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House of the Dragon showrunners speak out about controversial childbirth scene

House of the Dragon showrunners speak out about controversial childbirth scene

The gruesome scene shocked fans just like the Red Wedding did in Game of Thrones

**Warning: spoilers for House of the Dragon**

The highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon just dropped and it's got fans wincing with a controversial childbirth scene.

Now, the spin-off's showrunners have opened up about the scene and revealed they showed it to several women for a second opinion before it aired.

The scene, which features in the opening episode, sees Queen Aemma Targaryen providing a son to King Viserys and an heir to the Iron Throne.

Viewers were left stunned as they watched the medieval version of a C-section that was performed without the Queen's consent.

It results in her death and that of her son, Baelon, who dies shortly after her.

This sets up the events to come in the show, with the only surviving heir to the Iron Throne being a daughter, Princess Rhaenyra.

The showrunners told PopSugar that they showed women the scene as it sees the Queen 'effectively murdered by her husband' and they wondered if it was too violent.

Co-showrunner/director Miguel Sapochnik said that the reaction was ultimately mixed, adding that they had to shoot multiple versions of the scene.

"It seemed important to highlight something that was the kind of the most traumatic event... it's what breaks that family apart," he said.

"And more importantly than anything, Viserys doesn't give his wife, Aemma, a choice, and that's something that seems really important."

The controversial birth scene.

Sapochnik added: "We did make a point of showing it to as many women as possible and asked the very question, 'Was this too violent for you?'

"And unanimously, the response was no. Often the response was, "No, if anything, it needs to be more,"' he said.

"It's raising a point that hits a real trigger for women, which is this idea of choice and that she doesn't get to choose.

"She's effectively murdered by her husband. And that is a good indication of the state of play in this world that we're inhabiting.

"It seemed like this is an appropriate time to draw that parallel visually between the two, the male and the female struggle. One's fighting on the battlefield, the other's fighting for survival, sometimes from the person closest to her," he added.   

However, as the scene could be potentially triggering for many people, a warning has now been issued to potential viewers by baby loss charity Tommy's.

The charity wrote on Twitter: "We've been made aware of a scene in Episode 1 of #HouseOfTheDragon which features a traumatic birth and baby loss.

"We know this could be triggering if you've experienced loss or birth trauma. If you plan to watch and will be affected by this scene, you may want to skip it.

"If you’ve already watched the episode and have experienced loss or birth trauma yourself, we understand you might be struggling. We’re here for you. Support is available on our website - and you can speak to one of our midwives on [email protected] if you need advice."

House of Dragon is available to watch in the UK through SkyAtlantic or on HBO Max.

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: TV And Film