House of the Dragon Creators Defend That Bloody Birth Scene


The House of the Dragon pilot’s graphic birth scene caused a visceral response even at the show's gala premiere. Showrunner Ryan J. Condal, who cocreated the Game of Thrones prequel with


George R.R. Martin, noticed an intense reaction in the theater, and says people were quick to discuss it afterward. “A lot of people had things to say about the birth of Baelon, Prince Baelon,


Now that the show has made its HBO debut, everyone can share in the devastation. The creators insist this grisly moment was a necessary way to mark the start of the “Dance of the Dragons,”


the family civil war that not only tears apart the powerful House Targaryen, but eventually annihilates dragons from the skies of Westeros. In the context of the story, King Viserys


(Paddy Considine) needs a male heir to maintain a clean line of succession in the patriarchal dynasty. The death of the baby, and of the king's wife, Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke),


during the botched birth, creates a void that other family members rush to fill, brandishing swords and fire-breathing monsters to gain the upper hand. The House of the Dragon birth scene goes


even further than Martin's description in 2018's Fire & Blood, which inspired the Game of Thrones prequel. “Queen Aemma was brought to bed in Maegor's Holdfast and


died whilst giving birth to the son that Viserys Targaryen had desired for so long," Martin writes in the fictional history. "The boy (named Baelon,after the king's father) survived her only by a day


leaving king and court bereft.” Those two sentence have been expanded into a forced C-section, with Aemma screaming in anguish as she is held down and cut open by doctors and


midwives who hope to save the breech baby even at the expense of her life. Viserys tries to console the frightened, suffering woman after granting permission for the brutal procedure,


having never never so much as consulted with her about it.“That scene is…you don’t want to use the word ‘enjoyable’ for a scene like that, but it’s incredibly powerful,” Martin says.


“It’s visceral and it’ll rip your heart out and throw it on the floor. It has the kind of impact that the Red Wedding had. It’s a beautifully done scene of something horrible.”

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