This week’s episode, ‘The Black Queen’, saw Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) going into labour prematurely after discovering that her father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), had died.
The baby was delivered stillborn in a particularly gruesome scene in which Rhaenyra was seen pulling the infant out herself while crying hysterically.
Refusing help, she struggled through the physical and emotional trauma alone as those in the room watched on in horror, creating a heartbreaking scene that many viewers said they found hard to watch.
Fans are outraged by the House of the Dragon opening credits fail…
One person wrote on Twitter: “Do not watch House of the Dragon birth scene if you’re pregnant, trying, or had a traumatic birth or a loss.
“Highly highly recommend you skip it.”
Another wrote: “There have been more traumatic birth scenes than actual dragons on House of the Dragon.”
“House of the Dragon Episode 10 birth scene scarred me,” added a third.
A fourth viewer wrote: “No because the traumatic birth scenes in House of the Dragon literally trigger me. I had to look away.”
Someone else commented: “House of the Dragon has made me sit through too many damn gruesome birth scenes.”
While a fifth penned: “My only complaint – and it’s not even a complaint, just a personal ick – is that I never need to see another birth scene on TV ever again.
“I’m 10000% done seeing people give birth, thanks very much.”
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Before the episode aired, it came with an advisory warning that read, via Radio Times: “The following programme contains strong language and scenes which some viewers may find distressing.”
While viewers complained about the nature of the scene, many fans noticed that the deformed baby, which was shown on screen, had scales and the stump of a tail.
As per the George R. R. Martin books on which the series is based, Rhaenyra’s first daughter is named Visenya, in honour of Aegon the Conqueror’s wife.
This was true to the novels, which describe Visenya as a ‘stillborn girl, twisted and malformed, with a hole in her chest where her heart should have been, and a stubby, scaled tail’.
She is also described as a ‘monster’ in the book.
Discussing the birth on Twitter, one fan explained: “It’s like a birth defect on the Targaryens, just like what happened to Dany’s baby (scales, dragon tail, stillborn).
“And also, in the book, I think Rhaenyra cursed at her baby when she was about to give birth saying ‘You’re a monster! Get out!’, something like that.”
Another added: “I only watched the first and the last one because I had to see for myself and they didn’t even show baby Visenya with dragon scales or anything.”
In regards to the harrowing birth scenes, House of the Dragon co-creator, Miguel Sapochnik, said that they are all intended to have ‘different themes’.
He explained to The Hollywood Reporter: “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.”
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