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Leave it to Jon Snow to justify the violence that occurs his HBO war-heavy, king-slaying, multiple-beheading fantasy series, Game of Thrones. As fans of the series, we’ve learned to never get too attached to a character, for their lives are always in danger, and deaths usually occur in extremely violent ways. But apparently Kit Harington, who portrays Jon Snow in the hit series, doesn’t see a problem with the heavy barbaric violence, he finds it to be about the same as what we see on the news today.
Game of Thrones has attracted, and detracted viewership because of its gory, ruthless violence on screen. It’s an HBO show, free to show what the creators please from a head crushed by a man’s foot to totally graphic sex scenes. And while Harington has acknowledged the goriness of the show, he told RadioTimes that he disagrees with those who find the violence unnecessary. He said:
”I don't see a problem with it because you mostly always feel the consequences of that person dying. In Thrones it's war and awful, awful things happen, as we see on the news daily. And if we've got an appetite for watching these things on the news then you can't shy away from it on cable drama."
Harington has a good point. While the deaths in the show are brutal, they don’t go unnoticed. They aren’t dehumanizing by any means. There is a lasting effect after someone dies, and it is much more than just getting a kick out of seeing something violent. And that’s the way many people see the news too. It’s unavoidable. The news these days are filled with heinous crimes and violence that we wish didn’t happen. But it does, and most of us read about it because we are curious. Not just curious about seeing the bloody scene, but about the people affected, attempting to sympathize with them.
But not all of us are affected by the violence. While, yes there are a number of people still off-put by the violence demonstrated in the series, critics are more disturbed by the sex and nudity of the show. George R R Martin, writer and creator of Game of Thrones is astonished at the criticism, particularly because he finds people accept violence much more than they can accept sex. In an interview with The Telegraph he said:
”I can write a scene and describe in detail a penis entering a vagina, and there will be a portion of the audience who get very upset about that. But I can write a scene about an axe entering a human skull and nobody will complain about that.”
Despite the complaining though, Game of Thrones proves to be one of the most popular shows on television. In April, its Season 4 finale drew 7.1 million viewers on the Sunday night showing. The show has been renewed for Season 5 and 6, and we all are waiting desperately for the announcement of the Season 5 premiere.