A Surprising Reason Fabien Frankel Needed Seven Months to Plan That Sex Scene in HoTD

Image credit: Legion-Media

Fabien Frankel portrayed Ser Criston Cole, one of Rhaenyra's lovers, in 'House of the Dragon'.

In episode 4 of 'House of the Dragon', Rhaenyra Targaryen goes on her first adult night out with Daemon — something that had fans thinking that he is going to be her first man. However, she shared her first sexual experience with Ser Criston Cole, her sworn protector, and it turned out to be one of the few softcore sex scenes in the 'Game of Thrones' universe.

According to actor Fabien Frankel, the planning of the sex scene took more than half a year — seven months, to be precise. The reason for that is pretty surprising: it turns out that the crew had troubles making the scene both tender, steamy, and not too glossy at the same time.

"Anyone who's ever had sex will tell you sex ain't that beautiful," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It isn't some picturesque, amazing thing. It's awkward, especially when you are young. There's an un-comfortability that one has to sit in, and there's a discovery and understanding of each other's bodies — not to mention the practical side of the whole thing."

So the entire crew behind the scene, spearheaded by director Claire Kilner, spent these months texting back and forth and trying to figure out how to make the scene more "human".

"It was about the struggle in every way: the struggle to get the armour off, the struggle of him to betray his vows... That's how I wanted to pitch it," Frankel revealed, noting how controversial and hard the decision to sleep with Rhaenyra was for his character, given that he has taken a vow of chastity before signing up to protect the princess.

The final scene ended up including Rhaenyra slowly taking off Cole's armor, because there was "no way" they could do it 10 seconds. This has turned the scene into some kind of a slow-burn — which has also added to the charm that ended up being highly appreciated by fans.

It's not very often you see softcore love in the world of 'Game of Thrones', and it seems that seven months of brainstorming paid off, because fans applauded to the way the crew eventually handled the scene. Many people, however, believed that it was the involvement of a female director that made the scene the way it is, arguing that men have "lost" the sense of eroticism and turned sex into something mundane and not very romantic.

Here's How a Female Director Improved 'House of the Dragon' Sex Scenes

Now we know that Frankel was a big part of the creative process behind the scene. Still, 'House of the Dragon' remains what it is, so tenderness and softcore is not something fans should expect from it — unless the show has plans to surprise everyone with more romantic moments.

'House of the Dragon' is streaming on HBO Max, with new episodes premiering every Sunday.

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