House of the Dragon bosses defend violent childbirth scene in series'

House of the Dragon's showrunners say they showed the premiere's gruesome childbirth scene to "as many women as possible" before it went to air.

In the first episode, King Viserys' wife Queen Aemma Targaryen is forced to undergo a crude Caesarean, while restrained and held down by other men.

The baby is cut from her womb as she screams in terror and pain, before dying.
The scene in the first episode has come under fire for its perceived violence toward women

with some online commentary saying the producers went too far in the wake of the overturning of the Roe v Wade ruling in the US - a woman's right to have an abortion.

"I know they said, 'we don't care about your critiques, we hate women' but it was so unnecessary to show the C-section and the restraint on Aemma,," one commenter said.

"That childbirth scene in last night's episode of House of the Dragon was just too f**king much like I'm still thinking about poor Aemma.  another opined

"How sad that the barbaric death of Queen Aemma Arryn immediately made me think: and this is the fate women in 2022 have been dealt after the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

Yeah I couldn't stay in the moment… I thought let them see what they do to us [sic]," a third weighed in.

But the series' showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal told Insider they were careful to ensure the blood-filled scene didn't cross any boundaries.

"We did make a point of showing it to as many women as possible and asked the very question: 'Was this too violent for you?'" Sapochnik said during a roundtable interview with Insider.

Sapochnik said the feedback also left them feeling the lack of choice given to Aemma was "really important" to highlight.

"We shouldn't be shying away from this thing that's happened because it's raising a point that seems to hit a real trigger for women, which is this idea of choice," he said.

"She doesn't get to choose. She's effectively murdered by her husband. And that is a good indication of the state of play in this world that we're inhabiting."