House of the Dragon shows off more dragons — and how the actors filmed them flying

·3 min read
House of the Dragon shows off more dragons — and how the actors filmed them flying

While San Diego Comic-Con didn't have too much new footage to show off from House of the Dragon, HBO is dropping more looks by the day from its Game of Thrones prequel series. Today, we get more of the dragons.

A behind-the-scenes video, featuring peeks at the various sets and moments from the finished series, showcases some of the gargantuan fire-breathers coming to the fantasy drama and the ways in which the actors tamed them.

House of the Dragon featurette
House of the Dragon featurette

HBO Syrax, the dragon of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, stares down the camera in 'House of the Dragon'

Syrax and Caraxes, the dragons mounted by Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock, Emma D'Arcy) and Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), take center stage. Though, the sneak peek features concept illustrations of other dragons in some kind of fighting pit.

House of the Dragon featurette
House of the Dragon featurette

HBO Concept art of a dragon from HBO's 'House of the Dragon.'

House of the Dragon featurette
House of the Dragon featurette

HBO Dragons spar in concept art from HBO's 'House of the Dragon.'

The actors attending the Comic-Con panel in San Diego on Saturday spoke about shooting the dragon-flying scenes on a mechanical buck that would be elevated in the air in front of an immense LED wall that projected real-time visual effects. The new video also gives a look at how that process worked.

"The Volume Stage is a wraparound LED screen. So instead of green screen or blue screen, it's all there. It's a digital game landscape that is connected to the camera, so it moves as the camera does, perspectively," D'Arcy, who plays adult Rhaenyra while Alcock plays younger Rhaenyra, tells EW in an interview. "The buck is one of the most fun rides I have ever been on. Honestly, it's giddy making. I had to actively wipe the smile off my face. It's pure play."

House of the Dragon featurette
House of the Dragon featurette

HBO An actor rides a buck on set of HBO's 'House of the Dragon' to film the flying scenes.

House of the Dragon featurette
House of the Dragon featurette

HBO A stage with an LED wall is able to render visual effects in real time for the actors to react to.

House of the Dragon goes back hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones to a time when the Targaryen empire was at its height in Westeros.

"The Targaryens are the fascinating dynasty that we don't know much about from the original books because at that point they had all died out," series co-creator and co-showrunner Ryan Condal says in the video. "There was this once great day where there were dozens of Targaryens running around and a bunch of dragons and they ruled over Westeros. It was a time of peace and prosperity, and everybody knew that if you messed with the Targaryens, you would get the dragons. So no one dared to overthrow them."

The downfall of the Targaryens ended up being themselves.

House of the Dragon will focus on the relationship between Rhaenyra and her childhood best friend, Alicent Hightower, played first by Emily Carey before Olivia Cooke takes over the role in later years. Rhaenyra is named the sole heir to the Iron Throne by her father, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine). The Lords of Westeros swear her fealty, but when Alicent is later wed to Viserys and they conceive a son, the kingdom is split in two over succession. This leads to the Dance of the Dragons, one of the bloodiest civil wars Westeros has ever seen.

House of the Dragon featurette
House of the Dragon featurette

HBO A young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) observes her dragon Syrax in HBO's 'House of the Dragon.'

In addition to the behind-the-scenes video, the Home Box Office network revealed an extended version of the House of the Dragon trailer that dropped ahead of Comic-Con.

House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO and HBO Max this Aug. 21.

Subscribe to EW's West of Westeros podcast, which goes behind the making of House of the Dragon and the growing Game of Thrones universe. The podcast will launch Aug. 21.

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