One of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s most controversial Game of Thrones choices apparently still doesn’t sit well with George R. R. Martin. Speaking with James Hibberd for a comprehensive oral history of the show, the author said he still doesn’t like the way the duo changed Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding night with Khal Drogo.
In the original A Song of Ice and Fire series, Daenerys is forced to marry the Dothraki warrior, but the two have consensual sex on their wedding night. In the show, Khal Drogo rapes Dany.
Martin has discussed the scene change before; as originally shot with Tamzin Merchant before the production recast Emilia Clarke as Daenerys, the sex in the scene was portrayed as consensual, as it was in the novel. (Apparently the original love scene was so hot, it even aroused a young horse that was on set at the time.)
As the A.V. Club notes, Martin largely praises Benioff and Weiss throughout Hibberd’s book—but he’s still not pleased that the seduction scene from his book became a rape scene in the show.
“Why did the wedding scene change from the consensual seduction scene that excited even a horse to the brutal rape of Emilia Clarke?” he asks. “We never discussed it. It made it worse, not better.”
Per A.V. Club, Weiss notes that although the scene works as-is in the original novel, “[W]e just didn’t have that amount of time and access to the character’s mind [in the show]... It turns too quickly. It was something the actors themselves felt wasn’t gelling. They weren’t able to find an emotional handhold.”