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Why House Of The Dragon Cut An 'Animalistic' Sex Scene With Olivia Cooke

"Game of Thrones" garnered a reputation for featuring a ton of sexual content. Even with the announcement that its spinoff, "House of the Dragon," would feature different styles of sex scenes from its predecessor, audiences knew they'd be in for a wild time. Olivia Cooke spoke with Elle about how she knew what she was getting into with "House of the Dragon."

Season 2 started with a bang, as Episode 1, "A Son for a Son," had several explicit scenes featuring Alicent Hightower (Cooke). According to Cooke, the season was meant to have one romp that was ultimately left on the cutting room floor. She described the scene as "animalistic," saying, "It was messy as f***. It wasn't beautiful, and that was really fun to do." While Cooke was game for the sequence, it got vetoed down the line. "I think Ryan [Condal, the showrunner] said we weren't learning any more about the characters, which I disagree with slightly," she explained. "But it's okay. It's his show."

"House of the Dragon's" crew includes Vanessa Coffey as an intimacy coordinator, a profession that's changing how Hollywood shoots sex scenes. Whether the script calls for it to be animalistic or more traditionally romantic, all parties involved deserve to feel safe. So far, Cooke has been pleased with her experience filming these moments. "I thought there'd be way more, and so I'm relieved that when it has been used for me, it's showing Alicent being pleasured, which is amazing and doesn't feel gratuitous."

House of the Dragon's intimacy coordinator gave Olivia Cooke pointers

Filming sex scenes naturally brings a certain level of awkwardness to the set. Matt Smith addressed the weirdness of "House of the Dragon" Season 1's brothel scenes, and one would imagine everyone feels similarly to an extent. It speaks to the importance of having intimacy coordinators on hand to help facilitate these sequences, which Olivia Cooke addressed once more in an interview with Cosmopolitan UK

Cooke gave Vanessa Coffey a shoutout yet again, explaining how she was a tremendous asset for the actor. "She was the one that would go up to the directors and say what we were and were not comfortable with, which just like takes the awkwardness out of it for the actors," she explained. "You're then not having sort of like petition for your own boundaries and your own safety." Coffey also played a role in ensuring the sex scenes looked as natural as possible. While directors and other members of the crew have a litany of responsibilities, it's vital for someone to make sure these scenes are handled ethically among the chaos of filming. 

Emilia Clarke has spoken out about how uncomfortable her "Game of Thrones" nude scenes made her. That show didn't have an intimacy coordinator, so the filming of such moments likely didn't have the same level of care as actors are experiencing on "House of the Dragon." When everyone feels comfortable, it leads to a better experience for both actors and viewers.