‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Trimmed to 8 Episodes

Decision to shorten the return of “Game of Thrones” prequel comes amid cost-cutting at Warner Bros. Discovery

house of the dragon
"House of the Dragon" (HBO)

Expect a shorter than normal winter when “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” returns. HBO has given the hit series a shortened run of 8-episodes for its upcoming second season, TheWrap has confirmed.

The decision to shorten the show’s second season comes amid months of belt-tightening measures at HBO’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery. However, individuals with knowledge of the matter insist the move is due only to the needs of the story being told and not to any other concerns.

HBO didn’t have any comment, but according to Deadline, which first reported the news, the shortened season is part of a longer plan that includes the possibility of an early Season 3 renewal.

In late 2022 HBO Max announced rounds of show cancellations and removals from the platform, cuts that came just months after a similar round shocked viewers in August. “House of the Dragon” had a very hugely successful premiere around that time, however, which helped make up for the losses.

Once “House of the Dragon” concluded its first season, total demand for HBO Max shows droppednearly 4% from what it had been in July, according to Parrot Analytics‘ data. The show was an enormous hit for HBO and HBO Max, with the finale being streamed for over 1 billion minutes total, according to Nielsen.