House of the Dragon Showrunners on Sex and Violence

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The ‘House of the Dragon’ showrunners are clearing up their viral comments about the new ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off and the sex and violence viewers can expect when the show premieres.

Condal and Sapochnik said the hollywood journalist “House of the Dragon” would “retreat” from the number of sex scenes in “Game of Thrones”, but would still show sexual assault. Sapochnik told the outlet: “If anything, we’re going to shine a light on this aspect. You can’t ignore the violence perpetrated against women by men in this era. It shouldn’t be minimized and it doesn’t should not be glorified.” Many fans online were upset, given the criticism ‘Game of Thrones’ received for sometimes showing lengthy brutal scenes of sexual violence. The series is also often used “exposure” – have characters offering long exposure to images of people, often anonymous women, having sex.

In a panel interview with POPSUGAR and other outlets, Condal and Sapochnik respond to those comments, clarifying how the show handles both sex and violence.

“I think for some reason I think something was either misreported or misinterpreted,” Condal said. “We’re very aware of the times we live in. We’re very aware of the difference between the world today and the world of 10 years ago when the original show premiered.”

“It’s Game of Thrones. There’s sex and violence in the story.”

Condal also thinks the subject matter of “House of the Dragon” lends itself to a different approach to these types of scenes. “It’s a much different story,” he says, calling it “an intimate family story.” “You’re dealing with a bunch of characters who all live under the same roof. So those stories are bound to be different.” Condal said that once the plot of the series is in times of war, things might be different because there is “sexual violence that follows war”.

“It’s Game of Thrones. There’s sex and violence in the story,” Condal says. “The particular way we’ve approached it at this time is to make sure that whenever you’re going to have any type of…sex or violence on screen, that there’s a compelling reason for that, and that it’s a story that needs to be told. It’s not done for free or to titillate or anything like that. Condal says he’s “confident” about how they filmed these scenes in the first season, and added that they had an on-set intimacy coordinator. They made sure all the actors rehearsed those scenes beforehand and “knew what they were getting into.” I think they felt good because they knew as actors that they were playing a story and they weren’t doing sex for sex’s sake,” Condal said.

Sapochnik also clarifies his comments by explaining, “I think you have to be adamant when it comes to portraying sexual violence, not necessarily in the way you portray it, but in the subject matter itself.”

Sapochnik says it’s important to him and Condal to be “responsible partners” to the on-screen and off-screen people they work with. He thinks the industry is “taking note” of how things need to change with on-screen sex and on-screen sexual violence. Sapochnik says there might be “overcorrection,” but that’s a “natural part” of finding the “right space.”

“It’s really important for us to be part of the solution there and not part of the problem,” he adds. “That’s how we approached it. I don’t even think we have sexual violence in our season.”

Register for HBO Max now to watch “House of the Dragon” when it premieres on August 21, 2022.

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