‘House of the Dragon’ director breaks down the 3 different types of dragon

Milly Alcock, as a platinum-haired Targaryen royal, stands in front of a huge dragon in “House of the Dragon”
Image via HBO

House of the Dragon director Miguel Sapochnik has defined the three types of dragons audiences will see in the series. The original Game of Thrones had Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) winged, fire-breathing companions, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, but the prequel series will be upping the ante big time.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sapochnik discussed how he approached developing the dragons for House of the Dragon.

“I came up with the idea that there were three types of dragons. There’s the dragons that are dinosaur-like; they have a big bridge on their nose. There are the dragons that are canine, which usually have the convex feel to them; they feel wolf-like. And then, there’s the dragons that are like horses, which are somewhere in between. So, I’ve got a wolf skull, a horse skull, and a T-Rex skull, and designed the same dragon on top of them to see how the skull changed the features of the dragon.”

House of the Dragons will have more dragons than ever before. Younger Rhaenyra Milly Alcock and older Rhaenyra Emma D’Arcy will be riding Cyrax, Daemon Targaryen played by Matt Smith rides Caraxes, and Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) rides “the Red Queen,” Meleys, and her eldest daughter Laena Velaryon (Savannah Steyn) rides Vhagar, the biggest dragon in the series.

Smith has talked about the close connection Targaryens have with their dragons, referring to them as almost like avatars of their dragonriders. The Targaryen line has magic in their blood, and their bond with dragons is powerful. They’ve maintained their reign through the use of their dragons, relying on them in the Valyrian wars and Aegon’sconquest of Westeros, and they will continue to play a role in the series at the peak of Targaryen decadence.

It took five designers to create the aesthetic for the dragons, and they had three meetings a week for a calendar year, with each designer often responsible for crafting concept art illustrations for two drakes at a time. After working on their particular dragon, they would switch off and design on top of the previous artist’s work in a collaborative effort. The presentation book consisted of an impressive 900-1,000 pieces of dragon concept art, proving they’re taking the title very seriously.

House of the Dragon premieres on HBO August 21.