The Game of Thrones orbit have a lot to say about sex scenes lately. In an interview with the Times of London published August 5, Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark before the character’s surprise season-one death, said that intimacy coordinators make sex scenes a technical exercise rather than a natural moment between actors who are acting, which can “spoil the spontaneity” of such scenes. “It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things,” Bean told the Times. “Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hands there, which you touch his thing …’” To Bean, the choreography involved ruins the sex scenes: “I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.” He also compared coordinated scenes with the improvised intimacy of his work in Lady Chatterly’s Lover alongside co-star Joely Richardson. “Lady Chatterly was spontaneous,” he said. “It was a joy. We had a good chemistry between us, and we knew what we were doing was unusual. Because she was married; I was married. But we were following the story. We were trying to portray the truth of what DH Lawrence wrote.”
He also made a point to say that censorship, too, kills the mood. In the TV adaptation of Snowpiercer, he filmed an intimate moment with actor Lena Hall and a mango. “I think they cut a bit out actually,” he lamented. “Often the best work you do, where you’re trying to push the boundaries, and the very nature of it is experimental, gets censored when TV companies or the advertisers say it’s so much. It’s a nice scene, quite surreal, dreamlike and abstract. And mango-esque.” After the Times asked Bean if intimacy coordinators protect actors, he said it “depends on the actress,” adding that Hall was “up for anything” because she had a background in cabaret.
In 2018, HBO made it standard for sex scenes to be supervised by intimacy coordinators in the wake of Me Too to prevent sexual harassment and exploitation. Conversations about boundaries are still happening on the upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff, House of Dragon. Miguel Sapochnik, the co-showrunner, said that the new show doesn’t shy away from sexual and gender-based violence. “If anything, we’re going to shine a light on that aspect. You can’t ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time. It shouldn’t be downplayed and it shouldn’t be glorified.” At the same time, the show plans to “pull back” on the amount of sex overall. On August 2, writer and executive producer Sara Hess walked back Sapochnik’s comments in a statement to Vanity Fair, saying that “we do not depict sexual violence in the show,” though the show will handle one instance “off-screen.”