Filming may have wrapped for secondary characters on Game of Thrones, but for its stars, Season 8 is still underway. According to the eagle-eyed, raven-eyed fans at Winter Is Coming, Game of Thrones Season 8 could feature the largest dragon yet. They've spotted an enormous "dragon rig" being used for filming, and it's thought to be the most sizable the series has used so far.
Like any animal, real or mythical, a dragon takes years to reach its full maturity. Since Daenerys gave birth to the dragons at the end of Season 1, viewers have watched them grow, breathe fire, and fly. They're terrifying and beautiful — and were extinct, until Khaleesi herself hatched them on Khal Drogo's funeral pyre. Of the three dragons, she's only ever ridden Drogon, who is the largest and most fearsome. (He's named for her late husband, and the sound designers — how does one phrase this delicately? — use intentionally sexual animal noises to underscore the relationship between them.) Now that the Night King has claimed Viserion (wah), Daenerys is down to Rhaegal and Drogon. But no one has ridden Rhaegal, and audiences are familiar with Drogon. Which begs more than a few questions, such as: What's going on with this massive dragon rig on set?
Whether the prop has been newly constructed would help answer some questions. But there's so much fans still don't know. It could mean that Drogon is still increasing in size — or could it be that a new dragon being introduced for Season 8. If neither of those are the case, then perhaps Rhaegal will be more powerful than audiences have seen him before.
Maybe Jon Snow — aka, Aegon Targaryen — will even ride him. He is the rightful Targaryen heir, you know. And at least one dragon seemed to like him in Season 7. Of course, there's still the spookiest option of all: It's actually Ice Viserion, bigger, badder, and undead. But has there been an ice dragon in known Westerosi history? Would Daenerys know what to expect from one? It seems evident that the Night King knows what he's doing. Or he has his troops organized AF, at least. But even then, a dragon can only be so loyal, so predictable. There's a limit to humans' ability to control them. A giant, undead Viserion could spell doom for a lot of people.
Let's hope that Emilia Clarke doesn't give away too much on her secret Instagram account. Or actually, can she? HBO is tightening its security around the final season of GoT, so it's starting to feel like fans may never squeeze a single detail out of the show ahead of time. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau even revealed that the Game of Thrones Season 8 scripts self-destruct the moment they finish filming a scene. Not to mention, the series is reportedly filming as many as eight unique endings to minimize the chance of spoilers.
Without so much as a hint of what's to come, fans are eager to gobble up even rumors that reportedly leak from the show's set — Jason Momoa hanging out with the crew, for instance, or Natalie Dormer swearing she knows how the series ends. Those all point to something interesting brewing for the final season. After all, neither actor has been an actual part of the show for years. So Game of Thrones diehards noticing a dragon rig — the prop the show uses before CGI — is actually pretty exciting. It's reportedly the biggest one the show has used so far, and without much more news to go on, that's as enticing as it gets for now. One thing is for sure: Winter is coming for Game of Thrones Season 8 — and not without fire and blood.