House Of The Dragon viewers have praised director Clare Kilner for the handling of some “uncomfortable” sex scenes in the show’s fourth episode. Spoilers ahead.
In the episode, titled King Of The Narrow Sea, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) leaves the palace in secret with her uncle Daemon (Matt Smith), where they visit numerous places around King’s Landing before arriving at a brothel.
At the brothel, following some romantic tension, Rhaenyra and Daemon start kissing and removing each other’s clothes. Daemon, however, suddenly decides not to go through with the act, leaving his niece behind.
Later, Rhaenyra returns to the castle and seduces Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) who, after some hesitation, gives in and kisses her.
The episode featured another sex scene between Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) and her much older husband King Viserys (Paddy Considine), where the former is visibly uncomfortable and reluctant to engage in the intimacy.
While Game Of Thrones was often criticised for its depiction of sex and sexual violence, many viewers of spin-off House Of The Dragon have praised the episode’s director Clare Kilner for providing meaning and substance to scenes which are often used to exploit.
“I could tell that this episode of House Of The Dragon was directed by a woman cause sex scenes were actually good,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
Another viewer wrote: “I’m not 100% sold on House Of The Dragon but let me tell you the difference a female director makes is astounding, like jesus a brothel and several sex scenes in same episode and I didn’t want to set myself on fire throughout.”
“Petition to have Clare Kilner direct every single one of House Of The Dragon’s sex scenes, please and thank you,” another read.
You can check out more reactions below.
i could tell that this episode of house of the dragon was directed by a woman cause sex scenes were actually good
— Vasilisa (@vasilisonka) September 12, 2022
Today's episode of House of the Dragon, King of the Narrow Sea, has been directed by a woman, Clare Kilner. This is also the episode with the most sex scenes till now, and I wanted to write a thread about how the show made it quite different from the ones in Game of Thrones.
— ⚰️ (@apparitionnow) September 12, 2022
i'm not 100% sold on house of the dragon but let me tell you the diference a female director makes is astounding. like jesus a brothel and several sex scenes in same episode and i didn't want to set myself on fire throughout
— pandoran scum (@captainyunuen) September 13, 2022
Petition to have Clare Kilner direct every single one of House of the Dragon’s sex scenes, please and thank you. 10/10 excellent service.
— Andy (@atabex_art) September 12, 2022
I love how House of the Dragon does everything in threes, like heads of the dragon: three main succession candidates, last episode had three different takes on killing, and now with Episode 4, three excruciating, very uncomfortable sex scenes. #hotd
— Kim Horcher (@kimscorcher) September 12, 2022
sex scenes hit different when directed by a woman and from an actual female gaze. 👏 house of the dragon took notes from what game of thrones did wrong
— denise 🐞 (@denibeans) September 12, 2022
In an interview with Newsweek, Carey, who was aged 18 at the time of filming, praised the show’s intimacy coordinator for alleviating her concerns about filming the sex scene.
“It scared me,” Carey said. “Because at that point I still hadn’t met Paddy, I didn’t know how much of a joy he was and how easy he was going to make [the scene], and all I saw was, you know, a 47-year-old man and me, I was a bit concerned.
“And having that outlet of the intimacy coordinator, to be able to talk everything through and not be shunned, or not feel awkward, or not feel like ‘Oh, this isn’t your job. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable but can I ask you…’ it was never any of that, it was just that open dialogue.”
Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark in Game Of Thrones, was recently criticised after he suggested intimacy coordinators on set “spoil the spontaneity” of sex scenes.
House Of The Dragon’s next episode airs on Sunday in the US on HBO and on Monday in the UK on Sky Atlantic.