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House Of The Dragon Fans Are Calling Out The Showrunners For This Lie

"Game of Thrones" is known for three things: gratuitous violence, excessive sexual content, and quite possibly the most spectacularly abysmal final season to ever air in a public context. Despite the series' almost universally loathed ending, a spinoff property was greenlit the very same year, and "House of the Dragon" was born from the ashes of defeat. Inspired by George R.R. Martin's prequel novel "Fire & Blood," the new series follows the Targaryens — aka the House of the Dragon, aka "Hey, that's Daenerys' last name!" — at the height of their inbred dynasty.  

Now, in the months leading up to the production's release — the first episode of which dropped last night, only to see HBO Max crash under the weight of added viewership — the marketing was heavily geared toward differentiating "House of the Dragon" from its predecessor, "Game of Thrones." One such press route involved the showrunners insisting that the new project would feature less sexual content (via The Hollywood Reporter). Well, as we just mentioned, the first episode is now making the rounds among viewers. Did the studio follow through on that promise? 

House of the Dragon seems to feature just as much sex ...

Nope! As audiences will have undoubtedly noticed, not only do Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) find time for a quick, explicitly visual round, there's a prolonged orgy sequence, too, akin to the scene in the first episode of Netflix's "The Witcher." Less graphically, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) appears to command his daughter, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), to seduce King Viserys (Paddy Considine). Also, while only tangentially sexual (but critically important, more on this later), there's a painfully drawn-out torture sequence where Queen Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke) undergoes a forced, non-sedated caesarean section. It did not end well for her. Within a single episode, "House of the Dragon" has proven itself to be everything its predecessor was — a story that is deeply sexual by nature and one that seems to relish lingering in human suffering. To be fair, that's an accurate depiction of George R.R. Martin's work, but it isn't what the studio promised. 

In a subreddit dedicated to the new spinoff series, u/Narga15 posted a meme mocking the showrunner's press comments that explained how "House of the Dragon" would have less sexual content than "Game of Thrones." The meme's caption reads, "So that was a f****** lie." Mind, the showrunners — Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik — almost immediately walked back on these remarks. As noted by Game Rant, Condal and Sapochnik insist that their statements were taken out of context to mean something entirely separate from their original, intended function. To better understand this mess, let's look at how Condal and Sapochnik seem to move the goalpost with every additional statement. It's a little messy, so bear with us for a moment.  

... and just as much sexual violence

In the original statement, the one which ignited this entire debacle, Miguel Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter that he and Ryan Condal handled the sexual content "carefully, thoughtfully and [we] don't shy away from it. If anything, we're going to shine a light on that aspect. You can't ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time. It shouldn't be downplayed and it shouldn't be glorified." 

This is why we mentioned the forced C-section earlier because while it isn't inherently sexual, the act was done as a notable assault on a woman's physical autonomy. The methods are new, but the invasive control is the same. Let's not pretend that falls into a different category when the showrunners make a point of discussing their careful respect of women as if it were a thematically ingrained concept within "House of the Dragon." With this in mind, Condal and Sapochnik responded to the internet's understandable disgust with further statements. Pulling from the aforementioned Game Rant article, Sapochnik said, "It's really important to us that we be part of the solution there and not part of the problem. So that's how we've been approaching it. I don't even think we have any sexual violence in our season." 

As the Redditor said, yeah, that was a f****** lie.