Carice Van Houten and Liam Cunningham defend Game of Thrones nudity and tease Season 4
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

Carice Van Houten and Liam Cunningham recently attended a press event in London to promote Season 4 of Game of Thrones. The pair answered questions about the amount of nudity on the show, and also teased their characters storylines for the upcoming season.

Carice Van Houten is no stranger to nudity on Thrones, her character Melisandre has birthed a shadow assassin and had her fair share of sex scenes. So it’s no surpise that she defends showing the body’s natural state on screen: “We can see machine guns but we can’t see f**king – sorry – people? I really don’t get, I have to make a point here. Who sleeps with their bra on? I mean, sorry if that’s a Dutch approach but I think we need to get used to it. It’s part of life.”

When asked if there should be more male nudity on the show, she added: “Hell yeah! Of course it has to be functional and it mostly is. But in general that’s what I like about the show, not the sex per se but the nudity is part of life.”

Although he hasn’t had to bare all for the show as Davos Seaworth, Liam Cunningham agrees that nudity has it’s place on Thrones and is not demeaning to its female characters: “If there wasn’t a hugely strong female character in this, like [Melisandre], then it would be sexist. It’s just gratuitous. But some of the most dangerous characters in the show are women – there’s Cersei. They are extraordinarily well-drawn.”

Cersei may be dangerous, but it’s Melisandre that keeps Davos on his toes. Of their on-screen relationship he says: “It’s inclusive and it’s not just the strong man and the women as the stay-at-home wife or she’s there to be the hostage. She’s not functional. She’s f**king dangerous in this show and has to be watched.”

Nudity may have been the hot topic of the day, but the pair also gave a tease of what we can expect from Season 4.

Carice admits that we won’t be seeing as much of Melisandre this year, but that doesn’t mean what we will see won’t be good: “Stannis has a light season this year but we have a few meaty scenes. [...] Our storyline is going to move somewhere else and it’s going to be interesting because it’s going to collide with a world which we also know, and what’s going to happen there.”

And Liam reiterates what we have already learned about the flow of Season 4 as a whole: “One of the differences this year from reading the scripts is that, generally speaking, over the three seasons there’s been a slow and gradual build up with magnificent stories up to the big episodes which is usually episode 9. It’s not like that in this season. It’s kicking off very early on, it’s really dramatic and as opposed to the one big climax of the other season, there’s going to be several. It’s bigger, bolder, brassier – and I’m dying to see it as well”.

For the full article and more quotes from Carice and Liam visit The Independent!


113 Comments

  1. Doloures Edd
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Hodor?

  2. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    People should REALLY stop making a fuss about the nudity on this show. Really. It got old somewhere between the first and the second season.

  3. Greenjones
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    We can continue our Carice love from the earlier thread.

  4. Andrea Drake
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what people should say about Black Sails XD

  5. Rygar
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness they ain’t defending Tyrion and his almost non consentual fornication with Sansa.

  6. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I always appreciate more nude Mel (and Margaery, plz, also) so I’m glad to hear her perspective here. The thing is she’s totally right. Especially in the States we’re pretty stupid about priorities. It used to surprise me how much violence people would tolerate, yet one exposed set of tits and suddenly the sky is falling, think of the children, whatever. It’s just dumb.

    I’m in favor of nudity when it serves the plot, not when it’s obvious they’re trying to meet a breasts quota. And I would say the showrunners are getting much more skillful at keeping extraneous nudity limited.

  7. Colty
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Carice is a badass

  8. Turri
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    What’s their opinion of German 70′s porn, though?

  9. Ser Lucas Tyrell
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    “A few meaty scenes…”
    Bring on the action, Carice! It’s always welcome here. When it’s you, it is. Creepy leeches or no.

  10. Mr Fixit
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Turri:
    What’s their opinion of German 70′s porn, though?

    It’s great! Nothing better than some golden oldies to set me in the right mood for Season 4!

  11. dedwards
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Please stop making an issue of all the nudity people….I really enjoy it….

  12. Ser Lucas Tyrell
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    My fellow students were discussing how disgusting a recent gay kiss was on TV. I couldn’t help but think of how many times those same guys were saying how great were those scenes with people having their brains blown everywhere.

  13. Ser Lucas Tyrell
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I usually don’t even mind the gratuitous ones. The only one I remember having a real issue with was the one where Littlefinger spies his whores working. Really. That was one after the other after the other.

  14. Rygar
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Ser Lucas Tyrell,

    This would have been funnier if it wasn’t the brains that were being blown. ;)

  15. Jen@House Stark
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    More nude Jaime AND Viper ftw, please!!

  16. JD
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Stannis has a light season this year? This should be his biggest season yet?

  17. JD
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Also, ive never had a problem with the nudity either, the only scene i remember being annoyed with was Theon and the ugly whore on the boat, i just remember thinking to myself while watching that scene ‘these precious minutes could be used on Jon Snow’

  18. Greenjones
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    JD,

    In terms of what is left in aSoS, he will less screentime than before. It will be his biggest season yet in other ways.

  19. Leif
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I just want a little bit more equality. That’s it. Just a few more attractive shirtless men, not even nude (I don’t need to see floppy penis) and no, a quick second shot a some chubby men in Kings Landing doesn’t count.

