Last night, Game of Thrones finally delivered something fans have been waiting years to see.
In the heat of a desperate battle, Daenerys Targaryen and those loyal to her were saved by her lost firebreather Drogon, who returned from his wanderings to deliver swift punishment to those who challenged the Mother of Dragons. After a few moments of uncertain connection between dragon and Khaleesi, Daenerys managed to climb on Drogon’s back, and suddenly they were soaring away from the city of Meereen and into our hearts — and, undoubtedly, being airbrushed on the side of a van as we speak.
Daenerys and Drogon might be the most badass match of dragon and rider we’ve seen onscreen, but they’re far from the only one. If you can’t get enough of epic dragonriding magic, take a look back at these iconic films.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
If you’re dismissing the Dragon franchise as a group of stories intended only for children, you’re missing out on some pretty amazing epic fantasy storytelling. In the second film, Hiccup and his trusty dragon Toothless must contend with the new responsibilities of adulthood while also trying to stop an evil conqueror from starting a war. With two movies, two seasons of TV and counting, Hiccup and Toothless are still going strong.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Dragons first made an impact on the Harry Potter franchise in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but the biggest dragon sequence of the franchise came in the final film, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione hitched a ride on a rather angry dragon to escape Gringott’s bank.
There are plenty of things to dislike about Avatar, from the often clunky dialogue to the sense that the film is a bit too pleased with its own obvious environmental message. You can’t argue with the visual greatness of this movie, though, and when Jake and his new Na'vi friends take flight on their Mountain Banshees, Avatar hits its peak.
The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien got his big dragon story out of the way with The Hobbit, but The Lord of the Rings was not without its own symbols of winged doom. By the second film, the black riders known as The Nazgul had upgraded from evil horses to evil flying serpents known as Fell Beasts. Maybe not technically a dragon, but close enough to scare the hell out of a Hobbit.
The NeverEnding Story
If you’re a child of the ‘80s (or the parent of a child of the '80s), you’ve probably never forgotten the fluffy luckdragon known as Falkor, or his intrepid rider Atreyu. You’ve also probably never forgotten the film’s ending, when Bastian and Falkor enjoy a triumphant ride after having literally saved the concept of imagination.