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HBO Urges Fans to Choose Their Fighter With Dueling House of the Dragon Season 2 Trailers

"All must choose" a side in the Targaryen civil war.
  • Emma D'Arcy and Tom Glynn-Carney in House of the Dragon Season 2 (Photos: HBO)
    Emma D'Arcy and Tom Glynn-Carney in House of the Dragon Season 2 (Photos: HBO)

    Are you Team Black or Team Green? That's the question posed by the official House of the Dragon Season 2 trailers — yes, plural — which preview the bloody civil war between Targaryen heirs Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and her half-brother Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney). In a first, HBO has released dueling trailers for the new season, giving fans an opportunity to see the action from the perspective of both Rhaenyra's Black Council and Aegon's Green Council, so named for his allegiance to the house of his mother, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).

    House of the Dragon Season 2 picks up in the immediate aftermath of the Season 1 finale, in which Alicent outmaneuvered Rhaenyra, her childhood friend turned rival, to place Aegon on the Iron Throne. As an heir of late King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), Aegon has a legitimate claim to the seat, but the move violated the planned accession of Rhaenyra, Viserys' daughter, and sent the women scrambling to amass allies across the realm. Add in the murder of Rhaenyra's son Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) at the hands of Alicent's second-born Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and his dragon and you have all the makings of a family feud that's poised to rip Westeros apart.

    As the trailers indicate, both the Blacks and the Greens are prepared to do whatever it takes to secure their position on the throne, even if it means plunging the realm into full-blown war. As Rhaenyra, sporting a new, Shiv Roy-esque power bob, relies on her husband/uncle Daemon (Matt Smith) to shore up support by force — "Our terms are very simple: Renounce the false king and bend the knee to the queen, or your house burns," he warns — the Hightowers use their alliance with the Baratheons and Aegon and Aemond's general love of chaos to their advantage.

    While some seek to remain neutral and others argue for peace, it's clear that this is no longer possible given the degree to which the conflict has escalated. Notorious schemer Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) says it best in the Green trailer: "We will prevail and bring forth peace. But you must accept that the path to victory now is one of violence."

    In addition to offering differing angles on the dispute first detailed in George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood — "The Green and Black trailers reflect those two perspectives in separate yet complementary halves of the same story," HBO explained in a press release — the dueling trailers turn fans into active participants in the drama. A third teaser, which prompts users to click on either the extended Green or Black trailer, serves as a reminder that "all must choose" a side in the Targaryen civil war, mirroring the fracturing that occurs within Westeros in Season 2.

    It's a clever marketing trick, although considering the long wait between seasons and the hype for all things Game of Thrones, it's likely to appeal most to those already aware that the prequel is returning this summer. Still, there's something fun about being invited to join the story in this way. If it proves successful, perhaps we'll see dueling trailers for other shows landing on HBO and Max in the coming months — maybe even rival teasers that pit the ladies of And Just Like That against one another?

    House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres June 16 on HBO. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: House of the Dragon, HBO, Emma D'Arcy, Ewan Mitchell, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Tom Glynn-Carney