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House of the Dragon showrunner teases return of the Starks after new trailer drops

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal has teased the return of a fan-favourite Game of Thrones family in the show’s second season, saying: “I love a Stark!”

The new season, which is set to air on HBO from 16 June, will focus on the Targaryen civil war known as the “Dance of the Dragons”.

It will be available to watch in the UK on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW from 17 June.

Two new trailers have just been released, each focusing on rival sides. The Black Council is made up of supporters of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), while the Green Council backs Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and those who fought to put her son King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) on the Iron Throne.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Condal said: “This is not a story of goodies and baddies, black hats and white hats. It’s a story of this family that’s been rent open by this dispute over who is meant to wear the crown after Viserys passes.

“Some people think it’s Rhaenyra, some people think it’s Aegon, and then there are other people within who think, ‘Why should it be one of the two of them? Maybe it should be somebody else. Maybe it should be me!’ The fun of this Greek tragedy is seeing, when you introduce a power vacuum to a world like this, how all of these individuals react.”

In the finale of season one, Rhaenyra’s son Jacaerys Velaryon (Harry Collett) flew north to rally his mother’s supporters. These include Lord Cregan Stark, an ancestor of Game of Thrones’s Ned Stark (Sean Bean).

Cregan Stark, played by The Dark Tower actor Tom Taylor, is a new addition to the show.

“He’s very powerful,” says Condal. “Everybody’s vying for his army. He’s quite a bit younger than Ned Stark was, so it’s interesting to see the Young Wolf, the young Stark lord, and how he carries himself in the world, and the burden that’s on his shoulders being the Warden of the North. I’m excited for the audience to see and experience that.”

Last December, Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin revealed that he had been given a preview of the first two episodes of the new season of House of the Dragon and thought they were “just great”.

“Dark, mind you. Very dark,” he continued. “They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did). Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart-rending. Just the sort of thing I like. (What can I say? I was weaned on Shakespeare, and love the tragedies and history plays best of all).”

In a four-star review of the first season of House of the Dragon, The Independent’s chief television critic Nick Hilton wrote that the prequel series is “bigger, bolder and bloodier than Game of Thrones”.