The Birth Scene in “House of the Dragon” Fulfills Its Darkest Promise

The showrunners of HBO’s “House of the Dragon” made a sinister promise regarding the events that will take place throughout the first season before the debut, and the premiere’s birth scene fulfilled that promise. Gore was clearly a thing in the first episode of “House of the Dragon,” much like it was in the show’s precursor, Game of Thrones. Surprisingly, the darkest scene in episode 1 wasn’t a joust or a fight, but rather a sequence involving childbirth.

House of the Dragon follows the Targaryen dynasty at its zenith and is set roughly 170 years before the events of Game of Thrones. “House of the Dragon” doesn’t seem to be shying away from violence either, which is concerning because Game of Thrones was frequently condemned for its depiction of brutality, particularly towards women. However, the showrunner, Miguel Sapochnik, revealed in a recent interview (via THR) that they will adopt a distinct perspective from Game of Thrones. To address the issue of violence against women, Sapochnik made a comment “carefully, thoughtfully and [we] don’t shy away from it. If anything, we’re going to shine a light on that aspect. You can’t ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time. It shouldn’t be downplayed, and it shouldn’t be glorified.”

The Red Wedding in Game of Thrones was certainly the most startling event. Possibly, the heartbreaking moment of Queen Aemma giving birth to Prince Baelor in the first episode of “House of the Dragon” fulfilled that ominous promise. King Viserys, who is aware that having a C-section will kill his wife but may save the child, leaves Aemma with little choice in the matter and orders the maesters to conduct it. Making matters worse, the mother of the kid, who had no control over her own life or death, also passes away. Even though the universe of “House of the Dragon” is made up, it is based on the actual events that occurred in medieval Europe. As a result, the scene is difficult to see and horrifying.

The Horrific Birth Scenes in “House of the Dragon” Aren’t Over

Sadly, viewers will probably have to see more graphic birth scenes. In the medieval era, giving birth was a matter of life or death for women, and as Queen Aemma said in episode 1, “the child bed is our war,” There are also additional cases where the mother dies after giving birth to a kid in Fire and Blood, the book on which “House of the Dragon” is partly based. Laena Velaryon, who passes away while giving birth to Prince Daemon’s kid, is one such instance. The inclusion of this or any other example in “House of the Dragon” is uncertain, but Sapochnik made it clear that there will be more:

“In medieval times, giving birth was violence,” Sapochnik says. “It’s as dangerous as it gets. You have a 50/50 chance of making it. We have a number of births in the show and basically decided to give them different themes and explore them from different perspectives the same way I did for a bunch of battles on Thrones.”

There are still nine episodes of “House of the Dragon” still to air, and it will undoubtedly be a rocky ride. The birth scene in Episode 1 has stirred up some debate, making it the most watched HBO premiere in history. Although it’s difficult to imagine a scene being bloodier than this one, viewers should be aware that this isn’t the last time the child bed will serve as a battlefield.

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