    I feel like they just don’t want female viewers when they have a sex scene with a completely naked female and the male is wearing multiple layers. I mean, who the heck has sex like that???

  20. ATG
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy:
    People should REALLY stop making a fuss about the nudity on this show. Really. It got old somewhere between the first and the second season.

    This.

  21. Silverp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    JD,

    that theon scene is straight from the book

  22. Annara Snow
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    JD:
    Also, ive never had a problem with the nudity either, the only scene i remember being annoyed with was Theon and the ugly whore on the boat, i just remember thinking to myself while watching that scene ‘these precious minutes could be used on Jon Snow’

    I suppose you’re referring to captain’s daughter – she wasn’t a whore, that scene was right from the book, and it showed what a dick Theon was when it comes to women. It would make more sense to complain about the scenes between Theon and Ros, which didn’t really serve any important purpose, but I guess those precious minutes were better spent since Ros was hotter…?

    I don’t have a problem with nudity per se, but there are some things that annoy me:’
    1) when they make up completely pointless scenes and waste precious minutes just to show some nudity ( brothel scenes with LF, Pod the sex god) or when they put naked women having sex with each other as scenery while the men are monologing about their lives or politics (I guess they think the audience is too shallow to pay attention…)
    2) when it’s just women getting nude rather than the men (“cause, dude, we need to make the 18-30 straight male demographics watch, and they just want to see T&A! Female viewers, what’s that? Wait, but they don’t like sex, right?”… or whatever their line of thinking is)
    3) the fact that the on-screen nudity is in 99.99% cases limited to women (and sometimes men) who are young and have “perfect” bodies according to Hollywood standards. Come on, showrunners, if you’re so bold, let’s see the human body as it really is! Why just show a small part of the human population? Show the older people, the fat ones, those who don’t look like models, porn stars and Chippendale dancers. Now that would really be daring.
    So far they only went there with Hodor in season 1, which made me laugh really hard, although the point was to show his prosthetic. But why not do it with a female, too? They spend so much time showing prostitutes – but they want us to think that they all look like porn stars? Come on. Where’s the realism? OK, maybe LF’s brothel only employs the super-attractive ones, but if you’re gonna focus so much on prostitution, let’s see a more realistic portrayal of hookers working at inns and cheap brothels or camp followers.

    And don’t even get me started on the fact that every woman in the show is perfectly shaven. Even the wildlings.

  23. Broken Wolf
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of nudity, we haven’t even seen Cersei’s WOP yet. I’m looking forward to that.

  24. Alex
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Leif,

    Amen to that.

    Also, has anyone else here seen Black Butterflies? It’s a film that was in US theaters around the time Season 2 started, and it featured Carice and Liam playing lovers–featuring multiple nude sex scenes between the two of them. Apart from it being amusing for me seeing the pair of them in the film and then again a week later in The North Remembers, it’s also amusing to see them both commenting on the subject of nudity in the same article.

  25. Sister Wrister
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    She’s from Holland, isn’t that veerd?

  26. Ser Lucas Tyrell
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Rygar is Rygaring again.

  27. Rygar
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    Stop beating around the bush.

  28. Doug
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    She is really underrated. She is playing her character almost to perfection in my opinion. It’s very close to what I imaged when reading it. She’s not featured nearly as much in the show or in the promotionals as she should be. She’s near the top in terms of acting for the show in my opinion.

  29. Chickenduck
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Amen, Carice.

    I just wish they had more hair.

    If I can bring up Natalia Tena’s line again (for the 7th or 8th time): “I offered to grow a massive bush and they said no. I mean, Osha should have muff, like muff down to her knees.”

  30. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    I didn’t think Theon’s scene on the boat was bad at all. The ones that I don’t like tend to all be ones that happen in LF’s brothel. The part where LF spying on the customer, wiping the whore’s mouth, etc, and then the “play with her ass” while he did his evil monologue. Just all really clumsy, OTT stuff I think. When it’s outside the brothel context, it always seems more fitting to the story.

  31. Chickenduck
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    She is also, in my opinion, the hottest woman on the show, and doing a stellar job in her interpretation of Mel.

  32. Rygar
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Ser Lucas Tyrell:
    Rygar is Rygaring again.

    Yay I am finally a verb!

  33. WompWomp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    After seeing Scene 27 from the RoboCop fan remake, I’m all donged out.

    Zack,

    Sign me up as a sick bastard, but I actually thought the mouthwipe was hilarious.

  34. Turncloak
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Just saw True Detective episode 4. Holy shit, the hype is real. God I love HBO

  35. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    Ack. I had more in my reply but I must have cut some out inadvertently.

    Anyway, you talk about a desire to see equality in nudity going beyond the already-much-discussed disparity between male and female nudity, also extending to people of both genders who don’t fit the ‘beautiful people’ nudity mold.

    I remember the wineseller who tried to assassinate Dany in season 1 being used as ‘comedic nudity’. Is that the only time so far? (eta: OH, Hodor. So, two males then…) I am on board with your desire to have more of that kind of nudity, and of both genders, rather than saving it for titillation.

    I agree with everything you said, in essence.

