Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emilia Clarke and her dragons conquered Westeros last season

By Alexia Fernandez
December 06, 2017 11:00 AM

Ever wonder how Game of Thrones pulls off their epic and deadly dragon attacks?

In an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the bonus features on the season 7 Blu-ray/DVD, director Matt Shakman and the Mother of Dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, explained how they filmed the especially intense dragon attack in episode 4, “The Spoils of War,” and why they decided it should be told through the eyes of Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

“I chose to focus on Jamie… that [episode] was about being on the other side of a dragon attack,” Shakman, 42, said in the clip. “That you have Daenerys Targaryen unleashed for the first time in Westeros, and it’s about Jamie Lannister trying to hold together his troops in the middle of watching the world change forever.”

Clarke, 31, was also taken aback by the scale of the scene, expressing her wonder at the effects used to create a scene of total destruction.

“As each season comes along the dragons and the CGI gets more impressive,” she said.

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
| Credit: HBO

The clip also shows the mechanical rig they use to film shots of Clarke riding her “dragons,” a number that has increased dramatically over the course of the last few seasons. For example, VFX supervisor Joe Bauer said season 6 featured 11 shots of Clarke riding on the back of a dragon, while season 7 used over 80.

“The dragons double in size every year and the dragons were huge last year,” Bauer said. “And this year they’re twice [as large] again.”

Game of Thrones: The Complete 7th Season is available on DVD/Blu-ray Dec. 12.