The Birth Scene From “House of the Dragon” Was Brutal On Set

Paddy Considine, who plays the harrowing birthing scene in the “House of the Dragon” series premiere, explains that the scenario was even more brutal to film on location. “House of the Dragon,” which takes place hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, describes the tense relationship within the Targaryen dynasty and the horrific civil war that would finally break out. The first episode of the program, which is co-showrunner by Ryan Condral and Miguel Sapochnik, debuted on HBO on August 21 to a record-breaking audience of just under 10 million viewers, or almost 8 million more than Game of Thrones had for its debut.

Numerous new characters, including Daemon Targaryen (played by Matt Smith), Ser Harrold Westerling (played by Graham McTavish), Otto Hightower (played by Rhys Ifans), Lord Corlys Velaryon (played by Steve Toussaint), and King Viserys (played by David Considine), were introduced to viewers in the House of the Dragon pilot. The opposing goals of several of these people were quickly established in the episode, which also had a lot of the sex and bloodshed that Game of Thrones fans have come to anticipate from the Westerosi setting. However, one particularly gruesome scene in the “House of the Dragon” premiere episode involved Viserys choosing to have his wife Aemma (Sian Brooke) have a C-section when her delivery didn’t go as planned, which led to her death.

According to Considine in a recent interview with Insider, filming the birthing scene was even more extreme than it was to watch it. The actor recalls that the sequence was initially “more savage and a lot more emotional,” but that it was finally toned down for the final episode, and he says that it was difficult to shoot. Considine claims that as it might have been too much to endure otherwise, this was perhaps the best course of action. See the complete statement from Considine below:

“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. 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. We went for it, and there’s a lot of tears. But props to Sian because she was going through the physicality of everything. It was a very physical bit of work from her.”

Even though Game of Thrones had many gory, graphic sequences over the course of its eight-season run, the C-section scene in “House of the Dragon” is particularly difficult to watch due to the circumstances surrounding the procedure as well as the amount of blood involved. In order to finally have a male successor, Viserys ultimately decides to save the life of their unborn kid above the life of his wife. Aemma has little control over the situation and is restrained physically while the treatment is being done, despite their apparent sincere connection.

It’s probably better that the moment wasn’t included in the final episode, as Considine says. The delivery scene effectively establishes the world’s power structures in “House of the Dragon” and sheds light on Viserys’s personality. If it had been even more harsh, it may have been perceived as gratuitous, which might have, in some respects, diminished its impact.

How Many Episodes Are There In Season 1 of “House of the Dragon”?