    WompWomp,

    I laughed, but it was the way people laugh when something horrifying is happening. A coping mechanism of sorts. hah

  36. Morna the Witch
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Well, if it’s any consolation, Kit said last year that we will be seeing “a bit of him”. ;)

  37. WompWomp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    I like to think Pod the Sex God was really just Pod focusing on the girls’ needs over his own. He strikes me as that sort of boy, and that just might be enough to win over the working girls, who are used to performing for men who don’t see them as people, whose only desire is to see their own needs met.

    In short, I think Pod’s hidden manpower was empathy, which can make all the difference in a romantic encounter. That sort of outlook is what sold me on Ed Skrein’s Daario. He convincingly portrayed someone who found pleasure in the pleasure of his partners without coming off as an anachronistic crowd-pleaser. He actually had a convincing philosophy.

    I’m not saying they should have gone that route with Podrick. It caused more confusion than amusement, at least among the vocal minority of fans. Still, I managed to comfortably rationalize it.

  38. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    I like this theory. I think it makes the most sense. Most of their customers are probably in there for their own satisfaction only and if the girl enjoys herself that’s just something extra, a byproduct.

    Pod being a ‘giving’ soul is something that seems to fit perfectly with everything we know about him.

  39. WompWomp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I watch the screen too closely, but you can clearly see Theon’s dongle in S1 after his throw with Ros after her particularly theatrical moan. It actually broke the immersion for me, as he’s supposedly just pulled out of her but is clearly flaccid. Still, it’s consistent with Lily Allen’s anecdotes of Alfie nonchalantly using their shared bathroom whether it was occupied or not, unmoved by her objections to his considerable manhood in plain sight. She said it was big, and she was quite right. Even flaccid, it’s quite the piece he has on his person.

    Zack,

    I actually thought it was hilarious, how coldly practical Littlefinger was during an otherwise horrifying moment. To him, customers are just customers, and whores are merely commodities. I thought his emotionless prep work on Miss Milk Moustache and his remorselessly presenting her to the annoyed client was a great character moment as well as a graphic gag we’d never see elsewhere.

  40. Sister Wrister
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Rygar: Annara Snow,

    Stop beating around the bush.

    She already told you. There is no bush to beat around.

    Anyways. Carice Van Hot Hot Hot is SO HOT. Not sure about this one god…. Errr… Two gods… Errr… Whatever. But I am smitten with the red priestess. Might as well be a Florent

  41. WompWomp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    It’s the only logical takeaway for me. Clearly the girls were pleased, and Pod is noted by Ros (armed with firsthand testimony from the girls) that he wasn’t endowed above the average Joe.

  42. WompWomp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    Yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of Bessie in her prime. Just sayin’.

    It does take me out of the show when it’s all hairless honeys and hardbodies. It can actually sap a lot of the show’s efforts to convey a convincing period/fantasy setting. Tyrion’s pitstop at Winterfell had a nice variety of body types. So did Robert’s scene with Jaime guarding the door. Curves and hair-down-there adds character, even today. I’m not sure why we’re so taken by starved-down physiques and eerily childlike hairlessness. Sure, there’s the aesthetic, but it’s a shame that’s become a broad standard for beauty.

  43. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everyone about the pube situations. It really doesn’t make sense for every woman to be completely shaven. There seems to be some backlash against this standard lately. Not long ago Cameron Diaz advocated for not going bare and it went viral. Maybe that will sink in with D&D. It’s sad that made Natalia shave. She’s right about how Osha should have a forest down there.

    I guess we should just be grateful they aren’t hiring actresses with implants.

  44. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    Just saw True Detective episode 4. Holy shit, the hype is real. God I love HBO

    It’s really making up for our loss of Breaking Bad.

  45. WompWomp
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Suddenly I’m indifferent to the news that they passed on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It’s all gonna be okay!

  46. King in the North Carolina
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    WompWomp:
    Annara Snow,

    Curves and hair-down-there adds character, even today. I’m not sure why we’re so taken by starved-down physiques and eerily childlike hairlessness. Sure, there’s the aesthetic, but it’s a shame that’s become a broad standard for beauty.

    Agree with you on curves; I never thought there was anything sexy about the stick-thin runway model look. Even a naturally thin girl should still have a butt, hips, and boobs, IMO.

    I’m of a different opinion on hair, though. I grew up in the hirsute 70s, but have been a fan of the smooth look ever since it started to become popular. And it doesn’t seem unrealistic to me that some highborn ladies(and some prostitutes as well), might go in for some grooming. I’d agree that it seems unlikely the wildlings would partake in those practices, and I think the show’s been true to that – if I remember correctly, Osha was sporting a very natural look in season two.

  47. FictionIsntReal
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    The most common objection is not merely that “Game of Thrones” contains nudity/sex. It’s that at times it seems shoe-horned in by that HBO exec who “represents the pervert demographic”, as he said to Neil Marshall. Theon’s scene on the boat is not an example of that, it provides a good setup & contrast to what happens when he lands at Pyke.

  48. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Rygar: Yay I am finally a verb!

    Congrats! Next step: the adjective.

  49. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    This interview (again) makes Stannis+Yara unlikely.

  50. JD
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    Those are your words not mine, i dont even like Ros but no, i dont enjoy anyone more based on looks.. tbh i just never remembered that Theon scene being in the book but now that you mention captains daughter it does sound a little more familiar.

