Game of Thrones Star Recalls the Sex Scenes Being a 'Frenzied Mess'

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English actress Gemma Whelan, who's best known for her role as Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones recently talked about the show's sex scenes being "a frenzied mess".

Speaking to The Guardian, Whelan recalled her time filming intimate scenes on Game of Thrones where actors were left to get intimate.

Game of Thrones Sex Scenes Frenzied Mess
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Credit: HBO
Game of Thrones Sex Scenes Frenzied Mess

“They used to just say, ‘When we shout action, go for it!’, and it could be a sort of frenzied mess,” Whelan said. “But between the actors there was always an instinct to check in with each other.”

On Game of Thrones, the actress played the bisexual Lady Yara Greyjoy, who was featured in a few sex scenes throughout eight seasons of the show.

“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 described. “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.”

In Game of Thrones Season 2 (released in 2012), Whelan performed one of the show's most awkward sex scenes - a scene that shows her on a horseback with Yara's brother, Theon (played by Alfie Allen after Theon returned to the Iron Islands. “Alfie was very much, ‘Is this OK? How are we going to make this work?’"

Whelan said that the addition of intimacy directors, who were specifically brought to help actors feel comfortable with love or sex scenes, has improved the process of other scenes. "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.”

The Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon will premiere in 2022.


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