Viewers will be spending less time with Rhaenyra and her dragons on House of the Dragon Season 2.
That news was revealed earlier this year when it was reported that the Game of Thrones spinoff’s sophomore run would come in at eight episodes, down from the planned 10-episode run.
A definite answer to why the decision was made was not revealed at the time.
In a new interview with Deadline, HBO’s EVP and Head of Drama, Francesca Orsi, revealed the decision was driven by the middle of the season “treading water.”
“There was some question about the narrative shape of Season 2,” Orsi told the outlet.
“We were developing it with Ryan Condal and [EP] Sara Hess, and we realized that we were sort of treading water narratively in the middle of the season,” Orsi said.
“So it just felt much more rigorous, more urgent emotional arc for our characters if we compressed the season,” she added, revealing that it also changed the conclusion and how House of the Dragon Season 3 would begin.
The third season has not received a formal pickup, but it has been mapped out.
There is still debate about whether the show will end after three seasons or four.
“It hasn’t been finalized yet, it’s still under discussion,” Orsi said about about the length of the series.
“George and Ryan are going to meet after the writers strike.”
“They had originally planned to meet before the strike took place and that was to figure out at what point the series itself was going to end. Is it four seasons?”
“I don’t think from where I sit at this point will be any less than four. But could be more. We’ll see.”
Given the backlash to the final season of Game of Thrones, there’s a good chance producers and HBO are trying to avoid another poor ending because it would cause irreparable damage to the franchise.
The reaction to House of the Dragon Season 1 has been positive, with the show delivering huge ratings and quickly scoring a Season 2 renewal.
What are your thoughts on the reason for the reduced episodes?
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.