The director of House of the Dragon justifies the scary sequence from episode 1: Birthing was violent in mediaeval times.

The horrific birthing sequence in the first episode of House of the Dragon has surprised viewers and caused controversy on the gore and brutality in the programme. Beware of spoilers!
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The Game of Thrones prequel/spinoff House of the Dragon started streaming on HBO Max (and Disney+ Hotstar in India) on Sunday. Everything that made Game of Thrones so popular—sex, bloodshed, and politics—was present in the first episode. However, many critics and fans believed the spinoff's depiction of gore and brutality on screen was superior than the original. The director of the programme has now defended a particular sequence that has the audience discussing. Read further: 1st episode of House of the Dragon analysis: Prequel to Game of Thrones takes some of its worst elements.

Watch out for episode 1 of House of the Dragon spoilers!

If you haven't seen the first episode of House of the Dragon, you might want to stop reading because it contains heavy content and spoilers. Two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, when the Targaryens were at the pinnacle of their power, take place in House of the Dragon.

King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Queen Aemma Arryn are depicted in the scenario (Sian Brooke). The maester alerts the king that there are issues as the queen is about to deliver the new heir. Only if they rupture the queen's womb, which would ultimately result in her death, can they save the child.

The show's director, Miguel Sapochnik, defended the sequence in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "The child bed is our fight," Aemma declares. That, in our opinion, was an intriguing way to explore the idea that childbirth was violent for women in mediaeval times. It's the most risky thing there is. There is a 50/50 chance that you will succeed. A lot of women didn't. A caesarean section would kill you, thus if given the option, the father would pick the child over the mother. According to him, it was a very violent aspect of existence.

The violence in the moment, according to Miguel, who also worked on Game of Thrones, was essential and not gratuitous. We have several births in the show, so we basically decided to give them different themes and explore them from different perspectives, similar to how I did with several battles on Thrones, where I tried to put a different spin on each so it wasn't just doing the same thing. I don't think showing a lot of violence onscreen just for the sake of violence, he continued.

A companion book to George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire trilogy, on which Game of Thrones was based, served as the inspiration for House of the Dragon. This book is titled Fire & Blood. It happens after the infamous Dance of the Dragons Targaryen dynasty civil war.