House of the Dragon has received criticism for its lack of a trigger warning before its dramatic first episode.
HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel was watched by a record-breaking international audience when it premiered earlier this week, but drew criticism on social media for including, without warning, a fatal birthing scene.
In the episode, King Viserys, played by Paddy Considine, orders a caesarean section to be performed on his wife Aemma Aryn – played by Sian Brooke – while she is conscious, and the operation kills both her and the baby.
While director Miguel Sapochnik told press he had consulted many women before deciding to include the scene, some charities believed a trigger warning should have been added ahead of the episode.
Jen Coates, the director of bereavement support charity Sands, told the BBC of the importance for shows like House of the Dragon to make people are aware of what might be shown. She said:
“I think it’s fairly traumatic for anybody actually.
“With 13 babies dying every day in the UK, the situation impacts an enormous community of people directly too.
“That way, people can be better equipped with the knowledge and make an informed decision to watch or skip particular scenes or episodes.”
Creator of trigger spoiler website Doesthedogdie.com, John Whipple, added that he believed streaming services should try to “tailor the warnings to each user, possibly even recommending what to watch based on a user’s specific triggers.”