The House of the Dragon bosses are promising the second season will deliver more of the thrills and spills familiar to the millions of Thrones fans tuning in, along with more humour along the lines of the original series. 

Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal told The Times in London that producers deliberately slowed down the narrative for the first season, to ensure viewers were invested in the new characters. 

He explained: “We will get to the spectacle,” he insists. “But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war.

“Series two will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones, but it will have been earned, and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in.”

Also noticeable in the first season, which finishes tonight in the US on HBO, has been the toned-down presentation of sexual violence that was such an integral part of Thrones, with assaults in the narrative taking place off-screen. 

Condal told The Times: “While there are uncomfortable scenes in the show, we tried to stay away from anything that felt superfluous in the telling of the story.

“So when the rape [by Prince Aegon of a servant girl] happened in episode eight, it haunts viewers because they see what it does to the young woman instead of seeing the event itself. It is the story we are telling — we can imagine what it looked like. We have seen it on TV before. You don’t need to see the act itself.”

Condal promises there will be more lighthearted moments too in the next season, when the writers will seek to introduce “natural pathways into moments of levity” in the drama. 

He acknowledged, though, they are working without the droll skills of Emmy winner Peter Dinklage, who played noble dwarf Tyrion Lannister to such striking effect in Thrones

Instead, he added, “I think Matt Smith is very funny. If there is one character that does not care, it is Daemon.”

The show has so far proved a success for HBO, pulling in a respectable average of 29m viewers in the US, figures considered triumphant in 2022 (although dwarfed by the figures of 40m+ for the original Thrones). 

This will come as good news for HBO, with a price-tag of $20million attached to each episode. Condal revealed his own relief at the reception, telling The Times

“It is a challenging series because we live in a world where people are torn between multiple screens and channels, and we are requiring you to pay attention through crazy timeline shifting and actor recasting. But it’s made an impact.”

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