Game of Thrones did not shy away from showing violence or sex on screen. During its eight seasons there were no shortage of explicit scenes where blood or naked bodies looked like they were rarely seen on television, showing off the popularity of the adult and intense series that it earned over the years. For this reason, it is not impressive that in The house of the dragon we have sequences that follow the same line, as the fourth episode has shown with its high doses of sexual sequences within the House Targaryen or in the streets of Landing of the King. However, there is a crucial difference here with Game of Thrones that calls into question the way the original series was executed behind the scenes.
In my opinion, many of the sex scenes in Game of Thrones did the show more harm than good, especially in the early seasons. The way in which these moments were recreated, added to the framework so full of twists and surprises, at times gave me the feeling of watching a pornographic medieval soap opera. I felt that with less explicit charge the series could show off its plot much better, something that confirmed for me when throughout the seasons this high sexual charge faded and my interest, although it always had, increased. But this has not happened to me with The House of the Dragon and the focus on the sexual section that its fourth episode has had.
There are very intense moments, like the brothel in King’s Landing where Rhaenyra and Daemon (niece and uncle, Targaryen things) live a physical approach while dozens of couples do the same, but I have felt that no sex scene responded to the mere impact explicit, but all of them were perfectly justified narratively and added to the chapter as a whole. But not only that, because, unlike the crude and gratuitous way that they were shown in Game of Thrones, here the treatment is done with more sensitivity and emotion, paying special attention to the feelings of the characters and being shot with more delicacy. . And the explanation for this contrast can be found in the credits of this fourth installment of the series and in the name of the person in charge of directing the chapter: Clare Kilner.
The name of this director probably sounds familiar to very few, since her works have been mostly comedies quite unknown in the 2000s or episodes of series that have not transcended much into social conversation such as Pennyworth or The Mosquito Coast, but what he makes clear in The House of the Dragon is how important it is to have a feminine vision in scenes of this nature, especially when the feelings and desires of young women like Rhaenyra Targaryen are being shown.
And I think it makes it clear that behind the management team of the original Game of Thrones there were very few female voices, which is why all their sexual content was so gratuitous, exaggerated and even out of place. Looking at the names of the directors who were in charge of HBO’s original fiction, there was only one woman among the total of 19 people who were shooting behind the scenes. It was about Michelle MacLaran, who directed two episodes in season three and another couple in the fourth. And the same if we go to the writing field, where Jane Espenson and Vanessa Taylor wrote respectively one and three chapters, which is nothing compared to the total of 73.
In my opinion, this last episode of House of the Dragon is, by far, the best of this first season. And this detail has had a lot to do with it, because I think that rarely have we seen in Game of Thrones a chapter so guided by the emotional field, that knew how to create its tension from the most sentimental side of its characters and play so well with its high charge. sexual. And this differentiating point, I think, makes evident the importance of the diversity of voices so that a product manages to stay fresh, surprise, be more effective and connect with a greater spectrum of the public.
The good thing is that the lesson seems learned and Clare Kilner stands as one of the main filmmakers in charge of The House of the Dragon, since, according to information revealed by HBO, she has also been in charge of directing the fifth and ninth episodes. Thus, it is even more trustworthy that this Game of Thrones spin-off has the mistakes of its predecessor very much in mind and that it is on its way to becoming another of the great fantasy fictions of our times.