    Regardless, far too many scenes were invented for S2 that didnt help the overall story and just took away from the quality of others (Jon Snow, Catelyn)

  51. Chickenduck
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    King in the North Carolina:
    WompWomp,

    If I remember correctly, Osha was sporting a very natural look in season two.

    ?!

    Well, two possibilities. Either you don’t remember correctly, or your definition of “natural look” is pretty bare!

    She had bugger-all pubes in that scene.

  52. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    The pube/boob ratio in GoT is unacceptable!

  53. Paul
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Yes female bush and armpits please, it is almost getting to the stage that someone with hair on their bodies are viewed as abnormal.

  54. Dornishman
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    More penis please. The show needs it!

  55. Monsterfurby
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    “We can see machine guns but we can’t see f**king – sorry – people?” — every European ever on American media sensibilities.

  56. Lady
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of the criticism about nudity is that it’s not really an equal amount. I’ve had this conversation over and over again with my fellow female ASOIAF fans. Nudity on GoT is almost exclusively female. You can count instances of male nudity on one hand and couldn’t hope to keep track of all the naked females we’ve seen on the show. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “problem with nudity” but a lack of equality in the nudity. If guys get to stare at breasts every week, I don’t see why the ladies shouldn’t get some nudity from the guys. We’ve had several scenes where the girls are butt naked and the guys are in layers and layers of clothes. Jon/Ygritte’s scene, Dany/Daario, Melisandre/Gendry. It’s not like they’re not showing it because of lack of opportunity. I understand the frustration. It’s time we stop pretending the female half of this fanbase doesn’t exist and assuming that guys are so small-minded that they’re going to stop watching the show because there’s a closer ratio of female to male nudity.

  57. Sister Wrister
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Who knows, maybe the pendulum of popular culture as it pertains to soft core porn and the presence of pubes will come swinging back, driving huge hairy muffs. Or maybe all of humanity will be goin for the alien look.

    The decision is made… where?

    Made me think of this interview I saw the other day, with television writer Ron Serling, from 1959!. What I’m thinking of starts about 2:45.

    I think Osha’s pubes are all over the original source material.

  58. dragonreborn
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    I like both houten and cunningham so much that I can’t take sides when they fight in the show :)

  59. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Lady: If guys get to stare at breasts every week, I don’t see why the ladies shouldn’t get some nudity from the guys. We’ve had several scenes where the girls are butt naked and the guys are in layers and layers of clothes. Jon/Ygritte’s scene, Dany/Daario, Melisandre/Gendry. It’s not like they’re not showing it because of lack of opportunity.

    Jon didn’t have all his clothes on, though. He simply wasn’t shown naked (because Kit Harington had broken his leg and was wearing a cast). And in the other two scenes, the nakedness of the women didn’t underline their powerlessness, it underlined they were in charge. You cannot possibly believe that Gendry has the upper hand in the scene with Mel because he’s wearing trousers? (Nevermind that I would argue it’s a technical reason in this situation, too, because showing an erect penis is not possible outside of porn – and for the story to work, it had to be erect. Also, may I say that I find it a bit peculiar, that instead of being worried for Gendry in this situation, people are whining that they didn’t get to see Joe Dempsie’s goods? Seems a bit shallow to me. )

    Now I’m not saying there isn’t a discrepancy – for each time a more or less naked lady walks around on screen for no apparent reason (brothel scenes, I’m looking at you), it would be nice to have a similarly build gentleman randomly strolling around. Or take the case of Robb/Talisa – you see much more of Oona here, and that is a bias towards the straight male viewership. But it’s not an either-or case, and to ignore for example the situation in Mel’s nude scenes – which all had her in charge over the men, who were all wearing more clothes – is not only selling the show short, it’s also a very weird take on nakedness.

  60. Lady
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Satin: He simply wasn’t shown naked (because Kit Harington had broken his leg and was wearing a cast).

    He’s actually said that he wasn’t wearing the cast anymore, he just couldn’t strain his ankle with the jump into the pool and risk a recently healed bone being reinjured. There was still a lot of opportunity in that scene for Jon to be naked, and Kit even thought he was going to be showing a lot more that wound up being edited out. He’s actually been one of the most vocal males on the show when it comes to the subject because he’s been sat next to both Rose and Emilia while they answer questions about their nude scenes and call them uncomfortable and embarrassing. He’s also noted the excess of female nudity compared to male nudity. And saying that Melisandre needed to be naked in order to establish her dominance over men is really weird. What did her nudity contribute to the scene, exactly? Not much. It takes a lot for a hardcore GOT fan to say that female nudity on the show is gratuitous or “shallow”, but the mere suggestion of more male nudity is absurd. It speaks volumes.

  61. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Lady: He’s actually said that he wasn’t wearing the cast anymore, he just couldn’t strain his ankle with the jump into the pool and risk a recently healed bone being reinjured.

    Ah, okay. Well, in that case, I’m totally with you.

    Lady: And saying that Melisandre needed to be naked in order to establish her dominance over men is really weird. What did her nudity contribute to the scene, exactly? Not much. It takes a lot for a hardcore GOT fan to say that female nudity on the show is gratuitous or “shallow”, but the mere suggestion of more male nudity is absurd. It speaks volumes.

    No, you misunderstood me here.

