House Of The Dragon's Graphic Birth Scene Was Originally Even More 'Brutal'

Paddy Considine has admitted he "wasn’t sure about that when I first saw it”.
Paddy Considine and Sian Brooke on the set of House Of The Dragon
Paddy Considine and Sian Brooke on the set of House Of The Dragon

House Of The Dragon star Paddy Considine has shared his thoughts on what has already proved to be the show’s most polarising scene.

Paddy takes the lead as King Viserys Targaryen in the new Game Of Thrones prequel, with his character appearing in a graphic birth scene which has already generated a lot of conversation online.

In episode one, Visyerys’ wife Queen Aemma Targaryen (played by Sian Brooke) goes into labour, with Visyerys’ being informed early on that their baby is breach.

He is then given the choice – save his wife or save the baby – and he chooses the heir. Queen Aemma is pinned down, screaming, while the baby is cut directly from her womb, leading to fatal blood loss. Hours later, the baby also dies.

Many who have watched the scene have already highlighted how triggering it could be to some viewers, with the baby loss charity Tommy’s issuing a warning around its graphic content.

Sian Brooke as Queen Aemma in House Of The Dragon
Sian Brooke as Queen Aemma in House Of The Dragon

Speaking to Insider about being on set while filming the moment, Paddy admitted: “Those were hard days filming. It was tough to shoot. It’s all make believe, but it was tough.

“It was very emotional. In fact, it was a lot more brutal and a lot more emotional than it ends up in the final episode. And I wasn’t sure about that when I first saw it.”

Despite his initial reservations, he continued: “Maybe it was too much because Viserys is utterly devastated, and maybe that was too much to show early on. I think they really cut it down really well.”

Paddy also praised co-star Sian Brooke, noting that she was “going through the physicality of everything” on set.

“It was a very physical bit of work from her,” he said.

And while Sian’s character died early on in the story, Paddy insisted that the loss “hangs over this show for a very, very long time”.

Paddy Considine at House Of The Dragon's London premiere
Paddy Considine at House Of The Dragon's London premiere
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik previously defended the controversial scene, revealing the team “made a point of showing it to as many women as possible”, and asking whether they found it “too violent”

“Unanimously, the response was, ‘no’,” he claimed. “Often the response was, ‘If anything, it needs to be more’.”

Miguel continued: “We shouldn’t be shying away from this thing that’s happened because it’s raising a point that seems to hit a real trigger for women, which is this idea of choice.

“[Aemma] doesn’t get to choose. She’s effectively murdered by her husband. And that is a good indication of the state of play in this world that we’re inhabiting.”

House Of The Dragon is set two centuries before the first series of Game Of Thrones, with Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy and Steve Toussaint all appearing in the main cast.

The first episode of House Of The Dragon is available to watch now on Sky and Now, with new instalments every Monday.

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Help and support:

  • Sands works to support anyone affected by the death of a baby.
  • Tommy’s fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy health information to parents.
  • Saying Goodbye offers support for anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.

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