black trailer above and the Team Green trailer below. Then we'll give our breathless thoughts on the matter.

CAM: So I knew we were getting a trailer. But TWO?! Someone pinch me! The audacity of making two trailers. HBO has outdone itself.

So much to speculate. So much to revisit from Fire and Blood. So much to digest, to rewatch, to interpret. Everyone looks so good. This has so much potential for introducing so many intense moments, and maybe surprise us with new ones we never saw coming.

I can't wait. I officially cannot wait. Time for my 11th rewatch of the first season. #TeamBlackForLife #AemondIsStillCute

House of the Dragon season 2 /

RICH: What a morning. There’s nothing better to take my mind off of a massive baseball scandal than sinking my teeth into TWO fresh House of the Dragon trailers. Here are some of my favorite bits and little things I noticed.

Rhaenyra and Aegon are ready to fight this war to the bitter end and I am all here for it. After a first season that mostly set the stage for this brutal conflict, these trailers confirm that there will be battles, there will be more dragons, and there will be death. Oh boy, get ready for more characters to die because we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg in that department.

The new dragons that we got glimpses of were Aegon’s dragon Sunfyre, Helaena’s mount Dreamfyre and Moondancer, who is ridden by BaelaTargaryen. We got a taste of dragon vs. dragon combat at the end of season 1, BUT I WANT MORE and there are plenty of winged lizards to shoot fire at each other now.

In the middle of the Black trailer, I noticed a blue-eyed man with Hightower armor on that may or may not be Daeron Targaryen, the youngest son of Alicent and Viserys. All mention of Daeron was cut from season 1, which is a damn shame because he does some very cool stuff in the book Fire & Blood later on in the story. Perhaps this is him and they’re bringing him back? Please? This character is more likely Alicent’s brother Gwayne Hightower, but I can dream all I want. Daeron is still featured on HBO’s character guide so there is hope people.

Also Starks! One brief shot in this trailer sees the return of House Stark in the form of Cregan Stark, who appears to be walking atop The Wall itself while he speaks to Jacaerys. Very exciting stuff indeed.

I think one of the things I’m most excited about is Aegon taking center stage on the Green side. When Aegon was coronated at the end of season 1, you could see a major boost to his ego and confidence. Combine that with his affection for violence and cruelty, and you have a dragon-riding Joffrey Baratheon on your hands. With so many egomaniacal characters like Aegon, Alicent, Otto and Criston Cole all in the same room, I will be right there watching with snacks.

These trailers were hype. Season 2 looks fantastic and it’s only a few months away. Praise be to showrunner Ryan Condal. Cheers.

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FEDERICA: Two trailers, two narratives: this season of House of the Dragon wants to remind us there are two sides of every story.

Glad to see Rhaenyra finally narrate a trailer and be the focus of the Black trailer. It’s about time!

On the other side, notice how the focus is on Alicent more than Aegon in the Green trailer. In fact, she’s the first and primary narrator. I’ve been saying this since before season 1 came out: the showrunners ultimately want to frame this as a story about Rhaenyra vs Alicent, not Aegon. In the Black trailer, Rhaenyra even says “Alicent’s son sits my throne” as opposed to “Aegon” or “my half-brother.” It’s just a detail but I believe it’s quite telling for the entire narrative of the story.

Rhaenyra starts her trailer with, “I mean to fight this war and win it” and ends it with “I fear what I’ve begun”: it’s not necessarily remorse, but self-awareness and clarity that the consequences of this war will also befall the people of Westeros. We see no such arc in the other trailer for Aegon or Aemond or Criston Cole, who all seem to enjoy the prospect of war and battle. If anything, Alicent notes the sacrifices that were made to put Aegon on the throne, but I doubt she is referring to people’s suffering, other than her own.

Team Black is less heterogeneous: we have Corlys who wants to crush the Hightowers, Rhaenys who advises caution against hate and bloodshed. Despite Otto saying that the Blacks are driven by vengeance, we see none of that from this trailer. Even Jace, the youngest representative of Team Black we hear speak in the trailer, is poised as he talks about oaths sworn and frames the war as a political, not personal, matter.

Also, let me just say that seeing the Wall again gave me chills, and I am so ready for all interactions between Cregan Stark and Prince Jace Velaryon, who, by the way, has never looked more like Jon Snow than in that clip. After all, the same blood, Rhaenyra’s, runs through their veins.

A couple of side notes: Corlys looks so much older than he did when we last saw him, almost wizened. SPOILERS for Fire & Blood: The showrunners seem to be playing a prank on the audience here, suggesting through his physical aspect that he may die soon, when really he survives most other prominent characters in the story.

We finally see the Dragonkeepers again, with Rhaenyra approaching the dragons, I’m excited to see them again and hear more High Valyrian.

Is that a Harrenhal tower that Daemon is roaming? Aemond also foreshadows it; are we THERE already?

I can’t wait to see what’s in store. This season has the potential to be very good, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint. We’ll see on June 16.

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DAN: That definitely looks like Harrenhal to me, Federica, but no, I doubt we're there yet, although I wouldn't be surprised if the producers couldn't help themselves from teasing us.

I agree with most of what y'all are saying: the trailers look great, and the season has the potential to be very good. I'm hoping to see fewer instances of the writers coming up with ways for the characters to shirk responsibility for their own actions this time around — e.g. Vhagar killed Lucerys, not Aemond; or Alicent only pushing to put Aegon on the throne after misinterpreting Viserys' dying words — but the source material is there, the production values are there, and the talent is there behind and in front of the camera. Let's make this happen.

I'll focus on something else: the show is premiering on Sunday, June 16. That's sooner than we thought! That's technically before the first day of summer, if only just. I guess HBO wants to catch up with the kids just as they get out of school, certain they'll be in the mood for high tragedy and fire-breathing monsters? I would be.

I'm happy HBO is coming with confidence and staking a claim on the middle of the year. This summer is about blood, fire and fun.

DANIEL: These new trailers have me hyped! First off, I think it was genius for the HBO marketing teams to do two separate trailers. Way to get people talking and build up the anticipation. It’s like Christmas in Westeros! Fiery, bloody Christmas! I will not choose which trailer I liked more or less, though, because they tickled my House of the Dragon fancy equally.

There were so many things I loved seeing in the trailers, but some of my favorites were Blood and Cheese, the various funerals, Daemon’s infiltration of Harrenhal, and the dragons Seasmoke, Sunfyre and Moondancer. I like how many of these shots could just come off as ominous cool scenes to those who haven’t read Fire & Blood, but are absolutely loaded with implications for those familiar with George R.R. Martin’s book. Blood and Cheese in particular got a lot of footage, between our first look at the pair themselves to the funeral and Green war council planning. As with season 1, there are stories within stories in the trailers, which I appreciate.

The thing I keep coming back around to though is the dragonseeds. They appear in one very brief shot in the Black Trailer, which looks like Rhaenyra is giving a dinner speech to them as well as Jace and Baela: her new, younger guard of dragonriders. I’m thinking that’s going to come in the back half of the season, after a particularly traumatic Episode 4 rebalances the playing field. I’m nervous as well as so curious. June 16 can’t get here fast enough!

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