    I’m not saying Mel needed to be naked. I’m saying it has been established from the start that Mel uses her sexuality and her naked body to create magic and to influence men – but also to shock them, like when she teases Davos about wanting to see what’s under her robes, and then presenting her instant pregnancy. She’s never been in any way coy about this and it’s always very matter of fact. I’ve always liked it because it’s a part of the character and it’s very clear that it doesn’t make her less powerful (mind, she also wouldn’t be less powerful if she didn’t get naked. It’s part of her MO, but it’s not the source of her power).

    As for what the nudity contributed to the scene – she’s seducing an incredibly inexperienced male teenager who is extremely skittish, but has a crush on her. And I’m afraid to say, the easiest way to do that is showing him boobs. Also, it throws off Davos and Stannis when they come storming in later. All very useful.

    As I said, I don’t think you are wrong, and yes, there is a problem on many levels if male nudity is called absurd, while female nudity is taken for granted. I simply think that applying a simple statistic to scenes like this one and say it’s problematic because the woman is more naked than the guy is simplifying the possible uses of nudity in illustrating power dynamics.

    (I feel the Dany example is a better one, actually, because the way the show has portrayed her nudity has often been problematic. It’s all fine and good if she’s queenly and in charge in the scene with Daario, and her nakedness underlines this, but it doesn’t drive away the bitter taste in my mouth that was left by a lot of her scenes in S1 – here they used her nakedness to emphasize her vulnerability and powerlessness, but at the same time, it had an element of “but she’s also sexy!” that made it pretty icky.)

  62. GeekFurious
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The reason people make a big thing out of the nudity on GAME OF THRONES but not other shows that use it as much, if not more, is because GOT is the biggest show on premium cable. And the best. So what can they do but whine about nudity? It’s just hyperbolic types trying to find SOMETHING to complain about because they can’t be heard any other way.

  63. Lord Davos
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    True, and the show is fantasy. It clicks for some people when its mashed up with these things.

  64. NomadicDirewolf
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    whilst i do agree that the nudity in game of thrones is made out to probably be a bigger thing than it is because of how popular the it is (there are shows with a lot more nudity out there from what i hear) I think it does occasionally cross the line where it becomes nudity for the sake of nudity. I agree with Carice that nudity and sex are just parts of life that we shouldn’t be so worried about, so that is why I think that the policy should be that they shouldn’t deliberately avoid nudity when it logically would be there. This is what the show does most of the time, but what annoys me is that sometimes the show seems to go out of its way to show nudity, having nudity and sex for the sake of it, and thats what I get annoyed about.

  65. Azzy Mahmood
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    What the hell is up with so many spoiler-free posts? Unsullied wading through this will not be amused.

  66. WompWomp
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Monsterfurby:
    “We can see machine guns but we can’t see f**king – sorry – people?” — every European ever on American media sensibilities.

    “Guns don’t kill people. The sight of a penis and/or pudenda does. Every time, 99% of the time.” – Senator Buttface

  67. Hodor's Odor
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Its sad we didnt saw the penis of maester pycelle or maester aemon:/
    also no boobs of old nan :/

    they could even show the direwolves having s3x eachother .. that would make justice to the show

  68. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    As a longtime viewer of HBO shows I also have to say that they have amped up their male nudity quotient extremely with True Blood and Game Of Thrones. I don’t remember seeing any even moderately sexy naked guys on The Sopranos. (Not that that is a reason to let them off the hook, but maybe a sign that they are slowly moving on from exclusively catering to straight male “interests.”)

  69. FNF
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Lady:
    I think a lot of the criticism about nudity is that it’s not really an equal amount. I’ve had this conversation over and over again with my fellow female ASOIAF fans. Nudity on GoT is almost exclusively female. You can count instances of male nudity on one hand and couldn’t hope to keep track of all the naked females we’ve seen on the show. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “problem with nudity” but a lack of equality in the nudity. If guys get to stare at breasts every week, I don’t see why the ladies shouldn’t get some nudity from the guys. We’ve had several scenes where the girls are butt naked and the guys are in layers and layers of clothes. Jon/Ygritte’s scene, Dany/Daario, Melisandre/Gendry. It’s not like they’re not showing it because of lack of opportunity. I understand the frustration. It’s time we stop pretending the female half of this fanbase doesn’t exist and assuming that guys are so small-minded that they’re going to stop watching the show because there’s a closer ratio of female to male nudity.

    Forgive me for being ‘that guy’ who tries to tell women how their own minds function, but it is a pretty well established fact that when it come sexual psychology, men are (in general) far more ‘visual’ than women in gauging sexual attractiveness hence why men watch more porn and what not, while women (in general terms) prefer to fantasise (hence the reason why romantic novels are aimed at women).

    I’m not for one second excusing the objectification of women on TV. In fact, I agree that most of the nudity on shows like GoT isn’t needed. However, the fact of the matter is that HBO know that these types of shows are more inclined towards a male market. Not only that, in the books, female nudity is far more prevalent.

    Just my two cents/pennies/yen.

    edit: I just noticed you mentioned ‘female half of the fanbase’. I think you’ll find, it is less than a half…for sure. As aforementioned, that is precisely why HBO add these pointless, female nude scenes.

  70. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    FNF,

    nah, can’t be the reason. In that case, they’d give us equal amounts of naked men for gay guys, who’d be mostly visual after all, too.

