Ken Ralston designed the dragonets with the assistance of graphic novel illustrator David Bunnett. In designing them, Bunnett attempted to find a look that did not inspire sympathy, in order for their deaths to be more acceptable to audiences. Realizing that most young animals look appealing due to their large eyes, Bunnett designed the dragonets to have relatively small eyes, with Ralston refining the design to incorporate bulldog and bat-like features to their faces, as well as hinting at their adult forms by adding a small horn on their noses and giving them long forelimbs that would grow into wings. Ken Ralston, Chris Walas and David Carson built three articulated puppets and a featureless miniature model (for the scene where Vermithrax discovers her dead progeny). The dragonets were operated as hand puppets through holes in the floor on set.
Role in the film
Inhabiting the caverns of Urland, the dragonets are born to Vermithrax Pejorative and an unnamed nomadic dragon shortly before the events of Dragonslayer. Despite their small size and immaturity, the dragonets are aggressive predators which feed upon the virgins sacrificed to their mother in accordance with King Casiodorus' peace treaty with her. They meet their end when Galen Bradwarden eliminates all three of them after they kill Princess Elspeth, who chose to enter their lair in a gesture of self-sacrifice, after discovering that she had been secretly excluded from the virgin lottery.