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Matt Smith Has Some Thoughts on the Necessity of ‘House of the Dragon’ Sex Scenes

Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon (2022) as Targ trash

Talk of intimacy coordinators is currently going around online after HBO’s former Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean talked about them. The conversation has also been going around because Matt Smith, star of GoT spinoff House of the Dragon, talked about his sex scenes in the new series as part of the Game of Thrones world and whether or not they’re excessive.

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Talking with Rolling Stone, Smith first opened up about them by saying, “You do find yourself asking, ‘Do we need another sex scene?’. And they’re like, ‘Yeah, we do.’ I guess you have to ask yourself: ‘What are you doing? Are you representing the books, or are you diluting the books to represent the time [we’re living in]?’ And I actually think it’s your job to represent the books truthfully and honestly, as they were written.”

Smith went on to clarify at a roundtable, according to ScreenRant, that he doesn’t like doing sex scenes, but more than that, it boils down to whether or not the scenes represent that books and the world that House of Dragon is meant to represent:

“I don’t know, really. No one likes doing sex scenes. They feel quite exposing, do you know what I mean? But luckily, Sonoya [Mizuno], who plays Mysaria, was just really wonderful. We had an intimacy coordinator, and that all felt quite good and safe and stuff. Do I love that scene? I don’t know; I have a question mark against it. But that’s the world that we’re representing. That’s the world that George has written. That is the world of House of the Dragon. And we’re trying to represent the books as truthfully as possible.”

Game of Thrones and sex

The series is known for its sex scenes, good and bad, and while it is part of the world of Westeros, it is also a lot to see over and over again while watching a fantasy show. So, Smith’s comments are sometimes echoed by fans, myself included. What this means for House of the Dragon, though, is that there are stars within the show questioning whether or not sex scenes are worth it.

Not that that didn’t happen in the original run of the series, but hearing conversations like this and having Smith speak out does inspire a bit of confidence, and we do know that the show is aware of the commentary that the sexual assault aspects of the original series left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. But it seems as if the show isn’t going to include sexual violence.

“I’d like to clarify that we do not depict sexual violence in the show,” executive producer Sara Hess told Vanity Fair. “I think what our show does, and what I’m proud of, is that we choose to focus on the violence against women that is inherent in a patriarchal system.”

“There are many ‘historical’ or history-based shows that romanticize powerful men in sexual-marriage relationships with women who were actually not of an age to consent, even if they were ‘willing,’” she noted. “We put that on-screen, and we don’t shy away from the fact that our female leads in the first half of the show are coerced and manipulated into doing the will of adult men.”

It will be interesting to see how the show works and how these scenes play out in the context of it.

(featured image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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