In the first episode of House Of The Dragon, the Game Of Thrones prequel that gave millions of viewers a new way to watch Matt Smith play a new royal with new sex problems, characters remark upon the fact that a princess who’s recently flown around on a dragon still stinks of the mythological beast.
While “smells like a dragon” is evocative in a kind of general sense, Nerdist’s Melissa T. Miller decided to zoom in on exactly what it could mean in a recent article. She decided to look to the actual, real animals that live on our planet in order to theorize what a dragon might smell like.
On the nicer end of the spectrum, Miller looks to bats and komodo dragons. She points out that “the strongest smell associated with bats is urine,” but also writes that a bat researcher has said some species give off the odor of “burnt oranges, fungus, and even corn tortillas.” While a komodo dragon eats raw meat, the TV beast cooks its food and, since reptiles don’t really have a distinct odor to human noses, the fantasy dragons might not smell like much more than barbecued meat and smoke. Miller also speculates that flying so high might make the rider smell a bit like the Earth’s ozone (i.e. “burnt electricity or chlorine”).
This isn’t all that bad, especially in comparison to other possibilities, such as the dragon giving off the stink of a carnivorous dinosaur. The article uses the simulated breath of a T.rex from Chicago’s Field Museum as the basis this theory, describing how the scientists who created the exhibit’s “breath” thought that a Tyrannosaurus likely smelled like rotting flesh and maybe a whiff of excrement not unlike “hyena poop.” For House Of The Dragon’s stars, we might accent this lovely bouquet with a strong smell of burning hair from them having cooked their prey.
There are still many weeks left for us to find new data for this study—and to gather more material for our recently resumed research into whether dragons are very stupid or very smart. For now, it’s up to individual judgment to wonder if all those proud Targaryens are walking around smelling like BBQ pork, tortillas, and chlorine or if their entire court stinks like dead animals, hyena shit, and burnt hair.
Send Great Job, Internet tips to firstname.lastname@example.org