  71. FNF
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Satin,

    I think you missed the point about demographics. What fraction of the audience is gay? Enough to justify the Loras x Renly scenes and Loras x Random Guy? I doubt it quite frankly. If anything, D&D were being generous and the women are getting shafted to a greater extent (excuse the pun).

    Basically, it is a combination of norms, demographics and psychology that has contributed to the number of pointless sex scenes in the show.

    Also, another point is that (as far as I remember) there were zero gay scenes in the books (not counting THAT Cersei scene in book 4).

  72. Lord Davos
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    FNF,

    Was it not 43% female and 57% male? Fairly half cut. The books are longer too, so i bet i have spent more time reading about naked women in the first book, than in the whole show.

  73. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    FNF:
    Satin,

    I think you missed the point about demographics. What fraction of the audience is gay? Enough to justify the Loras x Renly scenes and Loras x Random Guy? I doubt it quite frankly. If anything, D&D were being generous and the women are getting shafted to a greater extent (excuse the pun).

    I didn’t miss the point about demographics (although I’m sure the difference is disproportionally bigger than it would have to be if they went by demographics). I’m just saying the rationale behind this has nothing to do with sexual psychology, and everything with the assumption that there is a significant number of straight men who’ll subscribe to HBO to watch the show for violence and naked women. It’s a part of their viewership HBO is counting on now like they have in the past. I’m sure the showrunners like them as little as David Chase liked the fans who watched Sopranos for all the killings, but apparently they bring in the numbers.

    ETA: 43% to 57%? That’s more than even I thought, although I was guessing something around 35% female or so. Fantasy has never been as much of a male-read genre as it was made out to be, at least in my experience.

  74. zod
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    FNF,

    We actually have the numbers: it’s 57 percent male and 43 percent female, according to HBO.

  75. FNF
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    Was it? If so, I apologise. Funny considering a couple of women I get along with are show fanatics ._.’

    It still doesn’t refute the points I make about the basic psychology behind it though. And are there really that many women who are fans of the show yet are mad at the amount of female nudity? If anything, those figures prove that the vast majority don’t find it an issue.

  76. FNF
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Satin,

    That just seems nonsensical to me. Who the fuck watches HBO shows for sex? I doubt HBO view it that way or else they would have far more sex scenes in their shows. It’s far more likely that they supplement the show with these pointless female nude scenes because of the psychology behind guys thinking ‘…dat ass’ while they’re watching the show.

  77. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    FNF: If anything, those figures prove that the vast majority don’t find it an issue.

    You’re overlooking the amount of people – men and women – who watch it despite probably having issues with some elements. The show has POC fans, too, despite having virtually no significant characters of colour.

    Besides, just because you haven’t read it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been written. This is the internet, after all. (And not to mention the people who watch without gabbing on the internet about it. ;))

  78. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    FNF:
    Satin,

    That just seems nonsensical to me. Who the fuck watches HBO shows for sex? I doubt HBO view it that way or else they would have far more sex scenes in their shows. It’s far more likely that they supplement the show with these pointless female nude scenes because of the psychology behind guys thinking ‘…dat ass’ while they’re watching the show.

    I’m the wrong person to ask here, I’m neither male nor straight, nor do I watch anything just for sex.

    That’s fine by me, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  79. axia777
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    People have no complaints about the violence but the bit ch about tits. Never change America, never change. The hypocrisy is AMAZING.

  80. Joshua Atreides
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see the Carice as Mel hate finally die. Probably one of the best female performances on the show. She just radiates a fanatical confidence and surety into everything that she does.

  81. Brena
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    As a 30-something year-old woman, I have no issue with the nudity and/or sex. The only issue I have about the sex is that it’s incredibly lame. The most “forced” nudity/sex moments usually just make me laugh (I thought the mouth wiping was hilarious).

    I certainly wouldn’t protest having more attractive male nudity, though. Just because…

    Joshua Atreides:
    Nice to see the Carice as Mel hate finally die. Probably one of the best female performances on the show. She just radiates a fanatical confidence and surety into everything that she does.

    I hated that character in the books. Not even a good kind of hatred like for Joffrey, just a “my god this character is boring and reading her chapters is a drag”. But on tv, I find Carice’s interpretation of her fascinating.

  82. Al Swearengen
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I am more annoyed about Melisandre refusing to let Gendry have a little fun before she stuck leeches on his Hodor.

  83. Ray Feighery
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    That just made me think of the “Blackbeard” scene from the Pilot of “Black Sails” I won’t ruin it…just watch it! :)

  84. Balerion
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Carice is great.
    This whole show is great. Nudity is part of life and may be shown onscreen. Not too much but a touch here and there is just fine.

  85. Ozymandias
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Carice is hot. That’s all I’m saying ^^

  86. Lord Davos
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    FNF,

    Yeah, the show is pretty feminine.
    Compared to Spartacus, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, there is a tender quality among much of the action.
    Mark of high dramas to have such strong developing women like Sansa, Arya, Catelyn and Cersei. With Dany and Arianne George hints about feminism.
    Maybe what i love about GoT.
    It got limited appeal and controversial topics, but the universal qualities makes it both timeless and a wildcard pop culture phenomenon. Now that George is removing race/class boundaries in the novels at the same time as getting a complete and equal amount of PoV in the story, he is becoming the Dickens of fantasy. He already is, the Queens hand is my favorite chapter in the series, together with the Kingmaker.
    He has eclipsed Gaiman and Tolkien, in my opinion. The fun of the story is going down, thought provoking is going up. Just compare it to Steven Erikson, Malazan book, he said himself he can never compare himself to The Grrm.
    Puh, long rambling post!

