Emilia Clarke’s Game of Thrones rape scene was ‘degrading’, claims Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Adam White
·1-min read
Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke in the controversial rape scene in the first season of ‘Game of Thrones' (HBO)
Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke in the controversial rape scene in the first season of ‘Game of Thrones' (HBO)

Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has claimed that Emilia Clarke’s first season rape scene was “tough and degrading” for the actor.

In the controversial scene, Clarke’s character Daenerys was raped by her new husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), for an act described in the show as a customary ritual of the fictional Dothraki people.

“For Emilia to play that in series one was really tough and degrading, because what that character goes through is horrific,” Coster-Waldau told The Times.

He added that it was true to George R R Martin’s original books, however, and aided in the character’s transformation.

“She’s sold to a guy who rapes her, but her way of getting through that is a massive journey, right?” the actor continued.

“You could argue that the way [she] turned out was because of being raised in this horrific way. Maybe that explains why Daenerys decides the only solution is to burn everything down. That’s the storytelling, and it’s interesting.”

Clarke herself previously expressed unease with the scene.

Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke in the controversial rape scene in the first season of ‘Game of Thrones'HBO
Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke in the controversial rape scene in the first season of ‘Game of Thrones'HBO

“Ask George R R Martin why he did that, ‘cause that’s on him,” she said in 2016. “But, I thought the consensual sex she has thereafter was genius. She is physically saying, ‘You can’t rape me again. I’m going to be in control and show you something you’ve never seen before.’”

Game of Thrones, which concluded in 2019, was often criticised for its depictions of rape, and its use of sexual violence against women as a narrative tool.

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