dragon house will not portray sexual violence against women on screen as War of Thrones, according to writer and executive producer Sara Hess. Based on the 2018 novel by George RR Martin fire and bloodthe upcoming prequel series is set 200 years before the events of War of Thrones and will chronicle the events that led to the end of House Targaryen, including the civil war of succession known as the Dance of Dragons. Like its predecessor, dragon house will revolve around the same central conflict: who should occupy the Iron Throne.
Paddy Considine leads the dragon house cast as the benevolent King Viserys I Targaryen, the current occupant of the Iron Throne as the series begins. However, the royal conflict doesn’t begin to heat up until after the king’s death, when Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy), Viserys’ eldest daughter and chosen heir, has her claim to the throne challenged by Prince Aegon. Tom Glynn-Carney), her eldest son. This triggers the Targaryen civil war at the center of the prequel show.
During a recent interview with vanity fairHess talks about how dragon house will deal with its female characters, especially in relation to its depiction of sexual violence. The show’s writer and executive producer clarifies that dragon house will not depict sexual violence against women on screen, unlike War of Thrones, while an instance will be handled off-screen. Instead, the program will explore “the violence against women that is inherent in a patriarchal system.” Read Hess’ full comments below:
I would like to clarify that we do not portray sexual violence on the show. We deal with an off-screen instance and instead show the consequences and impact on the victim and the abuser’s mother. I think what our show does, and what I’m proud of, is that we’ve chosen 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/casual relationships with women who were actually not of consenting age, even if they were ‘willing’. 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 bidding of grown men. This is done not necessarily by those we would define as rapists or abusers, but often by generally well-meaning men who are unable to see that what they are doing is traumatic and oppressive, because the system in which everyone lives normalizes them. It’s less obvious than rape, but just as insidious, albeit in a different way. In general, portraying sexual violence is complicated, and I think the ways we think about it as writers and creators are unique to our specific stories.
dragon houseThe approach to violence against women is a stark contrast to that of its predecessor. War of Thrones was notorious for depicting several cases of sexual violence. In fact, the first episode of War of Thrones contains a scene in which Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is raped by her Dothraki husband, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), on her wedding night. War of Thrones Season 5 featured a similarly graphic scene in which Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is raped by Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), also on her wedding night. These scenes were often criticized for their gratuitous brutality.
Looks like dragon house learned from the mistakes of its predecessor and will not depict any sexual violence on screen. While violence against women is a very real part of the story that arguably shouldn’t be overlooked in the fantasy genre, the War of Thrones The prequel show will certainly be more careful and thoughtful about how it explores these questions. the wait for dragon house is almost over as the series premieres later this month on HBO.
dragon house premieres Sunday, August 21 on HBO.
Source: Vanity Fair