The ‘Game of Thrones’ cast revealed their least favorite sex scenes
Once upon a time, long before the days of #MeToo, Time’s Up, and mandatory intimacy coordinators on sets – a racy, erotic fantasy series landed on HBO. Game of Thrones was a highlight of the 2010s. Its raunchy sex scenes combined with its anyone-can-die plotline made it the highlight of a lot of people’s springs when new seasons would drop.
However, behind the scenes could be a mess. Filming the sex scenes was definitely a mess as revealed in the new tell-all book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series by James Hibbard of Entertainment Weekly. Hibbard interviewed the cast & Westeros’s creator, author George R.R. Martin.
The Game of Thrones cast & Martin dished the dirt on what their least favorite sex scenes were and what should’ve changed. Here’s what they said.
Jason Momoa’s discomfort
Showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss were new to overseeing a drama the size of Game of Thrones. Apparently, they were also new to sex scene etiquette. Benioff gave Jason Momoa a hard time for not taking his intimacy pouch off on set. An intimacy pouch, by the way, covers an actor’s naughty bits when they’re performing sex scenes.
Jason Momoa recalled that Benioff razzed him about not taking it off in front of a bunch of people. “That was because David had been like, ‘Momoa, just take it off!’ You know, giving me s***. ‘Sacrifice! Do it for your art!’ I’m just like, ‘F*** you, bro. My wife would be pissed. That’s for one lady only, man.’”
Momoa became so irritated that he just took it off and handed it directly to Benioff. “So afterward I ripped the thing off and kept it in my hand and gave him a big hug and a handshake and was like, ‘Hey, now you have a little bit of me on you, buddy.’”
Emilia Clarke’s reluctance
Momoa was also irritated by how Benoiff and Weiss treated his sex scene partner, Emilia Clarke. Clarke played Daenerys on Game of Thrones, one of the last Targaryens who plots to take her throne back. This was Clarke’s big break, so she said she wasn’t as assertive about her needs as she usually would have been.
“I was so desperate to be the most professional actor I could be that I’d be like, ‘Yeah, sure,’ for anything they threw at me,” she recalled. “I’ll just cry about it in the bathroom later.” Momoa wasn’t having any of it. Clarke said that Momoa made her feel safe on the set and would regularly stick up for her.
Closed sets were open
Actors Kristian Nairn and Esmé Bianco recalled filming sex scenes on open sets that were supposed to be closed. “It was a very busy day on set, which was the opposite of what they told me. I’ve never seen a busier set!” she explained. Fortunately, Nairn was partially covered due to there being children on the set.
Bianco got the shock of her life when she expected to be performing a sex scene on a closed set, turned around, and there were a bunch of men present. “I’m buck naked. I’m like, ‘Hang on a second,” she added. “Since when does it take three people to hold that [the lighting rig]? They need to leave.”
The episode director blamed the crowd on crew members in Malta. “I remember having to chase away people who were hiding in the back watching Sahara [Knite] and Esmé go at it.” Future directors would also have to shoo crew members who lookie-looed at nude actors on set, including Lena Headey’s body double, Rebecca Van Cleave, during the infamous walk of shame scene in season 5.
George R.R. Martin’s least favorite scene
Surprisingly, the least favorite scene of George R.R. Martin had nothing to do with sex. Granted, fans of the books complained about certain sex scenes being changed (a-hem, Sansa & Ramsay rape scene), but Martin was most bothered by the hunting scene in season 1 not being “historically” accurate.
Although Westeros is a fictional world, it’s very tightly based on Medieval Europe. When George R.R. Martin wanted a hunting scene with King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) before he gets gored by a boar, he wanted a royal hunting party, not three guys walking through the woods!
Although Martin didn’t write the hunting scene since Robert Baratheon wasn’t a POV character and no POV characters were with him on the trip, Marin wished they’d have given King Robert a royal sendoff fit for a king. “There would have been a hundred guys. There would have been pavilions,” Martin explained. “There would have been huntsmen. There would have been horns blowing — that’s how a king goes hunting.”