A dragon from HBO's Game of Thrones
March 20, 2015 7:47 AM EDT

Suddenly, those dragons on Game of Thrones seem a lot less terrifying: the fire-breathing beasts are in fact based on supermarket chickens.

Visual effects team Pixomondo tells the Washington Post that they played with a chicken to understand its physiology while designing the dragons for HBO. “You could feel how the muscles underneath are moving and what are the restrictions, where the bone can’t go,” says visual effects supervisor Sven Martin. “We built our dragon basically the same way.”

As Daenerys Targaryen’s hatchlings grow over the course of the series (Pixomondo signed on beginning in season 2), the team had to make alterations to the design so that the dragons would be able to take flight.

Tune in for the season 5 premiere on April 12 to find out what has become of these chicken-dragons since Daenerys locked them in their cave.

[Washington Post]

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