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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Jacob Stolworthy

House of the Dragon: ‘Harrowing’ episode 10 scene leaves viewers feeling traumatised


House of the Dragon featured yet another “traumatising” birth scene in its season one finale.

When the series began, showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik said they would not “shy away” from several births that take place in George RR Martin’s source material, Fire & Blood.

One such scene featured in the opening episode, and ended in the death of Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke). A second followed in episode six, when Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) gives birth to Joffrey.

*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*

In episode 10, Rhaenyra, shortly after learning her father King Viserys (Paddy Considine) has died, goes into early labour, which leads to her baby being stillborn. Viewers struggled to watch the scene, which was accompanied by a disturbing detail, and expressed their distress on social media.

House of Dragon overdid it with the child birth scenes this season,” one fan wrote, with another saying they felt they were “going to faint” in the “severely bloody scene”.

Another viewer wrote: “I have watched women birth babies. Why are the birthing scenes in House of the Dragon more difficult to watch,” while someone else stated: “I really hope that House of the Dragon has packed all the traumatic birth scenes it requires in s1 because I can’t take anymore.”

Emphasising how many challenging birth scenes featured in the first season, one fan wrote: “Find yourself someone who loves you as much as the House of the Dragon writers love a harrowing birth scene.”

Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra in ‘harrowing’ scene from ‘House of the Dragon’ episode 10 (HBO)

Speaking about the inclusion of these scenes, Sapochnik previously said: “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, where each time I tried to put a different spine in each so it wasn’t just doing the same thing as I don’t think putting a bunch of violence on screen for the sake of violence does any good in the world.”

Elsewhere in the season one finale, the writers cleared up a controversial plot point that angered many fans following the broadcast of the penultimate episode,

In one climactic scene, which takes place on the bridge at Dragonstone, Otto presents Rhaneyra with a note from Alicent. The note plays a role in Rhaenyra’s decision to consider the Hand’s proposal to bend the knee to Aegon. Fans will recognise it from an earlier episode – you can find an explanation of its signficance here.

The series, which has been renewed for a second season, is available to watch on NOW. Find the biggest talking points from the episode here.

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