Among the series’ many highlights, it was the dragons that encapsulated viewers and how. House of the Dragon features 17 of these majestic beasts of varying shapes and sizes. And most of its actors had the chance to “steal a dragon” for the show at Leavesden, the home studio of House of the Dragon. To film a dragon riding scene, the actor climbs on top of a buck (which is basically a two and a half meter base move). Once the actor is hitched to a saddle perched on it, the male moves in different directions to portray the movements of a flying dragon.
For actor Matt Smith, who is trying out for the role of Prince Daemon, the experience has been like riding a motorcycle. In a quote exclusive to Times Now Digital, Matt said: “You’re on this big pedestal, and they’re throwing the rain and the wind at you, and it’s like you’re on a motorcycle in many ways, exposed to things like that.”
He added: “And it makes you feel like you’re riding an animal because there’s something tangible moving and the elements, the wind and the rain, are helping too. So it’s all really helpful, but you know, after 10 hours, the novelty can wear off.”
Actress Emma D’Arcy, who plays Princess Rhaenyra, said it was quite high off the ground. “After my first day on the bucking bronco, my only thought was that every member of the production should have a spot because it’s so much fun,” she said. The actress explained her experience and said the only job she had to do as an actress while riding a dragon was to wipe the smile off her face. Calling the experience “child’s play”, Emma exclusively told Times Now Digital: “As soon as you get on the thing, they have this miniature version of the male that allows them to program the flight path so they can get what they want. And you’re sitting on top, on this beautiful saddle, holding the reins, and I would challenge anyone not to give in to it because the sense of the game is so intense.”
Milly Alcock, who portrays Rhaenyra as a teenager, shared that one has to learn the moves to feel at home, in keeping with the character arc. “You don’t want to look like you’re clinging to life. Rhaenrya, like all Targaryens, grew up with dragons, so she’s completely comfortable riding one. So in the beginning, you have to learn the moves and make sure you look like you’re in control of them,” she said.
Additionally, Milly shared that she would step onto the ball, and then one of the crew members would press a button, and it would rise into the air and start moving in different directions. Describing it as “fun” and “scary”, Milly said it was perfectly safe as they were properly harnessed.