Saturday, November 30, 2013

Daenerys Targaryen's Breasts

Okay, I admit that the title of this post might be considered the old bait and switch. For that I apologize. This article is, in fact, about the actress who plays Daenerys Targaryen, the talented Emilia Clarke and her breasts.

According to a New York Post report , a star of Game of Thrones no longer wishes to appear nude. The report states that "fans have noted that Emilia Clarke... is no longer doing topless scenes."

Websites picked up on this article and almost all of them identified Emilia Clarke as the subject. It's true that during the last season Clarke did not appear nude... except for "Second Sons" (3.8) the episode where she appeared nude.

I completely support an actor's right to appear clothed or nude... of course if they sign a contract that clearly states they might be required to appear nude depending on the story, then that actor has certain obligations. When an actor is new to a role he or she might be a bit more willing to use their body for advancement. Once that character is established... well... I guess someone as important to the story as Daenerys might be able to veto nude scenes.

Nothing wrong with a little titillation.

One of the best reasons to have a television show featured on a pay channel like HBO is the chance the creators have to use whatever language, violence, and subject matter they fancy. Walking Dead may have some gruesome zombie destruction, but it's not going to have a carload of topless girls stranded on the side of the road anytime soon. AMC allows for some pretty interesting subject matter but in the end it can't push certain boundaries in the manner of Cinemax, Stars, or HBO.

Gratuitous nudity has its place. I think old school grind-house and exploitation films require gratuitous nudity. I'm not so sure it works in Game of Thrones. This is not to say that nudity does not have its place in GoT. I can understand seeing naked women in Little Finger's whorehouse, because it is a whorehouse. When Daenerys was "reborn" during the dragon's birth I think it was natural for her to be nude. It was an exhilarating moment for the character and for the audience.

However, I think nudity should only be used in GoT when it makes sense for the character and the story. Daenerys' character is such that showing her in her glory does not make sense. Not that there is anything wrong with the human body, but let's face it, here in the West we have certain preconceived notions. Showing Daenerys in the nude cheapens her character and position.

I mentioned the episode where she finally appeared topless again. She was in the bath and approached by one of her new love interests. Naturally, to allure him further, she rose from the tub and allowed herself to be robed. This scene could have been handled without making Emilia appear naked on screen. We did not need to see what the characters were seeing in order to understand what was happening in the scene.

When we see Daenerys it needs to be from a position of power. This slight, 5'2" girl has managed to do an excellent job conveying her strength and dignity. I see no reason to compromise her dignity by showing too much flesh.

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