George RR Martin Explains Why He Hates The Dragons In Many Other Shows

The dragons featured in House of the Dragon.
(Image credit: HBO)

The dragons have always looked terrific in the Game Of Thrones universe. They were incredibly well done on the original show more than a decade ago, and they’ve somehow gotten significantly better in House Of The Dragon. It’s a testament to all of the brilliant and talented designers working on the show, and if George RR Martin is to be believed, it’s also a testament to how they’re designed to look.

The beloved author sat for an interview that’s included in the special features of the House Of The Dragon 4K/ Blu-ray release (which drops December 20th), and in it, he blasted how terrible the dragons look on a lot of other shows. According to him, many shows don’t take into account the practicalities of things like “aerial dynamics”, and as a result, they end up with “big fat things” that look terrible. Here’s a portion of his quote…

You see some of these dragons in some of these shows, and they’ve got like little bitty wings and they’re big fat things. They would never get off the ground. The aerial dynamics just don’t work. They have to have very large wings and a relatively slender kind of serpentine body, a long tail, a long neck. They’re more like pterodactyl dinosaurs.

There are some differences between the dragons in Game Of Thrones, but if I was going to level any sort of minor critique, I might say the three we’re given look pretty similar. Yes, there are some details that set them apart, but even superfans might have trouble telling them apart from a distance. 

That’s not the case with the firebreathers in House Of The Dragon, however. The character designs are very different, and there are quite a few who are starting to develop distinct personalities of their own. According to showrunner/ director Miguel Sapochnik, that was very intentional and exactly what author George RR Martin, who is heavily involved with the new show, wanted. Here’s what Sapochnik said in the Return To The Seven Kingdoms featurette on the home video release…

George really wanted the dragons to be recognizable from afar as unique and individual characters.

Mission accomplished. The dragons, already a strong point for the original series, have been improved exponentially, and it really adds another dynamic to the show. It’s not just about how many dragons specific families might have. It’s very much about which dragons those specific families have, as like the human characters, they come with their own strengths and weaknesses.

On a broader note, season 1 of House Of The Dragon met and surpassed so many of my expectations. Any lingering concerns I may have had about how the original show ended have been cast aside, and I am all-in on these fascinating new characters, both human and dragon alike. That’s a huge credit to everyone involved. The show is renewed and will return in 2024, and we already know a lot of information about House Of The Dragon Season 2. In the meantime, you can pick up a copy of the first season, which is now available. 

Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.