The Creation of Drogon in Game of Thrones season 5

Drogon2

Dany’s little dragon, Drogon, has returned this year, only he’s grown a bit. In fact, he’s grown so much that, according to this new interview with TVInsider.com, Game of Thrones is now using two new methods to create the black dragon.

Visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer speaks with TVInsider about the creation of Drogon in season 5, offering a peek at how the biggest of the dragons will be depicted this year.

“Drogon is twice the size he was last year. He’s about 40 feet long and 20 percent bigger than the other two dragons,” Bauer says. “He’s also the alpha, so his way goes. He’s still affectionate with Dany, but he’s got his own mind and needs her less, just like any child growing up.”

To create the new effect, Bauer says they had “the world’s one and only fire-breathing crane” which David Benioff claims looks like “some kind of weapon from Transformers.”

“Standing 50 feet away from the dragon fire, you could get a nice tan,” says D.B. Weiss.

After the segments that used the crane were put together and edited, digital artists then added in the fine details of Drogon himself.

According to TVInsider, Drogon is modeled after “Komodo dragons, iguanas, horned lizards, and crocodiles, and “his movements were derived from eagles and bats, and his takeoff from pelicans.”

The visual effects team also used a SimulCam system, saving the appearance of the dragon into the camera so “everyone looking at the monitor could see exactly where he would be, and the scene could be framed properly,” according to visual effects producer Steve Kullback.

One last tidbit from the article- according to the Joe Bauer, “Drogon gets to perform more this year than ever and have more complex interactions with Dany.”

Stop by TVInsider for the complete details on the new visual effects of Game of Thrones and quotes from Emilia Clarke.

57 responses

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    1. Is it me or does that thing look completely different in every new picture we get? Even in terms of size, it looks all over the place. Probably the promo/leaked images being misleading.

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    2. One rule that seems to apply everywhere is that people are MUCH worse at estimating size from pictures than they think they are.

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    3. Renly’s Peach: Is it me or does that thing look completely different in every new picture we get? Even in terms of size, it looks all over the place. Probably the promo/leaked images being misleading.

      He looks better rendered there than in one of the close up images we where seeing for while. That image looked like a model.

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    4. When you see the dragons this year, I think you’ll see right away they are definitely bigger. I’m not hugely into the dragons in general, but they bowled me over in the eps I saw.

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    5. Oh wow! So, so excited! 🙂 I am happy indeed that the show runners treat the dragons VERY seriously and spend a lot of money and effort on them.

      “He’s also the alpha, so his way goes. He’s still affectionate with Dany, but he’s got his own mind and needs her less,just like any child growing up.”
      Exactly as it should be. The late teen years. I wonder if this means that Drogon and sibs will enter adulthood by Season 7? I can quite imagine them leaving the nest completely at the end of the series to strike out on their own. As it should be. No chaining them up or confining them.

      “Drogon gets to perform more this year than ever and have more complex interactions with Dany.
      Well this is clearly going to be the best season yet, for me. 🙂

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    6. Sadaham:
      Now the question is how will Dany ride that spiky thing…

      Hopefully not the same way she rode Khal Drogo… *oh no what have I done… remove image, remove image from my brain, nooo*

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    7. Sue the Fury,

      You are the best kind of tease. I’m so envious of you though….but thanks for your restraint. We’ll all be in sync soon enough.

      Sadaham,

      Where there is a will, there is a way….

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    8. For those of you who doubt his size here, compare his head to the windows adjacent. This would make him considerably larger than his book counterpart.

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    9. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Sue the Fury,

      You are the best kind of tease. I’m so envious of you though….but thanks for your restraint. We’ll all be in sync soon enough.

      Well just put it this way, Sue has to wait five weeks minimum before seeing anything ‘new’… We only have to wait one week. Who should be envious now? Haha the wait is probably hurting her more than us right now (because she already started watching, but has to wait).

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    10. Renly’s Peach:
      Zeus,

      Harsh. Go easy on Stannis and Lightbringer, man.

      Stannis is one of the few good men in westeros. Hopefully they will show awesome book five stannis who listens to jons advice and is TH most sarcastic badass.

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    11. Quinton,

      I can see what you mean. The longer I look at him the bigger he seems to be. At first glance his head doesn’t look that big, but once you realize the distance between him and Dany and the length of his neck he looks MUCH bigger than last year.

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    12. Haha. Reading so much about S5, I am getting my interviews confused – I read this one already but can’t remember if it was from NY Daily News, TV Guide or Making Game of Thrones. Keep the info coming!

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    13. It would be a betrayal on Martin’s part to change things just to screw the show and HBO. His books are more popular than ever because of the success of the show. He aught to be thankful.

      And the Drogon not being big enough; with still got two more seasons to go. He’s already big enough to carry Dany. Though he does look kind of goofy in that pic.

