Why does House of the Dragon season 2 have fewer episodes than season 1? 'It wasn't really our choice.'

Why does the second season of House of the Dragon have fewer episodes than the first? Producer Sara Hess hints at the issue:
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Ever since Game of Thrones blew up the world, TV studios have been racing each other to create bigger and more spectactular series. The Rings of Power on Amazon. Stranger Things on Netflix. HBO's own Game of Thrones prequel show House of the Dragon. All of those shows look about as good as a big budget movie does, which was unthinkable for TV shows in the '90s or 2000s.

But that visual splendor comes with a price: this new breed of high-cost prestige show takes a long time to make. That's why we only seem to get new seasons of these shows every other year (if that) and why episode counts seem to be dropping. Back in the day, a normal drama would crank out upwards of 22 episodes per year. But for these big budget fantasy and sci-fi series, it's usually 10 or less.

And it seems to be sliding further and further down. The first season of House of the Dragon had 10 full episodes, which actually like a geneous number given that eight or even six episodes was starting to become the standard. But the upcoming second season will only have eight episodes. Here's the release schedule:

  • Episode 201: June 16
  • Episode 202: June 23
  • Episode 203: June 30
  • Episode 204: July 7
  • Episode 205: July 14
  • Episode 206: July 21
  • Episode 207: July 28
  • Episode 208: August 4

Why the drop? Producer Sara Hess gave us a clue when speaking with Entertainment Weekly. "It wasn't really our choice," she hinted.

We don't know exactly what that means, although there have been other reports kicking around about the reduction in episode size. Back in March, Deadline reported that "a portion of the plot originally intended for Season 2, including a major battle" had been moved to season 3. As best as we can figure, that plot probably involved the Battle of hte Gullet, an at-sea battle that would fit right in at the end of season 2...if it kept going.

Obviously more episodes is better, but if these eight episodes maintain a high level of quality, it should be easy to forgive.

Next. Aegon's Conquest writer talks working with George R.R. Martin on new Game of Thrones prequel. Aegon's Conquest writer talks working with George R.R. Martin on new Game of Thrones prequel. dark

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