House of the Dragon’s Showrunner Explains a Big Change You’ll Notice in Season 2

When House of the Dragon season one premiered, its built-in audience of Game of Thrones fans noticed immediately a similarity between the two shows: Ramin Djawadi’s iconic theme song. And Dragon’s opening-credits graphics—while not identical—were certainly evocative of Thrones’. When Dragon returns for its second season, however, viewers will notice a big change.

The music is the same, but the graphics are quite different. Instead of blood running through stone and metal, the cast and crew names unfurl while a tapestry is being stitched as blood seeps into the cloth. “We did decide to go with the new main title sequence this year,” showrunner Ryan Condal explained to io9 as part of a House of the Dragon season two press roundtable. “When we were looking at the sequence we did in season one, which I think works very well, it was visually dynamic and interesting, but it was really about—it was essentially a family tree. It was about the bloodlines of this generational family that begins with Viserys and then goes down through Rhaenyra and Alicent and then on to the generation of their children.”

This season, however, that second generation—King Aegon II, Aemond Targaryen, Jacaerys Velaryon, and so on—are now fully part of the story. “The family is kind of set at [this] point,” Condal said. “Game of Thrones loves an evolving title sequence, and we just didn’t really know where to go with it from there. So the idea was, if the first season was about ancestry and bloodlines, season two is now about [being part of] this living history, this period that becomes very seismic, both in this time and then for all the decades to come. This is such a famous time in history that even characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire books are thinking back to the Dance of the Dragons, which is the most brutal and bloody civil war fought in this time.”

Condal continued. “So we want to do something that was that was dynamic and that was communicating about the themes in the story that we were telling in season two and beyond. And it felt in my mind, the way to do that was to find a way of rendering the history in a visual way. We went to a tapestry and there’s this wonderful title company called yU+co that designed that for us. And the idea is that we are living through history, and we’re seeing it stitched into the fabric of this tapestry as we move, the time begins in Old Valyria and takes us all the way through to, as you see at the end of it, Vhagar taking out Arrax over Storm’s End [as seen in the season one finale]. And I think you’ll continue to see it evolve from here.”

House of the Dragon season two arrives June 16 on HBO and Max.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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