If you’re still not all caught up on the season 7 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones, I’m not sure what you’re doing reading articles about it, but I’ll throw you a big fat spoiler warning just in case because we’re about to talk about…
… the freakin’ ice dragon. You know, the one whom the Night King killed, revived, somehow flew despite holes in its wings, and then used to tear down that wall like it was 1989? It was a pretty incredible sight to behold, for sure, but what about how it sounded?
The sound design for the cries of creatures like this isn’t always something audiences think about, but there is a lot that goes into them, and the sources aren’t always what you expect. Some famous examples of this are from Star Wars, specifically Chewbacca’s voice being a mixture of sounds from bears, lions, badgers, and even a walrus (which makes it all the more impressive that some of you can imitate it).
So where did the piercing screeches of the Ice Dragon come from? It actually came from Game of Thrones fans! As Vanity Fair reports, Sound designer Paula Fairfield attended the first ever Con of Thrones in Nashville earlier this year and got five fans slightly intoxicated and had them scream into a microphone for a bit, without telling them what it was for.
Fairfield went to Chicago for the season finale to go to a bar that had become well known for its Game of Thrones reaction videos, which was also where those superfans she recorded had come from. There she dropped the bomb on those fans, who “had assumed we would be melting small folk or tortured small folk” and not an Ice Dragon, according to Vanity Fair.
It’s always really fun to get a peek inside a process like this, and it’s especially very cool to see the people who work on the show giving back to their huge fan base in little ways like this. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go work on my Dire Wolf impression for season 8.