If you thought a particular scene in the House of the Dragon finale bore similarities to the animated classic How To Train Your Dragon… then you’d be right on the money.
In the final episode of the Game of Thrones prequel, Prince Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) tragically loses his life after a terrifying game of chicken in the air initiated by his uncle, Prince Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell).
After leaving Storm’s End on his dragon Arrax, Lucerys is chased by Aemond on the older Targaryen’s dragon Vhagar – who’s known to be the biggest dragon alive and is almost two centuries old.
In one particularly harrowing shot, Vhagar comes up behind Arrax, engulfing the smaller dragon in size before chomping down on the creature, biting Arrax in half and killing Lucerys as a result, much to Aemond’s horror.
The moment looks extremely reminiscent of a similar scene at the end of the first How To Train Your Dragon film, when Hiccup is flying on his dragon Toothless while being hunted by a monstrously huge dragon dubbed the Red Death.
After fans spotted the undeniable parallels between the two scenes, director Greg Yaitanes confirmed the Dreamworks film did serve as inspiration for the pivotal moment in the series.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he said: ‘In preparation, I watched the first How to Train Your Dragon because Roger Deakins was the visual consultant on that. So that, cinematically, was going to be really appealing.’
Sir Roger Deakins worked on films including The Shawshank Redemption, Skyfall and Blade Runner 2049, with the cinematographer winning two out of his 15 Oscar nominations for best cinematography.
Greg admitted that he made some changes after spotting the similarities between the House of the Dragon chase scene and the How To Train Your Dragon ending, adding: ‘How to Train Your Dragon definitely covered a lot of action sequences that you didn’t want to be in comparison to.’
The animated film wasn’t the only source of inspiration, with the director also turning to Jurassic Park, outlining how Steven Spielberg ‘knew he wanted to frame for height’ when he made the 1993 blockbuster.
‘I took a lot of cues off what made the dinosaurs look so big and so interesting. So there’s a lot of Jurassic Park in Storm’s End and in the air,’ he said.
Following the release of the season finale, Lucerys actor Elliot paid homage to his co-star Harry Collett, who played his on-screen brother Prince Jacaerys Velaryon.
‘My big brother ❤️ The kindest, funniest and most talented person I have ever met. Thank you for all the memories which will live on for the rest of my life. I love you dude,’ he wrote, as Harry replied: ‘Love you bro.’
House of the Dragon is available to watch on Sky and NOW.