Just a heads up that the following piece contains spoilers for the final episode of House of the Dragon season one - along with potentially triggering content about pregnancy loss and still birth
In this week's episode, we saw Rhaenyra (played by Emma D’Arcy) going into early labour after discovering that her father King Viserys (played by Paddy Considine) had died.
As a result, the baby was delivered stillborn - the sequence proving particularly graphic when Rhaenyra pulled the infant out herself through tears.
Insisting that she received no help, the princess battled through the physical and emotional pain alone as others in the room watched on in horror, in turn creating a 'heartbreaking' scene that many viewers found 'hard to watch - not least because this isn’t the first traumatic birth shown in the series; we also saw one in House of the Dragon’s first episode and then another in the sixth episode when Joffrey was born.
Posting on Twitter, one viewer said: “That birth scene was so hard to watch, and I wish Rhaenyra and Daemon had the time to grieve Visenya’s death.”
Another commented: “I just want to say those birth scenes in House of the Dragon have put me off having kids forever. I’m traumatised.”
While a third posted: “Omg this scene with Rhaenyra giving birth just broke my heart.”
Someone else agreed that it had been ‘hard to watch’, writing: “There were some rough parts in that ep[isode] involving Rhaenyra and her giving birth. That was hard to watch.”
Another viewer joked: "Find yourself someone who loves you as much as the House of the Dragon writers love a harrowing birth scene.”
Many people also shared trigger warnings online to alert others about what was in store, while a warning at the beginning of the episode said: "The following programme contains strong language and scenes which some viewers may find distressing."
The show’s creators have previously admitted that they weren't going to ‘shy away’ from depicting several birth scenes from the original source material and that it would use the scenes to explore ‘different themes’.
Co-creator Miguel Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter: “We have a number of births in the show and basically decided to give them different themes and explore them from different perspectives the same way I did for a bunch of battles on Thrones, where each time I tried to put a different spine in each so it wasn’t just doing the same thing as I don’t think putting a bunch of violence on screen for the sake of violence does any good in the world.”
Featured Image Credit: HBO
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