House of the Dragon ended its first season with a jaw-dropping moment between princes Lucerys and Aemond at Storm’s End. After Aemond demands an eye from his nephew, Lucerys refuses the demand and leaves on his dragon, Arrax. However, Aemond hops on his dragon, Vhagar, and frantically goes after Lucerys. After Arrax burns, Aemond’s dragon snaps and kills Arrax and Lucerys. The shocking revelation felt like a Game of Thrones scene due to its vast scale and tension. Greg Yaitanes, who directed the episode, spoke with EW and revealed the films that served as his inspiration for the finale’s battle between Aemond and Lucerys in House of the Dragon.
“In preparation, I watched the first How to Train Your Dragon because [Oscar-winning cinematographer] Roger Deakins was the visual consultant on that. So that, cinematically, was going to be really appealing. How to Train Your Dragon definitely covered a lot of action sequences that you didn’t want to be in comparison to,” said Yaitanes. “And I went back to the original Jurassic Park because there was a sense of scale to the dinosaurs that I don’t think any of the subsequent films ever recaptured. [Director Steven Spielberg] knew he wanted to frame for height, and 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.”
Yaitanes made note of a line that King Viserys used in the first episode about how controlling dragons is nothing more than an “illusion.” When Lucerys and Aemond lost control of their respective dragons, Visery’s warning played out in real-time with deadly consequences.
“This was the example. You’re putting nukes in kids’ hands and, while [Aemond] maybe didn’t intend to set out to kill [Luke], what do you expect,” said Yaitanes. “Then to see the complexity and the gravity of what he’s done. I thought it did such a beautiful job making that character not just a one-dimensional black hat.”
Stream all episodes of House of the Dragon on HBO Max.
In addition to the battle, what else shocked you about the finale? Leave your answer in the comments!
Recommended Reading: The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
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