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The Mother of Dragons has certainly seen her babies grow throughout the seasons. Now, Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion look to be almost full grown. But, as it turns out, they still aren’t even close. The three dragons are about to get even more terrifying, as Season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones will see the massive monsters double in size.
With the return of Drogon this past season, we’ve started to get a feel for how detailed and gorgeous Daenerys’ dragons truly are. We finally got to see the Mother of Dragons take a her vicious son for a ride, and for the special effects team behind Game of Thrones that was no easy feat. Though the visual effects team had the bulk of their work cut out for them in the Battle of Hardhome episode (which features a variety of white walkers and their wights), the highlight of their work came in Episode 9, “The Dance of Dragons” which VFX supervisor Joe Bauer explained to Yahoo TV was an intensive process.
In Season 3, the dragons were quite small and pretty much stayed in one place, but now Drogon is sixty feet wingtip to wingtip. And that size is apparently going to double for Season 6. We all want to see a 120 foot dragon, but it’s not going to be easy for the special effects team to pull off. Bauer explained to Yahoo TV that the team decided to pre-animate Drogon and program all of his movements into a motion controlled rig which held a fifty-foot flamethrower. For the shots where Daenerys has to climb on Drogon, the team actually built a full-size buck attached to a hydraulic rig. And for the rest of the shots, the team builds 3D models of the dragon which have to be changed on a yearly basis since they keep growing in size, which is where a problem on set lies. Bauer explains:
When the dragons were small, we had little foam rubber models of each dragon and we could carry them on and off of the set and it was no big deal. Last year, the best we could do was a head and this year it’s going to be a finger nail or something, I’m not really sure.
There will definitely be some challenges in continuing to show bigger and badder dragons, capable of all different types of mass destruction. But, it sounds like the special effects team is ready and waiting for the exciting project. And so far, they have not disappointed.