  87. WompWomp
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen:
    I am more annoyed about Melisandre refusing to let Gendry have a little fun before she stuck leeches on his Hodor.

    I remember a female user or two lamenting the lack of a visible erection in that scene, which led me to wonder whether erections have some unpublicized restrictions placed on them in media. Even the dongage in Spartacus was usually flopping about, and nude women on even the most risqué shows are usually sporting some modesty bush, groomed or not.

    Maybe such restrictions exist on depictions of functioning genitals, but I’m sure the more likely reason is the fact these are serialized dramas and not porn, where the performers and their moving parts naturally assume more active roles on camera.

  88. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp: I remember a female user or two lamenting the lack of a visible erection in that scene, which led me to wonder whether erections have some unpublicized restrictions placed on them in media.

    Not even unpublicized. You cannot show an erect penis on TV. It’s restricted to porn, pure and simply.

    (Nevermind that I’m pretty sure the actors in question would protest. They usually apparently get a little “sock” to avoid accidental erections or any indecency, but can you imagine a director asking an actor to “get it up”? Not gonna happen on dramatic TV. Also, in the example of Gendry, as cool as the actor may have been with live leeches, I’m sure he would have been less chill about that particular area.)

  89. Satin
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Brena:

    I hated that character in the books. Not even a good kind of hatred like for Joffrey, just a “my god this character is boring and reading her chapters is a drag”. But on tv, I find Carice’s interpretation of her fascinating.

    I have a similar reaction… no actual hatred for her in the books, but a lot about her is so ridiculous. The way she is described sounds like a 12-year old boy would imagine an evil sexy sorceress… and the way everyone always thought that she led Stannis astray, while it seemed pretty obvious that she enabled him, but a lot of the issues were his own really irritated me – much as I liked Davos and Cressen otherwise. Her appearances become much more bearable when you imagine that she lurks behind doors until someone says something that allows her the most dramatic and timely entrance.

    Carice’s Mel on the other hand is so confident and regal, and so obviously gives no shit about the morals of those puny heathens or what they may think of her, she’s a joy to watch. (And I say that while thinking she treated Gendry like crap and really shouldn’t enable Stannis or Selyse. And that the pyromania is maybe becoming a problem. But still, she’s fun.)

  90. haltwhogoesthere
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Something that seems to escape the notice of people who bring up the “we can see violence but not nudity” argument: generally the people who dislike excessive nudity also dislike excessive violence. I’m indifferent, myself, but it’s always seemed like a strange point to make. In my experience, people who are going to be vocal about showing two people having sex are also going to be vocal about showing senseless, graphic violence. It’s not like people are just absolutely fine with guns and violence and nobody says anything about it. A good example is Theon last season. While it makes one seem,enlightened, righteous and edgy to angrily defend nudity in television and cry HYPOCRISY, it sort of ignores the fact that whether it’s a machine gun or a penis, if it’s done just to titillate or adds nothing, someone somewhere is probably speaking out against it. The nudity in game of thrones is a talking point because a lot of the time it doesn’t add much and isn’t wholly necessary. People had a problem with Theon’s torture too, after it started feeling excessive and redundant. Soooo, while personally I’m not strongly opposed to either, I think it’s foolish to act as if american society is completely fine with seeing violence but flips a shit when they see nudity.

  91. Alice
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Just a heads up, HBO has put this new commercial for the season 3 DVD on their youtube channel :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fJ-YKex-oc

  92. Rygar
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I only watch GoT in the nude.

  93. tysnow
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    Well, that’s because Stannis and Davos walked in on them, but also the writers wrote the scene that way. I agree if their going to show sex, both parties MUST BE NUDE, male and female, equal opportunity for sex organs.
    FYI HBO: The show will attract more female viewers, and male viewership won’t decline, it is a win/win situation.

  94. Hollyoak
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Doug:
    She is really underrated. She is playing her character almost to perfection in my opinion. It’s very close to what I imaged when reading it. She’s not featured nearly as much in the show or in the promotionals as she should be. She’s near the top in terms of acting for the show in my opinion.

    This.

  95. queenofthorns
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Deadwood did sex/nudity right, IMO. It was very rarely sexy AT ALL which made it interesting. Also, the women had armpit hair AND bush, and the men had chest hair! Yay realism!

    GoT had a chance to do similar (and hey it could still change). In fact, the books are quite similar in feeling to the sex in deadwood – sex is usually ugly, clumsy, and akward. Instead the show sex scenes mostly feel like a horny 12 year old boy wrote them.

    In my opinion those who claim “GoT has to do sex/nudity this (sexist and unrealistic) way, it’s what people expect from HBO” haven’t watched very many HBO shows. I don’t know any other HBO drama that treats sex in such an immature way.

  96. Rygar
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    queenofthorns:
    Deadwood did sex/nudity right, IMO.It was very rarely sexy AT ALL which made it interesting.Also, the women had armpit hair AND bush, and the men had chest hair!Yay realism!