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    14. Charles M:
      It would be a betrayal on Martin’s part to change things just to screw the show and HBO. His books are more popular than ever because of the success of the show. He aught to be thankful.

      I’m sure he is thankful, and how it would be a betrayal? He’s said he’s had the main events in his head since the beginning, but doesn’t yet know how to get there. He’s had plenty of time to write and think of possible solutions how to make things happen the way he wants, and now he potentially has an alternative way to get there. I don’t understand why people think that means he’d be “screwing the show and HBO”

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    15. TheMannis,

      It’s hard to judge the scale there, but if the windows are normal size windows…. then it must be few times bigger than in season 5. Also his hand over the roof looks huge. It certainly must be a mistake. It can’t be that big. They said 40 feet this is much larger than 40 feet.

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    16. Larin,

      TheMannis,

      Actually, he looks big in that scene because the man is on the ground with his body and feet bended. If the man wasn’t bended and stood on his feet, the difference would have been much smaller. Is just an illusion. The dragon form this photo is A LOT much bigger.

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    17. Hodor,

      This should be put in context. Because the books are not finished yet, all HBO can use to fulfill the agreement between Martin and them is Martin’s notes and interviews. Once they have that, they make plans according to what he told them would be coming. So for him to say he had a great new idea he’s considering and, oh by the way, HBO won’t be able to do because of how they planned their story is definitely screwing them.

      It would be one thing to say he had to tweak something because he couldn’t make it work. Having a new idea is great but he’s already “sold” the old idea as what would happen. HBO is expecting him to stick to what they sold him as much as possible. Doing anything else really wouldn’t be fair.

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    18. It is a bit of a worry they have created a seemingly unbroken line of spines sticking up where Dany has to place her royal butt, already sore from hours of sitting holding audiences with her loyal subjects (although gathering from some of the treasonous comments appearing on here, they think she is a pain in the rear and would enjoy watching our beloved one wince)

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    19. paul:
      It is a bit of a worry they have created a seemingly unbroken line of spines sticking up where Dany has to place her royal butt

      Why would this be a problem? Gotta hold on tight somehow. ( ͡• ͜ʖ ͡• )

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    20. GRRM put a twist to a character arc that the show has already moved on from. H didn’t change the endgame.

      It is no different than the show basically killing off, Jojen Mago, Xaro, Garland, Wilas, Quentyn, Arianne, Euron, Victarion ect.

      Both the show runners and GRRM no where it all leads. Who cares how they get there.

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    21. Byron,

      Ssshh, don’t bring logic into this.
      When GRRM decides to make changes to his story, he’s being petty and jealous and spiteful.
      When D&D make a hundred random nonsensical variations, it’s brave and thoughtful and brilliant artistic liberties.

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    22. Charles M,

      I totally got you. Martin puts a twist on Drogon’s size and makes a huge reveal that it is really just a tiny lizard under glamor after D&D made him so big onscreen, and hundreds of hours and lots of money were spent on CGI… my head will burst! He better not mess with Drogon’s size.

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    23. Was going to say this doesen’t seem as rich a depiction as previously but it is worth remembering this image will be from the later episodes which they are probably still working on in post-production thankfully

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    24. Ghost’s Lunch,

      The CGI is finished. It’s from episode four. You can see this scene in the trailer, and he looks much better there. This is a matter of filters and lighting.

      This is a severely brightened up still, and it kinda “ruins the magic” by showing the Drogon model outside of its proper conditions. So, he looks pretty bad. He will look much better in the episode itself —don’t take my word for it, you can see it for yourselves at the end of the second trailer. Why does he look so poorly textured when in season four he looked amazing in the light of day, both in “Two Swords” and “The Laws of Gods and Men”? Because those two models (they were two different models of different sizes and proportions) were designed for those scenes. This model was designed for a night scene in which he would be partially obscured, so why would they do extra work? By 4×09 a different model will be needed, and since the event at Daznak’s Pit takes place in the middle of the day, the artists will give it the care it deserves.

      It’s really that simple.

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    25. Also he looks quite large there, about what I’d expect

      Much larger than when he near-torched the kid

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    26. Luka Nieto: This is a severely brightened up still, and it kinda “ruins the magic” by showing the Drogon model outside of its proper conditions. So, he looks pretty bad. He will look much better in the episode itself —don’t take my word for it, you can see it for yourselves at the end of the second trailer. Why does he look so poorly textured when in season four he looked amazing in the light of day

      In the photo for this article he looks ok, but the ‘close’ shot in the trailer looks almost like a ‘model’ , the ‘scales’ look too big and sort of not detailed. I think from the shot above the CGI will take care of this.

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    27. “And his take off from pelicans”… Well, he’s way too heavy and have skin wings, I think a quadrupedal launch like in bats and pterosaurs would have made a lot more sense. The dragon is perfect, just the take off seems a little bit strange.

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