Warning spoilers ahead! Greg Yaitanes, the director of the final episode of the Game of Thrones prequel fantasy series, House of the Dragon, has revealed some surprising inspirations for his battles in Westeros. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the director shared how he went about staging the scenes with the dragons in the show and how the animated movie How to Train Your Dragon was a massive help to his creative process.
In the finale of House of the Dragon season 1, we saw Rhaenyra, now the crowned queen of Westeros, send envoys to multiple lords in order to rally support for the Blacks after the Greens – led by Hand of the King Otto Hightower and Dowager Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) – made a play for the Iron Throne.
Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys Velaryon ventures to Storm’s End, home of Lord Borros Baratheon– but isn’t met with a warm welcome. Aemond Targaryen, who holds a grudge against Lucerys, has already won over the lord. This leads to an epic ariel chase sequence as Aemond mounts his huge dragon Vhagar and goes after Lucerys who is flying the much smaller reptile Arrax.
Yaitanes explained how this striking moment was, in part, thanks to what he learned after watching the 2010 family movie How to Train Your Dragon – directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois.
“In preparation, I watched the first How to Train Your Dragon because [Oscar-winning cinematographer] Roger Deakins was the visual consultant on that. So that, cinematically, was going to be really appealing,” Yaitanes said. “How to Train Your Dragon definitely covered a lot of action sequences that you didn’t want to be in comparison to.”
On top of the kids movie, Yaitanes shared how he rewatched the first Jurassic Park movie to assist with how he scaled the dragons – looking at Steven Spielberg’s approach to dinosaurs. The filmmaker also went on to share how, before filming for House of the Dragon took place, he and the episode’s cinematographer Pepe Avila del Pino, blocked the entire sequence with toy dragons. So yeah, tons of preparation went into the finale for sure.
If you are after more Westeros fun, here is everything we know about House of the Dragon season 2.