HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Producer Clarifies That The Show Will Not Graphically Depict Sexual Violence

Game of Thrones came in for a lot of backlash for its depictions of sexual violence against women, but House of the Dragon producer Sara Hess has now made it clear that the prequel series won't follow suit.

Game of Thrones never shied away from depicting the trials of tribulations of Westeros life, with graphic scenes of violence a recurring theme over the course of the fantasy drama series' eight seasons. While the bloodshed was accepted (even welcomed) by most viewers, the depictions of rape were a different story, with many feeling that the show revelled in the horrific sexual violence inflicted on women to some degree.

That's obviously up for debate (the camera actually cut away from the most disturbing sequences), but HBO is clearly determined to avoid similar levels of backlash with House of the Dragon.

"I'd like to clarify that we do not depict sexual violence in the show," producer Sara Hess said in a new interview with Vanity Fair. "We handle one instance off-screen, and instead show the aftermath and impact on the victim and the mother of the perpetrator." She continued, "I think what our show does, and what I'm proud of, is that we choose to focus on the violence against women that is inherent in a patriarchal system."

Hess' comments were taken as clarification following a previous interview with co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, who rang some alarm bells when he claimed that the prequel series would actually "shine a light" on that aspect of Westeros history. "You can't ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time," he said. "It shouldn't be downplayed and it shouldn't be glorified."

What do you guys make of this? Are you happy to hear that House of the Dragon will tone down the sexual violence, or do you feel people should try not to take the plights of fictional characters so seriously in general?

"The prequel series finds the Targaryen dynasty at the absolute apex of its power, with more than 15 dragons under their yoke. Most empires—real and imagined—crumble from such heights. In the case of the Targaryens, their slow fall begins almost 193 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when King Viserys Targaryen breaks with a century of tradition by naming his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne. But when Viserys later fathers a son, the court is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her status as his heir, and seeds of division sow friction across the realm."

House of the Dragon stars Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders) as King Viserys Targaryen, Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as Alicent Hightower, Emma D’Arcy (Wanderlust) as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as Prince Daemon Targaryen. The show is set to premiere on August 21.

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