House Of The Dragon fans aghast at ‘traumatising’ birth scene in episode 1

House Of The Dragon fans aghast at ‘traumatising’ birth scene in episode 1

Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon episode 1 and content warning for references to birth trauma and baby loss.

House Of The Dragon viewers have been left utterly horrified by the birth scene in episode 1 of the prequel series, dubbing it ‘triggering’ and comparing it to the infamously horrific Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.

In the first instalment of the new fantasy show, Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) goes into labour while a tournament is being held in King’s Landing in honour of her baby, who is believed will be become a new heir for King Viserys Targaryen I (Paddy Considine).

Viserys leaves the tournament to be at his wife’s side, where he’s informed by the Maester that the baby is breach and he must make the decision to either leave the fate of the birth up to the gods or allow the medical team to cut directly into Aemma’s stomach so they can deliver the baby, knowing that it will kill her.

In a scene that couldn’t be more disturbing, Aemma is pinned down on the bed as Viserys tries to soothe her, telling her they’re going to bring the baby out now and that he loves her.

Confused by what’s going on, Aemma spots the Maester approaching her with a knife, as she screams at her husband to stop what’s happening to no avail.

‘Everyone horrified by THAT scene in #HouseoftheDragon should hold even greater horror for the modern equivalent that has been allowed to fester in our country since the overturn of Roe v Wade. Remember that image and remember what it stands for. Remember her yelling for her life,’ one person wrote.

Another also warned that people could find the scene ‘incredibly triggering’ if they have experienced PTSD from birth or birth trauma in the past.

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The creators of House Of The Dragon spoke about the decision to include the scene in the episode, with A Song of Ice and Fire author George RR Martin saying: ‘It’s visceral and it’ll rip your heart out and throw it on the floor. It has the kind of impact that the Red Wedding had. It’s a beautifully done scene of something horrible.’

Co-showrunner Ryan Condal explained that the scene was ‘not meant to be gratuitous’, as they wanted to convey the ‘heavy theme in this particular period’ of ‘difficult births’.

‘There’s this whole idea in Game of Thrones, or in the Middle Ages, or in historical age like this, that the men marched off to the battlefield and the women’s battlefield happened in the child bed. That was a very dangerous place to be,’ he told Vanity Fair.

‘All of the complications that people go through in modern birth that are now fixed by science and medicine and surgery were not really possible back then. Any slight complication, anything could lead to very tragic consequences for the child and the mother.’

House Of The Dragon is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW, with new episodes released at 2am on Mondays.

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