'House of the Dragon' showrunner says season 2's big battles will rival the 'Avengers' films

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon season 2
(Image credit: HBO)

We already know that the Dance of the Dragons is going to be bigger and badder going into "House of the Dragon" season 2, with a whole host of new characters, a flight of new fire-breathing dragons and troops fully rallying behind Team Green (supporters of King Aegon II Targaryen’s claim to the Iron Throne) and Team Black (those that back Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen as the rightful heir). 

And "House of the Dragon" showrunner Ryan Condol recently revealed that, despite having fewer episodes than the previous edition, the scaled-up second season of the "Game of Thrones" prequel will feature two of the biggest battles the HBO franchise has ever seen. 

“We can fit two 'Avengers' films inside of our shoot schedule,” Condal shared in an interview with Den of Geek. “The battles are episodes unto themselves ... We have two of the largest sequences that we’ve ever filmed on 'House of the Dragon.' Both of them outstrip anything that we did in season one. They are episodes within episodes.”

It's clear that the pumped-up dragon count in "House of the Dragon" — this season will reportedly feature 14 creatures, as opposed to the trio of fire-breathers in all of "Game of Thrones" — will play out epically in those big battle sequences. And Condal spoke about the importance of having the actors playing the onscreen dragon riders build "relationships" with their bonded beasts ahead of all that airborne combat. 

Dragon on House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

“These poor actors climb up on a saddle but they never interact with the creature they’re supposed to have this close bond with,” Condal told the outlet. “If you believe Westerosi historical propaganda, Aegon [II] and Sunfyre famously had the closest bond between dragon and human in history. It’s important for Tom Glynn-Carney as an actor to know what Sunfyre looks like.”

It's fitting that both Team Green and Team Black boast dragons among their forces — “there are heroes and monsters that wear green and heroes and monsters that wear black in equal measure," Condal said. In fact, the showrunner views the entire Dance of the Dragons succession war as a "cautionary tale. 

He told Den of Geek: “‘Look what this great dynasty that should have ruled for thousands of years did to themselves.’ They went to war against each other, and they killed off all the dragons and ruined their own greatness. If our present-day historians could do a better job of warning us against the things that we’ve experienced that we’re in danger of repeating, maybe, maybe we’d have a brighter future ahead.”

You'll be able to see exactly how that cautionary tale plays out between the feuding Targaryen siblings when "House of the Dragon" season 2 premieres on HBO and Max on Sunday, June 16 at 9pm Eastern Time. Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all things related to the second season of the Emmy-winning fantasy series, from behind-the-scenes intel to battle details and big set pieces. In the meantime, you can rewatch all of the conflicts and clashes that occurred in season one of "HOTD" with a Max subscription. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.