'House of the Dragon' Series Premiere

House of the Dragon viewers witnessed a rather disturbing sequence in the Game of Thrones prequel’s premiere Sunday night.

Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke) was all set to give birth to a son, which would have provided her husband, King Viserys Targaryen (P**** Considine), with a desperately needed heir to the Iron Throne.

Complications with the birth resulted in Viserys having to make a choice between saving Aemma or his child — via a certain-to-be-fatal medieval attempt at a cesarean.

The king chooses to try and save the child and essentially murders his beloved wife (who is fully conscious and terrified). Afterward, the child dies anyway.

It’s precisely the scene director was alluding to in The Hollywood Reporter‘s recent cover story on the making of House of the Dragon, and below are his expanded thoughts on the matter.

“Aemma says, ‘The child bed is our battlefield,'” says Sapochnik, who is showrunner on the series along with Ryan Condal.

“We felt that was an interesting way to explore the fact that for a woman in medieval times, giving birth was violence. It’s as dangerous as it gets. You have a 50/50 chance of making it.