Game of Thrones Star Gemma Whelan: Sex Scenes Were "A Frenzied Mess"

If there were two gratuitous things the HBO high fantasy series Game of Thrones was known for, its sex and violence. As much as fans were singing the praises of creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Yara Greyjoy actress Gemma Whelan admits the more intimate ones were among the more disorganized aspects of the series. While promoting her ITV police drama The Tower, she spoke with The Guardian and discussed what exactly it was like on set when the sex scenes were being filmed.

Game of Thrones Star Gemma Whelan Says Sex Scenes 'a Frenzied Mess'
Gemma Whelan and Alfie Allen in Game of Thrones. Image courtesy of HBO / WarnerMedia

Sex Scene Issues on Game of Thrones

"They used to just say, 'When we shout action, go for it!', and it could be a sort of frenzied mess," Whelan said explaining that Game of Thrones lacked an intimacy director to choreograph and set the scenes and as a result, the actors had to look out for themselves. "There was a scene in a brothel with a woman and she was so exposed that we talked together about where the camera would be and what she was happy with," she continued. "A director might say, 'Bit of boob biting, then slap her bum and go!,' but I'd always talk it through with the other actor."

Whalen also recalled her character's awkward introduction during Game of Thrones' second season involving a horse and Alfie Allen, who played her brother Theon. "Alfie was very much, 'Is this okay? How are we going to make this work?'" Whalen said on how they prepped for their scene. "With intimacy directors, it's choreography – you move there, I move there, and permission and consent is given before you start. It is a step in the right direction." After their awkward meeting on the series, brother and sister parted ways with Theon getting captured and tortured by Ramsey Snow (Iwan Rheon) before he eventually mustered enough courage to escape following a failed rescue attempt by Yara. While the two eventually reconnected, Theon found his courage and ability to find redemption for his past acts in the final season and Yara was finally able to rule the iron-born.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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