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The other day, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke made headlines with some comments about gratuitous nudity on TV and film. She now says she was quoted out of context and feels she needs to set the record straight. She doesn’t have a problem with nudity if it exists to serve the story, only when it only serves the audience.
Since Clarke feels her initial statements were twisted by the media, she used her own Instagram account in order to be sure her follow-up statements were as clear as they could be.
I feel now… I should clarify my statements, if for nothing else than for posterity. In drama, if a nude scene forwards a story or is shot in a way that adds insight into characters, I’m perfectly fine with it. Sometimes explicit scenes are required and make sense for the characters/story, as they do in Westeros. If it’s gratuitous for gratuitous sake, then I will discuss with a director on how to make it more subtle. In either case, like a good Mother of Dragons, I’m always in control.
The biggest clarification here is that while her initial comments were read to include all nude scenes, including the ones for the show Clarke is on, here she seems to give Game of Thrones a pass, saying that the nude scenes there make sense for the characters or story. There is certainly an argument to be made that some of the nudity serves the characters. The desire for sex is actually a major motivation for many in Westeros. However, with the sheer volume of nakedness that occurs in the series, it is difficult to claim that none of it is gratuitous. It’s hard to tell if Clarke really feels all Thrones nudity is acceptable, or if she’s just trying to make nice with HBO.
The fact is many people have had issues with nudity on the show, not the least of whom is Clarke herself. While she did nude scenes earlier in the show’s run, she’s reportedly fought to keep her own clothes on in recent seasons, while others have walked out when they were asked to do nudity they weren’t expecting. Subtle just is not a word often associated with Game of Thrones.
Part of the problem is it’s not always obvious when nudity serves a narrative, rather than serving to titillate. Just because a scene takes place in a whorehouse, does that mean everybody, or anybody, should be naked? Certainly one can justify the skin, but does that make it necessary?
One thing is a near certainty. Justified or not, Game of Thrones will continue to have a substantial amount of nudity, even if they have to hire porn stars to accomplish it. We’ll see more than our share whenSeason 6 premieres on HBO in 2016.