emilia clarke

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Emilia Clarke defends sex and nudity on ‘Game of Thrones’

'People f**k for pleasure—it’s part of life.'


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 22, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 10:22 am CDT

Emilia Clarke has never been shy whenever she’s addressed Game of Thrones’ age-old nudity issue, but her patience is starting to wear thin with people’s obsession with it.

In a Harper’s Bazaar cover story, she turned to the topic in-between discussing her upcoming projects and the perfume she’s promoting.

“I’m starting to get really annoyed about this stuff now because people say, ‘Oh, yeah, all the porn sites went down when Game of Thrones came back on,’” Clarke said. “I’m like, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale?’ I fucking love that show, and I cried when it ended because I couldn’t handle not seeing it. That is all sex and nudity.”

Clarke’s referring to reports that surfaced earlier this year (but also in previous years) that Pornhub traffic was down during the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere. Similar stories pop up a few times a year—mostly with major sporting events like the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the NBA Finals—that essentially demonstrate the same point: a particular thing is so popular and such a cultural touchstone that people stop watching porn long enough to see it live. Game of Thrones certainly falls into that category and gave HBO record ratings this season, and chances are we’ll see a similar headline when season 8 premieres in 2018 or 2019.

And Clarke defending the show’s nudity and criticizing those who have pushed back on it is nothing new; she’s been doing both in interviews for years. Her mention of The Handmaid’s Tale, however, makes her latest argument on it a bit messy. The Hulu show’s first season didn’t have all that much nudity—and when it was there it almost always had another purpose to it. The majority of the sex scenes in The Handmaid’s Tale depict rape, offering commentary on the kinds of power imbalance struggles and hypocrisy that exist in Gilead. The many letters Handmaids are revealed to have written about the sexual violence and atrocities they’ve suffered in Gilead in the season 1 finale particularly drive this point. We don’t even see a consensual sex scene until episode 5, part of which is shaped by its nudity instead of the more clinical “ceremonies” we’re shown on multiple occasions.

But Clarke’s bigger point touches on the double standards of nudity on television. Even now, there’s still so much outrage or “concern” about seeing something that people do all the time on television.

“There are so many shows centered around this very true fact that people reproduce,” she said. “People fuck for pleasure—it’s part of life.”

H/T Page Six

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 22, 2017, 9:42 am CST