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Review Roundup For Game Of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Season 2

Reviews are here for the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones preqel--here's what the critics are saying.


Reviews have started to release ahead of the second season of HBO's House of the Dragon, which premieres on Max on June 16, and it's looking mostly positive for the Game of Thrones prequel. Critics were able to watch the first four episodes of the eight-episode season, and reviews generally agree that the second season is better than, or at least on par with the first House of the Dragon season.

GameSpot gave the new season 7/10 in our review. Reviewer Megan Vick wrote: "The highlight of Season 2 remains when the dragons get into the action ... but House of the Dragon does make better use of its talking time than Season 1. Now that the world has been established, we can get into the juicy power dealings and machinations as seemingly loyal allies jump ship or change allegiance to gain power in the lead up to war. House of the Dragon has many moments in the first four episodes screened for critics that feel reminiscent of Game of Thrones Seasons 3 and 4, arguably the best the flagship show had to offer."

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Now Playing: House Of The Dragon's Cast Breaks Down How Targaryens Differ From Game Of Thrones

Many critics praised the performances of Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, with some also calling out Tom Glynn-Carney's performance as the young King Aegon II as one of the most compelling in the first four episodes. The reviews generally agree that the pacing has picked up since the first season, with the dragon-led battle scenes one of the season's highlights.

Check out a selection of review scores and excerpts below, with more available on GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

House of the Dragon: Season 2

  • Showrunner: Ryan Condal
  • Created by: Ryan Condal and George R. R. Martin
  • Starring: Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Fabien Frankel, Tom Glynn-Carney
  • Release Date: June 16

GameSpot -- 7/10

"For those wondering whether Season 2 is worth tuning into, you still need to be prepared for a slow burn, but there is a worthy payoff for your patience across both seasons sooner rather than later. House of the Dragon has the earmarks of what made its flagship show so popular--great story, great performances, and watercooler moments you'll want to break down in the "#hotd-spoilers" Slack chat on Monday morning. What more could you want, really?" -- Megan Vick [Full review]

Empire -- 4/5

"Above all else, House Of The Dragon remains a spiky, acidic human drama; an astute, timely and well-performed study of the way power and wisdom are so often mutually exclusive, and of the tragic consequences that occur when the former is exercised without the latter." -- Dan Jolin [Full review]

Slash Film -- 8.5/10

"The funny thing about the long-awaited second season of House of the Dragon, after all that grand distance established in the first outing, is how much it feels like Game of Thrones. And by that, I specifically mean the best years of the original show, back when it united audiences with shock and awe rather than grumbling. If season 1 was entirely about establishing the parameters of the prequel series, the new rules so to speak, season 2 quietly shifts gears into a more familiar, but welcome mode. House of the Dragon so clearly established its identity in season 1 that season 2 is able to latch onto the pleasures that made the first four seasons of Game of Thrones such addictive, remarkable television without feeling redundant." -- Jacob Hall [Full review]

Collider -- 8/10

"Thanks to a solid foundation from Season 1 that was rich with character development, we know exactly where everyone stands when Season 2 begins. In fact, you didn't need to read the book Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin to figure out what some of the reactions to that final plot twist would be. Now that the series has fully plunged the world of Westeros into war, not only has House of the Dragon surpassed its freshman season, but, based on the first four episodes provided for review, it has the potential to overshadow even the more popular flagship series." -- Therese Lacson [Full review]

Discussing Film -- 3.5/5

"Time will tell if House of the Dragon Season 2 will stick the landing. It’s off to a somewhat shaky but not unrecoverable start. Certainly, fans of the previous season will enjoy it; how could they not? House of the Dragon continues to have its strengths and pulls off a level of cinematic spectacle only a Game of Thrones show can achieve on television." -- Ron Hilliard [Full review]

Screen Rant -- 4/5

"Ultimately, halfway through House of the Dragon season 2, I'm happy with what I've seen and excited for where things will go. I was a little more uncertain after the first two episodes, which are a bit more uneven and where I have bigger complaints, but episodes 3 and 4 are superb, and have some of my favorite moments of the show so far. If it can build on that momentum, then forget Team Green or Team Black -- we'll all be winners." -- James Hunt [Full review]

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