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Fans Had A Hard Time Getting Through This Brutal House Of The Dragon Episode 1 Scene

Death comes easy in Westeros and the surrounding world. Not only are there military conflicts that claim the lives of many, but simply existing can prove quite lethal, as even the common folk have to deal with brigands, murderers, rogue soldiers, and poor nutrition. The royal and noble individuals aren't much better or safer, as they can suffer from blades in the back, poisoning, betrayals, and sabotage. Needless to say, Westeros can be a cruel landscape for both high and low-born.

"House of the Dragon" is a spin-off show from "Game of Thrones" that takes place over 100 years before the conflict between the Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, Tyrells, Martells, and Targaryens. At this point in time, the Targayens' rule is ascendant, and they control all of Westeros with their highly trained dragons. Very quickly in "House of the Dragon," it becomes apparent that this new series is just as bloody and violent as its predecessor show, and despite many long-time "Game of Thrones" fans having already witnessed torture scenes that span seasons, people getting cleaved in half, and skulls being crushed with bare hands, it seems as if "House of the Dragon" is still more than capable of shocking viewers, with one scene from "House of the Dragon" in particular unsettling several fans, but which one?

Fans struggled through the C-section scene in House of the Dragon

Discussing the events of the first episode of "House of the Dragon" on the subreddit r/television, u/CoreyTrevor1 started the conversation by unleashing profanity regarding the C-section scene involving King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke). Viserys wishes for a male heir with all of his heart, and even though Aemma makes passing reference to several failed pregnancies and the deaths of newborns, she comments that her current pregnancy will be her last. Unfortunately, she didn't realize how true her words would be. u/jiso replied that they fast-forwarded past that scene and stated that they should have just implied it instead of displaying a woman being mutilated and murdered, and u/KearLoL said that they heard the scene was brutal but still wasn't prepared to watch the moment.

u/A_Confused_Cocoon added, "I really appreciate they didn't hide the realities of pregnancy through that entire section, and holy f*** it was rough. They said in the post credits they cut it with the tourney to tie it to the 'woman's battlefield' comment earlier in the episode which was a brilliant choice. I knew these characters for like 30min at this point though but was already crushed, amazing acting and writing so far in hyped for the rest." Although fans may not have a grasp on how many people survive childbirth in Westeros, Tudor Society notes that in the real-life Medieval Age, one out of three women died during the process due to poor medical understanding, infection, complications, and blood loss. Regardless of the statistics, it appears as if viewers of "House of the Dragon" struggled with this brutal moment in the premiere episode.

Showrunner Ryan Condal said there's a reason the scene plays out the way it does

George R. R. Martin and showrunner Ryan J. Condal chatted with Vanity Fair about the highly-discussed event. While the birth scene in Martin's book occurs over one sentence, it was highly expanded on in "House of the Dragon" for what they feel is a good reason. "It's not meant to be gratuitous. It's meant to show there's a heavy theme in this particular period. In 'Fire and Blood,' there's a lot of very difficult births. It was something we wanted to carry over the season," Condal revealed.

Condal explained in the "Game of Thrones" world or even in the Middle Ages, men are glorified for going to battle, but women are also on a battlefield when giving birth. It was important for "House of the Dragon" showrunners that this battle play out on screen differently than in "Fire and Blood."

"We wanted to dramatize that. We think you see plenty of violence of all colors in Westeros, but there is a particular violence to childbirth, even childbirth that goes well in the end. We wanted to dramatize that. We also wanted, on a dramatic level, to have Viserys have to make a choice. It was really important to make him an active participant in what happened to Aemma and to Baelon," Condal concluded.

Martin confirmed the scene needed to play out how it did on-screen and thought the actor's played their parts to perfection. The author noted he's annoyed at how people refer to the scene as "gratuitous," as he doesn't think anything in life is.