Choose your side in a civil war with House of the Dragon’s dueling S2 trailers

This short teaser for S2 of HBO’s House of the Dragon lets you choose between two full trailers.

It’s been a long wait for the second season of HBO’s House of the Dragon, in which House Targaryen descends into civil war over the heir to the Iron Throne. It’s set to premiere in June, and HBO is ramping up its marketing with a rather clever twist: not one official trailer, but two, each presenting the perspective of one side in the bloody conflict. And we get to choose which trailer we’d like to view—although if you’re like us, you’ll elect to watch both.

(Spoilers for the first season below.)

As I’ve written previously, HBO’s House of the Dragon debuted in 2022 with a solid, promising pilot episode, and the remainder of the season lived up to that initial promise. The series is set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen’s reign. The primary source material is Fire and Blood, a fictional history of the Targaryen kings written by George R.R. Martin. As book readers know, those events culminated in a civil war and the extinction of the dragons—at least until Daenerys Targaryen came along.

The first season spanned many years and made some pretty significant time jumps, which in turn required replacing the younger actors as their characters aged. The S1 finale brought Westeros to the brink of civil war. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) died, and his second wife, Alicent (Olivia Cooke), conspired with her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), to crown her eldest son, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), as king instead of Viserys’ declared heir apparent, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy).

This kicked off a lot of political maneuvering as both sides tried to shore up support for their chosen heir in preparation for the inevitable fight. Even though she was technically the rightful heir, Rhaenyra actually seemed to be considering House Hightower’s conditions for concession—until the arrogant Prince Aemon (Ewan Mitchell), Alicent’s younger son, went after Rhaenyra’s young son, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault). Both dragonriders failed to control their dragons, and Aemon’s much bigger dragon, Vhagar, gobbled up poor Lucerys and his little dragon, Arrax, in mid-air. The season closed with Rhaenyra and her husband/uncle Daemon (Matt Smith) receiving the devastating news, effectively dashing any hope of a peaceful resolution.

Most of the S1 main cast members are returning for S2 (those whose characters survived). And we have some new faces in the mix: Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull; Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers; Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower; Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong; Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull; Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome; Kieran Bew as Hugh; Tom Bennett as Ulf; Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark; and Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne.

The first teaser for S2 dropped in December during CCXP23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We got the expected footage of dragons and dragonriders, a beheading, troops gathering and getting wiped out by dragon fire, and Rhaenyra and Aemon facing off with their dragons. And we also had a brief glimpse of a particularly brutal plot point in the source material that we already know closes out S2 (i.e., the “Blood and Cheese” incident, well-known to book readers).

As for the two new trailers, if your loyalties are with the claimed “rightful heir” Rhaenyra and the Blacks, this is the trailer for you:

Official Black trailer.

But perhaps you’d prefer to side with Greens, i.e., Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower and her odious offspring, Aegon Targaryen, who has laid claim to the Iron Throne as King Aegon II:

Official Green trailer.

The second season of House of the Dragon premiers on HBO on June 16, 2024.

Listing image by HBO

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