    GoT had a chance to do similar (and hey it could still change).In fact, the books are quite similar in feeling to the sex in deadwood – sex is usually ugly, clumsy, and akward.Instead the show sex scenes mostly feel like a horny 12 year old boy wrote them.

    In my opinion those who claim “GoT has to do sex/nudity this (sexist and unrealistic) way, it’s what people expect from HBO” haven’t watched very many HBO shows.I don’t know any other HBO drama that treats sex in such an immature way.

    Yes!

    Especially the “Tit Licker” scene. His type never cause any trouble and they always pay a premium.

  97. Satin
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    queenofthorns: Deadwood did sex/nudity right, IMO. It was very rarely sexy AT ALL which made it interesting. Also, the women had armpit hair AND bush, and the men had chest hair! Yay realism!

    Hmm, wonder if detractors really would feel better if show replaced the random prostitute walk-ons with Tyrion blowjob-monologues. They could try that in Season 5. “Where do whores go? Where do whores go?” Could be the show’s new “Where are my dragons??!”

    Satin: I don’t know any other HBO drama that treats sex in such an immature way.

    I don’t know if True Blood was particularly immature, but it definitely was boring in that respect.

  98. Al Swearengen
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh and they really need to ban merkins, they just look silly!

  99. Sister Wrister
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Super fuzz big muff

  100. anon
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Broken Wolf:
    Speaking of nudity, we haven’t even seen Cersei’s WOP yet. I’m looking forward to that.

    Like *this* is actually happening with Lena Headey. Right.

  101. Greenjones
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    anon,

    If someone could find it, she said something that alludes to her being completely down to filming that scene. She’s been naked before, she says she’s just holding out for a scene when it would have the biggest impact. Like that scene.

  102. Winter Is Coming
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    anon,

    Sounds like it is…

    “I’ve said from day one that I’ve got no problem with nudity. I’ve done it throughout my career. But for this character, it’s been better for her regality and her feistiness to not bare her flesh until she has to. When it’s out of her control. And if that ever happens, it won’t be Cersei being seductive or sexy. She’ll be stripped. That kind of a scene will have more power if it’s not an everyday occurrence. I can’t wait for that.”

    http://www.vulture.com/2013/06/lena-headey-game-of-thrones-the-purge-interview.html

  103. anon
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    I definitely hope she will, then
    But if it wasn’t for this supposed quote I’d say nay — I still remember the whole body double thing for the pilot.

  104. Greenjones
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Thanks. Btw, on the wicnet tumblr they have gifs from the “Jon Snow considers escaping” deleted scene. Is that online yet?

  105. Strider
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,
    QueenOfThorns,
    More realism please regarding nudity and sex. A lot of people on forums went insane at the time over the armpit hair thing in Deadwood and I couldn’t really understand why such outrage. Was it more believable that all women in Starz’s Spartacus were shaven?! The rebel ladies too?

    Rygar, we agree. Let’s not make this a habit :P

  106. Chris
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Leif,

    Totally, although thats a problem with TV in general and not just GoT. I always laugh when I see people having sex with their clothes completely on (especially the man) like…what? GoT absolutely has a problem with nudity equality, and its strange considering I know at least as many girls who watch the show as guys.

    Also, just wanted to add to the Carice love in here. Shes amazing as Melisandre. Really hoping her screentime is not as low as she implies here. Should be much better in the next season though.

  107. Satin
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    anon:
    Greenjones,

    I definitely hope she will, then
    But if it wasn’t for this supposed quote I’d say nay — I still remember the whole body double thing for the pilot.

    That was because she was pregnant at that point.

  108. cosca
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Liam’s getting quite a bit of hate for this.

    http://asoiafuniversity.tumblr.com/post/76488685705/you-have-stephen-dillane-saying-that-the-sex

    Guess people with different opinions are automatically “dickholes”.

  109. Lord Davos
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    This debate has blowed way out of proportions.
    Give me one scene in the show where some people are doing weird shit naked, and it is totally not reasonable why it happens other than turn up people.

  110. TM
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    cosca,

    I followed your link and regretted it, god tumblr is embarrassing.

  111. cosca
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Lord Davos:
    cosca,

    Give me one scene in the show where some people are doing weird shit naked, and it is totally not reasonable why it happens other than turn up people.

    Sorry, I’m confused by this sentence. Do you mean that there isn’t one scene with nudity whose purpose wasn’t for titillation? Because I think Theon with the ship girl is a counter point to that, and there’s some other scenes too.

  112. Satin
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    cosca,

    I think that scene was mostly meant to illustrate that Theon was an arrogant prick, who thought he was the man (and could only convince some poor ship captain’s daughter that it was so).

    Of course the show has scenes meant to tittilate (and had vastly more of them in season’s one and two), but a lot that people seem to automatically dismiss actually have a point beyond t&a. (I’m repeating myself, but Mel’s nude scenes aren’t about Carice showing her goods, they are always about power dynamics, and so far, Mel is always winning.)

  113. Dornishman
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    FNF: Carice

    I’m gay. I know a lot of gay fans of GoT.

    Where are you getting your demo numbers from? or are you simply assuming?

    There have only been 3 male homosexual scenes in the whole series, compared to how many straight? And you still believe they are over-accomodating to the gays? really?


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