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Critics say 'House of the Dragon' should have more viewer warnings before graphic scene

LA Premiere of "House of the Dragon"
Posted at 3:34 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 16:34:06-04

Warning: This article could contain spoilers even though it generally speaks about graphic scenes, not naming characters.

Fans have levied some criticism at the premiere of the Game of Thrones prequel "House of the Dragon" on HBO for not having enough graphic warnings or trigger warnings before graphic scenes, specifically a graphic birth scene.

On the fan site "Winter is Coming," Daniel Roman wrote that the premier "included some shocking moments," including a graphic birth scene. Roman said that even though the show is known to hit fans with some "gory twists," this one appeared to cross the line for many, calling it hard to watch.

Jen Coates, director of the bereavement support organization "Sands," told the BBC that it's "really important" for series like "House of the Dragon" to warn viewers about what they are going to see, when necessary.

Coates pointed out how some real-life traumas might be a basis for a similar trauma seen on TV to trigger harmful reactions in viewers.

She says warnings help, "That way, people can be better equipped with the knowledge and make an informed decision to watch or skip particular scenes or episodes," Coates said.

A trigger warning website called DoesTheDogDie.com has forums warning viewers about triggering scenes in shows. Its creator, John Whipple, said, "many trigger warnings on the site are very specific and don't apply to most people."

One viewer on Twitter wrote, "first episode of house of the dragon has some very graphic scenes. About had a panic attack."

Another wrote, "If you are pregnant & want to avoid this theme DO NOT WATCH House of the Dragon."

The blog Winter is Coming said that show runners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal reported that they had shown the scene to "as many women as possible" and spent a lot of time to be sure the producers were not "glorifying it."

Still, many are saying there should be more of a warning before it is shown.