Game of Thrones Season 4: Books, Gore, and Male Frontal Nudity

You may have clicked on this article expecting that there was a typo in the title. Season 4? “We’re closer to season 6 than season 4!” you probably thought. But no, the editors of HCK are much smarter than that (Editor’s note: “True”).  

The truth is, I am reading the books before I watch the series. No worries, though, I won’t give you reasons why the book is better and a list of differences between the two. I actually do not have a problem with the adaption and can still appreciate HBO’s work. The truth is, there is a lot the TV show offers that the book simply can’t, such as visuals and action scenes:

Jon Snow grieving over Ygritte           

Source: Giphy.com

However, there was something I was not expecting: my reaction to the gore and violence in this season. I’ve read the books and watched the previous seasons, but this seemed different to me. I was taken aback by the extent of blood and death. The two scenes that affected me most were Daenerys’ discovery of the crucified slave, and the fight between Prince Oberyn and “The Mountain,” Gregor Clegane. The first morally disturbed me, and the second had me wishing I had fast forwarded. Both scenes accomplished what they set out to do, however, which is to sensationalize the viewer. We see the fuel that drives Daenerys’ fire, and the abhorrence everyone feels for The Mountain. The scenes had purpose, and were well executed. Maybe I have just lost my stomach for the show? (No, of course not! That’s not possible.)

Daario vs. Champion of Meereen

Source: Giphy.com

Something else I noticed this season (for the fourth time around…) was the lack of male frontal nudity. I decided to do some perusing on Google and found I was not alone in this observation. An interesting find during my search was this video, featuring actor Kevin Bacon, which references Game of Thrones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=154&v=3Dt3IrdampY). In this video, Bacon humorously discusses the lack of male frontal nudity in Hollywood.

            In all seriousness though, why? Why is it okay to flaunt the female body and not the male? Is it because it is a male dominated show and guys don’t want to see other naked guys? Personally, I couldn’t care less about the naked women, either one way or the other – I just wish the nudity was more equal in the show. At first the lack of frontal nudity was just an observance, but by now it has grown into a very important problem within the show for me. Why work extra hard to hide something which is not only natural, but fits in well within the scene? It makes no sense to me.

 Daeneyrs and Drogon

Source: Giphy.com

            This season definitely had its surprises, both pleasant and not so pleasant. The latter making me wonder if I will watch the next season. But I know, once I crack open A Dance for Dragons I will be hungering to see what the next season will bring.