Game of Thrones was loved for its exciting story, but it also got criticized for showing a lot of n*dity and violent scenes. Critics believed these scenes were unnecessary and didn’t help the story.

There was one particularly disturbing scene that had a serious impact on the actors involved in it. It occurred in Season 5, when Sansa Stark’s wedding night with Ramsay Bolton took a dark turn into a brutal r*pe scene.

A still from Game of Thrones - Season 5
A still from Game of Thrones – Season 5

This scene wasn’t in the original books by George R.R. Martin, which means the show creators made a conscious decision to include it. Critics argued that it didn’t add anything meaningful to the story. Sansa had already suffered a lot, and the scene didn’t provide any new insight into Ramsay’s cruelty.

Moreover, it was focused more on Theon Greyjoy’s perspective, making viewers see the assault through his horrified reactions. This choice lessened the impact of Sansa’s trauma. But it took a toll on the actor who portrayed Ramsay Bolton.

Game of Thrones Actor Despised Filming Disturbing Scene

Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones

Fans started to dislike Iwan Rheon for his portrayal of Ramsay Bolton in the HBO series due to the extreme cruelty of the character. He was depicted as ruthless, committing various atrocities throughout the show, including torture, r*pe, and murder.

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As a result, some fans found it difficult to separate the actor from the role, which led to negative sentiments towards Rheon personally. However, in reality, the Carmarthen native is nothing like his character. In an interview with Metro, Iwan Rheon looked back on a scene from Season 5 and talked about how tough it was to film. The 38-year-old said:

“That was horrible. Nobody wanted to be there. Nobody wants to do that, but if it’s telling a story then you have to tell it truthfully. They didn’t sensationalize it or anything. It was very, very hard watching. It’s a horrible thing that happens, unfortunately… It was the worst day of my career.”

However, this is not the first time. GOT actors had already spoken out against the excessive s*xual violence in the series. In 2019, during an interview on the Armchair Expert podcast, Emilia Clarke shared how scary it was for her to film the scene where Daenerys is r*ped by Khal Drogo. She even mentioned that she would often cry before shooting s*x scenes because of how upsetting it was for her.

The Industry is Prioritizing Actors’ Safety with Intimacy Coordinators Now

Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke
Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Thankfully, the industry now understands how important it is to ensure actors feel safe and comfortable during intimate scenes. One big step forward is having intimacy coordinators.

They’re professionals who make sure actors are comfortable during filming and that intimate scenes are done realistically without anyone feeling exploited – something that was often ignored in Game of Thrones.

The show didn’t use intimacy coordinators, so scenes like Sansa’s r*pe felt exploitative and unnecessary. But after the #MeToo movement highlighted these problems, HBO made it a rule to have intimacy coordinators on all their shows from 2018 onwards.

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Watch Game of Thrones on HBO.

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