Using a model previously built by Pixomondo, visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues in Los Angeles was brought on board to take the Daznak's Pit rescue to the next level. As well as extending a stadium filmed in Spain and adding in extra crowds, Rhythm & Hues had to deliver an aggressive Drogon, then have Daenerys climb on his back to fly away.
For Rhythm's visual effects supervisor Derek Spears, that meant getting underneath the skin of Drogon and finding the "dragon motivation."
"There was definitely a, 'I'm protecting my mistress' thing going on," says Spears. "We tried to show a range from unabashed fierceness to all of a sudden being slightly wounded and cornered, where Drogon's in pain but he had to fight to survive."
We see Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion in even more devastating form when they attack the slaver fleet off Meereen at the end of Season 6. The dragons were once again Rhythm & Hues creations, while Meereen environments done by yet another company: Montreal studio Rodeo FX. Just as with the other riding shots, the dragon motion was pre-animated, and that drove a "buck" that Clarke sat on as Drogon attacks.