The Game Of Thrones production team have reportedly been banned from shooting a crucial topless scene at its planned location in Croatian city Dubrovnik. In the scene, Cersei Lannister takes a “walk of penance” through the streets of King’s Landing while topless. However, the Church of Dubrovnik is against public displays of sexuality, and has prohibited the scene from being filmed in the area.
The setback has caused producers to make a tough decision — cut the scene or find an alternative location. However, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the scene is going to be shot elsewhere due to the importance to the storyline. The iconic scene is from George R.R. Martin’s fifth novel A Dance with Dragons.
Why is the church so involved with the decision-making, you may wonder? The key is the location desired by the production crew. The scene was scheduled to be shot on Stradun Street, between Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Sponza Palace in Dubrovnik. The church did not want the sexualized scene to be anywhere near the church itself or the area surrounding.
However, Croatia is not necessarily the only place that the iconic scene can be filmed. In fact, the Independent points out that the majority of the episodes are filmed on location across Northern Ireland, and the show receives funding from Northern Ireland Screen supported by Invest NI as well as money from the European Regional Development Fund.
This won’t be the first time that HBO has had to defend sex and violence in the show. Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, said in a public statement:
“I appreciate there was some controversy and it generated a conversation about what consensual sex is and isn’t. People responsible for programming have two responsibilities. To be responsible, not to have sex and violence that’s gratuitous. That is certainly not who we are. At the same time we don’t want to be a censor that inhibits the authentic organic creative process by policing how many breasts should be on a show.”
The HBO drama is no newbie to nudity, so I am sure the producers will find a suitable location that is accepting of the sexual nature of the filming. It doesn’t appear that viewers are scared away by nudity either. The drama series was nominated for 59 awards and walked away winning 14 of them.
The producers do have a little time to get the scene filmed, the Season 5 premier is not set to air until April 2015. However, Game of Thrones fans beware: George R.R. Martin is about to kill more of your favorite characters.