Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has been criticized for its lack of trigger warnings for the graphic birth scene in its first episode.

But this is not the first show to make headlines for the lack of such warnings.

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why changed a scene from a series in 2019 after criticism of how it handled suicide, while more recently Thor: Love & Thunder fans called for warnings over cancer scenes.

A record-breaking 10 million fans watched the House of the Dragon premiere, which included a graphic scene called “triggering” by many on social media.

In the episode, King Viserys of actor Paddy Considine orders a caesarean section on his wife, Emma Arryn, played by Sean Brooke – while she is conscious which kills both her and the baby.

Director Miguel Sapochnik told reporters that his team asked “as many women as possible” if the birthing scene was too violent before they decided to put it in.

But charities and some people watching the show think there should be a trigger warning to let people know that the gruesome scene is on the way.

‘terrible experience’

Jane Coates, director of the bereavement charity Sands, thinks it’s “really important” for shows like House of the Dragon to create a space where people know what can be shown.

“I think it’s really quite painful for anyone,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“With 13 children dying every day in the UK, the situation also directly affects a vast community of people.”

Jane says that as soon as Sands learns of the potentially disturbing scenes, he sends trigger warnings to his supporters on social media.

“That way, people can be better equipped with the knowledge and can make an informed decision to watch or skip particular scenes or episodes,” she says.

“Traumatic makes people feel guilty, ashamed, angry, you can feel very isolated at times.”

John Whipple, creator of the trigger spoiler website, says he had forums warning viewers about the graphic scene.

He acknowledges that “many of the trigger warnings on the site are very specific and do not apply to most people”.

But he says: “On the other hand, everyone has something in their past that they don’t want to live with again.

“Having knowledge before they go to a movie gives users control over how they experience entertainment.”

He believes that streaming services “should try to create alerts for each user, possibly even recommending what to watch based on the user’s specific triggers”.

Viewer Jackie Hopner says the birth scene made him “leave the room”.

Jackie, who hails from Australia, says a warning would be appropriate as it would have made her “more prepared” for the scene.

The scene reminded her of her own traumatic birth experience when she had an unplanned C-section because her baby was breech.

She told Newsbeat, “I felt very out of control of the situation. It was a really terrifying experience, so this scene was triggering.”

“Given that half of the global population may have had children and that many have experienced birth trauma, I think this would have been necessary”.

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