Follying around

Controversial scenes from GAME OF THRONES that the actors didn’t want to shoot

Game of Thrones’ addictive scenes of often gratuitous violence and scandalous romances are sometimes watched through your fingers. So it’s not hard to imagine that shooting them was quite...

Przemysław Mudlaff

31 July 2023

Controversial scenes from GAME OF THRONES that the actors didn't want to shoot

Here are some scenes from Benioff and Weiss’ epic production that the actors didn’t want to shoot or don’t remember fondly.

Cersei's walk o shame

game of thrones cersei walk of shame lena headey

The scene of Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) walk of atonement, which took place in the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones, is a key and also the most difficult moment for this villainous character.The penance of Lord Casterly Rock’s daughter was executed in broad daylight. A completely naked penitent with a shaved head walked from the Great Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep. Her march was accompanied by acts of physical and verbal violence from the citizens of King’s Landing.

It turns out that the naked walk of shame through the streets of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms was also a difficult experience for Lena Headey, who plays the role of Cersei. The actress felt that shooting her naked for three days would have left her unable to fully portray Cersei’s emotional state, and besides, she couldn’t let that happen due to the fact that she is a mother. In one of the interviews, Headey also stated that while she does not deny that her character was evil, she did not believe that she deserved such a harsh punishment. Therefore, the role of Cersei in the already famous penitential march was played by two actresses. The body of Lord Casterly Rock’s daughter belonged from shoulder to toe to Rebecca Van Cleave’s double, and Cersei’s face belonged to Lena Headey. During the shooting of the scene around Dubrovnik, Lena in a beige dress was walking among about 500 extras, and Rebecca, completely naked, was next to her. The excellent cooperation of the ladies and the great work of the special effects specialists who “imposed” Headey’s head on Van Cleave’s body led to the creation of a believable, moving and nerve-wracking scene.

The theme of Cersei’s walk of atonement was inspired by events in the life of King Edward IV’s mistress, Jane Shore. After Edward’s death, his brother Richard who did not like Jane took the English throne, and accused her of immorality and promiscuity. As compensation to the late king’s lover, she was to walk the streets of London wearing nothing but a translucent white tunic.

Daenerys and the horse's heart

game of thrones denearys eating horse's heart

Let’s go back for a moment to the 6th episode of the 1st season of Game of Thrones. In it, Daenerys eats raw horse heart in front of the Dothraki old women. All this to prove her worth and to prove to the dosh khaleen that she carries a strong son under her heart. This scene looks so realistic that many viewers have wondered what exactly Emilia Clarke ate in it. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, I’m in a hurry to explain. Well, according to the actress herself, the horse’s heart was imitated by solidified jam, which unfortunately did not guarantee a pleasant taste experience. The organ prepared in this way tasted like a combination of bleach and uncooked pasta. The scene of consuming the horse’s heart was shot for several days. In that time, Clarke ate about 28 jam organs. There was a lot of nausea and vomiting.

Ramsay Bolton and the rape of Sansa Stark

Game of Thrones sansa stark ramsey bolton sophie turner ivan rheon

Season 5 of Game of Thrones was memorable not only for Cersei Lannister’s aforementioned walk of shame, but also for Ramsay Bolton’s infamous rape scene on Sansa Stark. Bolton sexually assaulted his wife (Sansa had previously been forced to marry) on their wedding night. He had his servant, Reek (formerly Theon Greyjoy) watch over this bestial act. According to Ivan Rheon, who plays Ramsay, the rape scene of Sansa Stark was the worst experience of his career and a nightmare for the entire film crew. The actor added that while in the case of his character, brutal acts of violence against other heroes were nothing new, it was the sexual assault on Stark that shocked him the most. Mainly due to the fact that the earlier torture scenes on Greyjoy, while equally sadistic, had a CGI barrier.

Embarrassing nudity

game of thrones nude scene

Sex scenes and nudity are actually the hallmarks of the Benioff and Weiss series. The strange thing is that up until 2018, Game of Thrones reportedly lacked a person to coordinate these types of sequences. In view of the above, many actors today admit that they simply felt uncomfortable when shooting intimate scenes. One such person is Jason Momoa, who was provoked to expose his genitals by one of the showrunners. Emilia Clarke recalls that Benioff and Weiss pressured her to undress, and since she was new to the industry, she did not want to cause difficulties in cooperation. She also remembers not even being given a bathrobe to cover herself between takes. The nudity scene is also described as traumatic, but generally quite funny, by Kristian Nairn, or Hodor in the series – the actor was promised intimacy, while during the recording of the sequence of shots, when he comes out of the water naked (he had an artificial penis installed), he was watched by dozens of people.

Death of Meryn Trant

game of thrones Meryn trant deathIn 2017, during the SXSW festival, David Benioff mentioned the most expensive death scene shot in Game of Thrones. To the surprise of fans of the series, the showrunner pointed to the murder of Meryn Trant by Arya Stark. This is the scene in the Bravoos brothel where Arya attacks her first victim (Meryn) and stabs him with a dagger in the eye. She then does the same with the other eye and finally slits Meryn’s throat. When Benioff was asked why this sequence of death was the most costly, the showrunner replied that Maisie Williams, who played Arya, couldn’t really gouge out Ian Beattie’s eyes. So it looks like Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane previously caused Oberyn Martell’s head to explode by forcing his eyes into his skull for real. But back to Meryn Trant, aka Ian Beattie. The actor does not remember the most expensive death scene in Game of Thrones well, because during its production he did not see anything for 12 hours. All because of the special make-up, which, although it looked impressive in the series, caused Beattie to play his death blindly.

Cardio with White Walkers

game of thrones thormund

Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) is one of those “smaller” Game of Thrones characters that the audience really liked. A rough tough guy who hid a huge heart under the outer shell. Hivju remembers his time in the Benioff and Weiss series quite fondly, except perhaps for the fight scenes with the White Walkers. Why? Well, the creatures seen on television are actually a group of extras, more than half of which were digitally added in post-production. So for the actors, this meant brandishing weapons and running into empty space to keep up with the choreography. The fight scenes led the Norwegian artist to the brink of physical endurance. In retrospect, however, he views shooting these sequences of shots as a cardio workout.

Przemysław Mudlaff

Przemysław Mudlaff

He appreciates the truth and sincerity of the intentions of its creators in cinema. He loves to be emotionally kicked and abused by the film, but also happy and amused. A hunter of film curiosities, references and connections. A fan of the works of PTA, von Trier, Kieślowski, Lantimos and Villeneuve. What he likes the most is talking about the cinema over a beer, and the beer has to be cold and thick, you know what.

See other posts from this author >>>