By James Hibberd
Updated November 28, 2011 at 04:30 PM EST

Flew to Croatia under cover of darkness on a bold secret mission: To sneak onto the Game of Thrones season 2 set and snap a photo of Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons. My editors at EW tried to talk me out of it — something about the producers using “CGI” for the dragons (?). But I was certain I could evade whatever high-tech countermeasures the Thrones team employed.

I anchored my dingy in the waters off Dubrovnik, then swam ashore at Fort Lovrijenac–


For season 2, Thrones has added this fort as a location for King’s Landing scenes. The imposing 11th-century structure was built to keep out any invaders. I threw a grappling hook over the ledge, then climbed its highest 121-foot wall. Wearily pulling myself over the side, I see Tyrion, Joffrey, Littlefinger, Sansa, the Hound … but no dragons. Drat.

I climbed back down and spent the night wandering the streets of Dubrovnik, asking locals if they know where the dragons are kept. I found copies of Ice & Fire novels (with Croatian book covers that are way more rad than the North American editions). But when asked about the dragons, locals simply pointed toward the mountains.

So I hiked deep into the hills and found another obstacle. A massive, heavily guarded gate. This must be it. But how to get inside?

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Left with no choice, I fought and defeated every guard by beating them unconscious with my laptop (I would have taken a photo of this part, but who can battle 20 spear-carrying sentries and take pictures at the same time?).

Beyond the gate — success! There are hordes of Dothraki milling about. I disguised myself in brown rags, kept my head down and wandered the crowd until … I found them. With trembling hands, I snapped this image. Dany’s dragons in season 2 are kept here:

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

See, Drogon is in the top basket. And I think that’s Viserion who’s carried on the left side of the horse. And you can’t really see the third basket, but Rhaegal must be on the right …

What? They’re right there! This is where the dragons are being kept in season 2. Dany’s not going to have them out running around all the time. They could fly away or bite somebody or get sunburned or, uh… what?

Fine. So we admittedly got a little more than this during our visit to the Thrones set. Stay tuned in the weeks/months to come for plenty of in-depth Thrones season 2 coverage.