The burning question of “House of the Dragon” is what do dragons look like?

Even before Dragon House created, the dull game of thrones prequel felt like one of those shows that might raise more questions than it answers. For example: “Does the world really need more of the ‘boobs and dragons’ show? in 2022? And also: “Who thought Matt Smith could pull off those wigs?”

For all the new fandom rabbit holes created by this new series, however, only one line has really stuck with us. In the first, a young Rhaenyra flies on a dragon before sitting by her mother’s bedside in the castle. It only takes a few minutes for Aemma to tell her daughter to go take a bath: “You stink of the dragon!”

This raises an obvious and truly vexing question: what the hell does the dragon smell like?

After a few days of asking this question and randomly logging possible answers throughout the day—Is it like a filthy snake pen? Generational wealth, maybe… but, like, covered in poo?— we realized that this was a question that needed a group discussion. It had to be teamwork. Here are The Daily Beast’s animation team’s best guesses for your perusal.

Nick Schäger

bbq crocodile

old money

Charred rubber

melted crayons


Kevin Fallon

A golden retriever after walking it in the rain

Garbage Day in Manhattan in August

When your friend’s hair fell in a lit candle

A fart after eating a bag of White Castle burgers


Allegra Franck

Middle schoolers sitting in the aisle of the YA fantasy section of Barnes and Noble

The garage where all your Disney VHS tapes stayed for 12 years

Leather sofa by 100 degrees

Laura Bradley

Like the stables of an equestrian camp in August

Vick’s VapoRub, with a hint of burnt popcorn in the office kitchen

The boys floors of a mixed dormitory

The inside of a heavily used leather sparring glove

Fletcher Peters

The blackened pieces in the bottom of an air fryer

A campfire (but only after the dragon bath)

Madison Square Garden after 15 nights of performing Harry Styles

The beast in The beast

Adam Manno

moldy leather

A snake


A dusty attic

Kyndall Cunningham

Rainforest coffee


Burnt bacon

The interior of a brand new car

The tire department at Sam’s Club

Coleman Spilde

A falling apart old baseball glove remaining in the Disney Vault of the set of Eddie’s Million Dollar Kitchen

The Werk Room at RuPaul’s Drag Race after the queens baked full makeup, wigs and corsets under production lights for 16 hours

The blood-like metal of the fake tooth that Javier Bardem removes in celestial fall

Closing time at A Buffalo Wild Wings when all the wings are half cut with varieties of free sauces and there is some kind of sports playoff game

Filming Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” music video

Madeleine Roth

The cast you just took off after breaking your arm 12 weeks ago

A donkey (this is purely based on Donkey & Dragon’s love story in Shrek)

The locker room showers at your local YMCA

Black Licorice Twizzlers

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Raymond I. Langston