For many viewers, the titillation of nudity, profanity, and gratuitous violence in HBO’s Game of Thrones is part of the initial attraction to the hit epic fantasy series. However, for fans in China, most of this is censored and edited out before it airs.
Now, as the final season of Game of Thrones begins, Chinese fans are requesting the nudity and violence remain.
According to ABC Australia, Chinese viewers are getting sick of their country’s strong stance on the censorship of sexual content and violence. As a result of this, many Chinese Game of Thrones fans are threatening not to watch Season 8. Alternatively, many are turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) in order to bypass the Chinese government’s firewall.
In the past, the Chinese government has taken out or altered scenes which contained nudity or violence. And, in a series that helped to create the term “sexposition,” it means that the Chinese audience is getting a much watered down version of the HBO series. As a result of this, Chinese fans have described Game of Thrones as a “medieval castle documentary” after crucial scenes were deleted.
In the lead up to the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones, Chinese fans have taken to social media to voice their opinion on the likelihood of censorship in Season 8, which will air on Tencent Video in China.
“Daddy Tencent please don’t censor it, I beg you,” one Weibo used implored.
“I will watch it if it’s not censored, but that’s not realistic,” another user said.
Chinese Game of Throne fans resigned to final season censorshiphttps://t.co/ST8NztOeek
— Yahoo Philippines (@YahooPH) April 15, 2019
In the past, iconic scenes such as the initial scene showing the introduction of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her brother, Viserys (Harry Lloyd), was heavily censored due to Daenerys’ nudity. Violent scenes such as the one showing Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) weighing body parts during an autopsy have also reportedly been removed by heavy-handed censors.
In addition to obvious displays of nudity, profanity, and violence, the Chinese government is also curbing content that they consider to be “vulgar.” As a result of this, according to ABC Australia, four minutes of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was removed due to content pertaining to homosexuality and AIDS.
Of course, while Chinese fans may be vocal about their displeasure at the heavy censorship of Game of Thrones when it airs in China, it is unclear as to whether Chinese censors will heed their words and change the situation.
Season 2 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 2 on Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET.