House of the Dragon director defends traumatic and violent birth scene
Spoilers for House of the Dragon ahead.
A traumatic scene on the Game of Thrones spin-off series House of the Dragon has attracted criticism from viewers, with many claiming that it was needlessly gratuitous.
In the scene, Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) gets into difficulty while giving birth, and when it becomes clear that both her life and the baby's is at risk, her husband King Viserys (Paddy Considine) instructs the attendants to cut into her stomach.
The King knows that this will most definitely kill the queen, but he hopes that it will save his son's life. The cut is made, but not before a visibly distressed Aemma is restrained without knowing what exactly is about to happen to her.
In the end, she bleeds to death, while the baby dies shortly after.
Defending the scene, the series' show runner and director Miguel Sapochnik claimed that he felt the trauma of it was necessary for the storyline.
In an interview with Pop Sugar, he said that it was important for them to highlight the "most traumatic event" that ends up breaking the family apart.
He said: "More importantly than anything, Viserys doesn't give his wife, Aemma, a choice, and that's something that seems really important."
Sapochnik also said that they showed the scene to "as many women as possible" and asking them if they found it "too violent", before deciding to include it.
"Unanimously the answer was no," he said. "Often the response was 'No, if anything, it needs to be more.'"
He continued: "It's raising a point that hits a real trigger for women, which is this idea of choice and that she 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."