There’s a few things that people are always going to bring up whenever anyone raises Game of Thrones – with the first two probably being violence and sex. The hugely popular fantasy series caused controversy due to its depictions of rape and incest, and this affected the actors as well as the audience.
In a new interview with 70-year-old Northern Irish actor Ciarán Hinds, he reveals that the sex scenes were the reason he was in two minds over the decision to join Game of Thrones to play the ‘King Beyond the Wall’ Mance Rayder from the third season to the fifth. “I was rather put off by the amount of sexuality that was going on in it, because it was taking away from the actual political storytelling. But that’s business, I guess, from their perspective.”
The abundant sex scenes did nothing to stem Game of Thrones’ popularity, and were probably quite a large reason for its success. The creators of spin-off House of the Dragon have continued to include these scenes, and have not shied away from the inbreeding that goes up and down generations of the Targaryen family tree.
Ciarán Hinds has appeared in 70 movies since 1980, as well as around 30 TV series. Some of his recent roles include Martin Scorsese’s Silence, Red Sparrow with Jennifer Lawrence, Damien Chazelle’s First Man, The Wonder with Florence Pugh, and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast – for which he was Oscar nominated. Because of this, Hinds had a front row seat for the Smith-Rock slap and says; “To me it was just like, ‘Ach, lads, come on, no need for that.’”
Game of Thrones ran for eight seasons between 2011-2019, with the final season being something of a disappointment for fans. The first House of the Dragon season, which aired in 2022, has restored faith in the franchise, as it was largely critically-acclaimed and gained huge viewing figures.
Check out our guide to the best House of the Dragon characters.