'House of the Dragon' season 2 episode 2 will be the HBO show's longest yet

Emma D'Arcy HBO House of the Dragon Season 1 - Episode 8
(Image credit: Ollie Upton / HBO)

Westeros fans recently got some intel about the episode title and runtime of the premiere episode of "House of the Dragon" season 2 — which will hit HBO and Max on Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET, so mark your calendars — and now we've learned that the season's second episode will break a record for the "Game of Thrones" prequel series.

Yes, despite "House of the Dragon" season 2 having fewer episodes than its 10-episode predecessor, the second episode will be the show's longest installment yet, clocking in at 72 minutes, eight more than the hour-and-four-minute premiere. That runtime is five minutes longer than last season's longest edition, which only stretched to 67 minutes. So though the episode count is less than it was during the first season, it might appease fans to know that the episodes so far are longer than an hour.

And the new season will need that extra screentime, what with all of the new characters, new dragons and big battle scenes to come. "House of the Dragon" season 2 will pick up shortly after the events of that shocking season one finale, during which Rhaenyra Targaryen's half-brother Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) killed her young son Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) during a dragon chase gone wrong. That tragedy has spurred a fiery succession war inside House Targaryen between Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and Team Black and her half-sibling Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Team Green. Given that the premiere episode is titled "A Son for a Son," it seems like Rhaenyra and her supporters will be seeking revenge against Aegon and Co. in the upcoming episodes.

Though we don't yet know the episode title or full premise of the season's second episode, we do know that it will air on Sunday, June 23 and was directed by Clare Kilner. And we also know that George R. R. Martin — the author behind "Fire & Blood," the book on which "House of the Dragon" is based — called early cuts of the ep "powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching" in a December 2023 blog post on his website. 

The writer was given a sneak peek at the first two editions of "House of the Dragon" season 2 and said: "Of course, I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work… but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. (And they are not even finished yet). Dark, mind you. Very dark. They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did)."

Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all updates surrounding those "House of the Dragon" season 2 episodes, including titles, runtime and any schedule changes. (Here's the full episode release schedule for the second season, BTW, including the big finale.) And we've also got all of your intel about the various "Game of Thrones" spinoff series that are in the works, including the Dunk and Egg prequel and the Aegon the Conqueror series. You can revisit the first season of "HOTD" with a Max subscription before those new season 2 episodes drop beginning Sunday, June 16. 

Christina Izzo
Writer

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.