The dragon at Gringotts – the latest addition to my LEGO Diagon Alley

I have previously covered my Diagon Alley display in quite some detail, including the rather recent completion of Gringotts Wizarding Bank. But I have for a long time really wanted to add a model of the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon guarding the vaults. So this is what I did…

Since late 2020, a set with Gringotts and the dragon has been rumoured to come out, but as we know, rumours are not always true. And with the announcement of the huge Hogwarts Icons set the other day, it seems like we will not get such a set this year. With no release of Gringotts with a dragon in sight, I’ve opted to build my own dragon for my display.

I should add, that with my normal luck, LEGO will then release one soon after (as they have done after I built my own models of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Hogsmeade)…

Youtuber “Bricks by Mind” do suggest we may have to wait for a while for such a set though, as he in a recent video refers to a interview he did with two LEGO Harry Potter theme designers, was told that the 2020 Diagon Alley set was designed to allow future expansions, but no such are currently planned. Check out his video below (the discussion on Diagon Alley starts around 4:28)

It may be LEGO keeping a secret for us – I find it hard to believe more sets are coming out this year beyond the already announced 2021 LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar.

But back to the dragon itself – what do we know about it?

The Ukrainian Ironbelly

In 1991, when Hagrid talked to Harry about Gringotts Wizarding Bank (the first time they visited the bank), he told him the rumours that dragons were guarding some of their vaults.

Harry, very interested in the magical world he had newly been exposed to, tried to get Hagrid to tell him more about the dragons. As they travel through the underground tunnels on the goblin steered cart to get to Harry’s vault, Harry also sees a flash of flame and leans out of the cart for a better look, but is hastily pulled back in by Hagrid.

Harry tried to look out for dragons when he traveled on the cart with Hagrid through the underground tunnels at Gringotts

Fast forward to 1998 where the Gringotts’ dragon was encountered by Harry, Ron and Hermoine when they sneaked into the bank in 1998, in order to obtain a horcrux in the Lestrange vault. It was one of the high-security vaults at Gringotts and the dragon had been guarding these vaults for a long time.

“A gigantic dragon was tethered to the ground in front of them, barring access to four or five of the deepest vaults in the place. The beast’s scales had turned pale and flaky during its long incarceration under the ground; its eyes were milkily pink; both rear legs bore heavy cuffs from which chains led to enormous pegs driven deep into the rocky floor. Its great spiked wings, folded close to its body, would have filled the chamber if it spread them, and when it turned its ugly head toward them, it roared with a noise that made the rock tremble, opened its mouth, and spat a jet of fire that sent them running back up the passageway.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Although never formally identified in the book, this dragon’s species was stated to be a Ukrainian Ironbelly in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

The trio managed to escape with the horcrux by fleeing on the half-blind Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon, leaving parts of the bank in ruins as it breaks through the roof of the building.

Universal studies harry potter
The Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon on top of Gringotts Bank at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort)

The Ukrainian Ironbelly in LEGO

The scene, with the dragon sitting on top of Gringotts is what I really wanted to recreate. As the dragon (as noted) has not been released in a LEGO set, I had to build my own.

The 2011 Diagon Alley (set 10217) is the only set to date to include a real Gringotts building, but no dragon was included

First I had to find suitable parts to build a white dragon. I could have opted for brick built head and wings, but decided to use the best parts I could find, which was silver/yellowish wings (with smaller white wings underneath – they don’t come in white for the larger sizes) and a white dragon head from Ninjago.

Here is what it ended up looking like.

Overall, the size is pretty good – fitting nicely with my Gringotts bank as shown below. I would have liked more articulation in the legs, and the head may be slightly too big for the body. I may try to do a brick built head instead one day.

Here it is seen on top of my Gringotts as part of my overall Diagon Alley MOC.

In addition to my model, there are some really good MOCs created by other creative members of the LEGO community.

One such – in minifigure format – is by “Umm, Who?” (yes, that’s the Flickr profile name) is shown below and captures the moment the dragon breaks through the roof of the bank:

LEGO® Harry Potter: Escape from Gringotts!

The same scene, but in micro-scale, was build by “City Son” for Brother Bricks’ Harry Potter micro-scale building competition in 2018:

Gringotts Wizarding Bank (2018)

I hope you have enjoyed this post about the dragon at Gringotts, and maybe it has given you some ideas to build your own. It will be interesting to see if 2022 will give us a new release of Gringotts – and if a dragon in that case will be included too. Time will tell…

Till then – Build the Magic!

One thought on “The dragon at Gringotts – the latest addition to my LEGO Diagon Alley

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