In 2017, it became public knowledge that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had spent years abusing his power and assaulting or assaulting female coworkers and employees. It led to a reckoning in the film industry — the #MeToo movement — and resulted in the normalization of a job not many people had heard of before then: the intimacy coordinator, who give to sex scenes the kind of careful choreography and safety precautions that fight choreographers give to action scenes.
Intimacy coordinators are common in Hollywood now, but it wasn’t that long ago that very few sets used them. That included HBO’s massive hit Game of Thrones, which had its fair share of intimate scenes. Talking about it in 2021, cast member Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy) remembered how the sex scenes on the show “could be a sort of frenzied mess.”
Speaking recently to The Daily Mail, Whelan said that her original statement was taken out of context, and that while intimacy coordinators weren’t on set when she worked on Thrones, the cast worked things out between each other. “You’d say to the other person, ‘How about this, shall we do this, are you OK if I do this – ooh, this feels a bit weird, doesn’t it!’”
Actually, Whelan said most of this back in her original interview, but the headline “Game of Thrones star says sex scenes were a “frenzied mess” was too good to pass up.
Yara Greyjoy is “still ruling the Iron Islands”
Since Game of Thrones, Whelan has killed it. She appeared in the HBO show Gentleman Jack, and it currently playing two different detectives on two different TV shows: DI Ray and The Tower. She’s crushing it.
Still, a lot of fans will always remember her as the indomitable Yara Greyjoy, and given the right conditions, she’d be down to return to the role. “I would love to do it again,” Whelan said last year. “With the same set of people and the same set of circumstances, I would love to.”
In the meantime, Yara is still trucking, much like Whelan herself. “I’m still ruling the Iron Islands somewhere,” she said.