Since the very first episode, Game of Thrones was never a family-friendly show. In fact, the pilot episode itself included Viserys Targaryen touching his sister, Daenerys Targaryen, in places no brother ever should. And if that wasn’t enough, Khal Drogo raped Daenerys right at the end of the episode. Now, George R.R. Martin reveals that Dany’s rape actually made the pilot worse! And that is not how it happened in the books either.
George R.R. Martin admits Daenerys Targaryen’s rape in the pilot “made it worse”
Ever since the end of Game of Thrones, the show has been under the firing line by many critics. Following the series finale, a new book named Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon has given a deeper inside about the show from the people involved in its making. In the book, Martin criticizes the wedding night scene from the pilot episode, which involved Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa). He said:
Why did the wedding scene change from the consensual seduction scene that excited even a horse to the brutal rape of Emilia Clarke? We never discussed it. It made it worse, not better.
D.B. Weiss then responds to Martin’s criticism, saying they didn’t have time in the show to explore Daenerys’s mind. He said:
[W]e just didn’t have that amount of time and access to the character’s mind. It turns too quickly. It was something the actors themselves felt wasn’t gelling. They weren’t able to find an emotional handhold.
The first sexual encounter between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo played out differently in A Song of Ice and Fire. It was consensual, however, it is important to note that Dany was 14 when she married Drogo in the books, which is appalling. And of course, Dany married Drogo against her will as well. However, you see the massive contrast between the two scenes. There were moral complexities in the book, whereas in Game of Thrones, Dany was just brutally raped.
Showrunners admit they would have done things differently
Moreover, David Benioff also admitted that he would have done a few things differently with the show if given a chance:
There definitely are things [over the course of the show] we would do differently. I don’t know if there’s anything I would want to discuss publicly.
Weiss further gave a reference to the late singer Prince, saying:
Prince once said something about how any record you listen to that you think is terrible, somebody worked themselves to the bone to make it. So many people work so hard on any aspect of a thing. So when you say something critical it can sound like you’re blaming somebody else. And really the only people who are to blame are us – and I sure as hell don’t want to blame us.
However, Daenerys Targaryen’s rape isn’t the only scene where the showrunners added nudity and sexual content in Game of Thrones without any purpose. Dany getting raped serves little to no purpose to serve in the plot. Just like Sansa and Cersei’s rape in the show too, which never happened in the book series. And you can say the same about the countless steamy scenes in Game of Thrones which took away a lot of important run time from the show instead of adding anything of value to it. In short, sexism ruined the show. It not only deprived the show of valuable screen time but also screamed of objectification of women.