‘We had a clear path to the end’: House of the Dragon’s co-creator speaks out in defence of season 2’s eight-episode arc

House of the Dragon‘s showrunner has clarified why the hit fantasy show’s second season is shorter than the first.

Speaking to TechRadar, Ryan Condal admitted “there were a host of factors” that played their part in House of the Dragon season 2’s reduced episode count. Primarily, the decision to cut it down to eight episodes, rather than the 10 entries that the series’ inaugural entry had, was based on the story that its creative team wanted to tell.

This isn’t the first time that such a creative decision has been taken. Like House of the Dragon‘s first installment, the first six seasons of Game of Thrones (GoT) also comprised 10 episodes. It was only in GOT’s final two seasons, which carved their own narrative path in the absence of any more of George R.R. Martin’s source material to adapt – he’s yet to finish book seven or start on GoT‘s eighth and final novel – that shorter seasons were developed.

Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) looks flustered in a green and gold dress in House of the Dragon season 2

Despite being two episodes shorter, House of the Dragon season 2 will be as fraught as the first season was. (Image credit: HBO)

By contrast, House of the Dragon‘s TV adaptation has a complete literary text – Fire & Blood, which was also penned by Martin – to draw inspiration from. Even so, that book is nothing more than an outline of events that transpired during the brutal Westerosi era known as The Dance of the Dragons, aka the incendiary civil war that engulfed House Targaryen and led to its inevitable downfall.