WARNING: If you’ve not yet seen the first episode of House of the Dragon, you’ll need to watch it and come back.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s continue.
So, last night’s episode saw viewers introduced to a whole host of new characters from the history of Westeros.
Amongst them were Matt Smith’s conniving Daemon Targaryen, Paddy Considine’s ill-fated King Viserys, and Sian Brooke’s Queen Aemma.
However, after the dust has settled, we can bid farewell to Aemma, as she died in childbirth after her husband Viserys had to make the difficult decision to lose her in the hope of keeping the baby.
In the end, neither survived.
What ensued was an horrific scene in which Aemma’s baby – who was breach – was taken out by some Westerosi form of Caesarean delivery, shown to us in incredibly gory fashion.
It’s fair to say that the scene was the most talked about thing after the show ended.
The scene, which has even been compared to the infamous ‘red wedding’ from the original Game of Thrones, has been defended by the world’s creator George RR Martin.
Responding to an allegation that the scene is ‘gratuitous’, Martin it ‘annoys the hell out of him’ when people suggest that.
He told Variety: “That [scene] is so powerful.
“Paddy performs that heartbreak, and the difficulty is on his face.
“The terror on his wife’s face, they’re both so powerful.
“Yeah, I think that was certainly the right way to go.”
Showrunner Ryan Condal also defended the method in which the scene was presented, stating it was ‘not meant' to be gratuitous.
He added: “It’s meant to show there’s a heavy theme in this particular period.
“In [the original book] Fire and Blood, there’s a lot of very difficult births.
“It was something we wanted to carry over the season.
“There’s this whole idea in Game of Thrones, or in the Middle Ages, or in historical age like this, that the men marched off to the battlefield and the women’s battlefield happened in the child bed.
“That was a very dangerous place to be.
“All of the complications that people go through in modern birth that are now fixed by science and medicine and surgery were not really possible back then.
“Any slight complication, anything could lead to very tragic consequences for the child and the mother.”
House of the Dragon is available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.Featured Image Credit: HBO