HBO's first "Game of Thrones" prequel series, "House of the Dragon," premieres on August 21.
Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal spoke with Insider about the show's handling of sexual assault.
They said there are no incidents of "sexual violence" in the 10 episodes that comprise season one.
The presence of sexual assault and abuse in HBO's "Game of Thrones" has been the topic of intense debate over the last 10 years. With the premiere of "House of the Dragon," HBO's first prequel series follow-up to "Game of Thrones," the subject has been renewed with interviews of co-showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal.
Speaking with Insider during a press event alongside PopSugar and MetaCritic, the two men revealed that there will be no scenes of "sexual violence" in the series' first season (which comprises of 10 total episodes).
"For whatever reason, I think something was incorrectly reported or got misconstrued," Condal said, referencing backlash on social media in late July. "I mean, look, we're very aware of the time that we live in. We're very aware of how different the world is now versus 10 years ago when the original show premiered. I also think this is a much different story."
"House of the Dragon" focuses on the Targaryen rulers who lived in Westeros around 200 years before the events seen in "Game of Thrones." Instead of sprawling from the Wall in the north all the way through the Seven Kingdoms and across the ocean to Essos, this series is largely about several different families all living in the Red Keep of King's Landing.
"You're dealing with a bunch of characters who all live under the same roof," Condal said. "So those stories are necessarily going to be different. We're not in war time yet, there isn't that kind of sexual violence that follows war. That world hasn't really entered the story just yet."
He continued: "Look, it is 'Game of Thrones.' There is sex and violence as part of the story. But the particular way we've approached it this time is making sure that whenever you're going to have any subject matter like sex or violence on screen, there's a compelling story reason. It's a story that needs to be told, and it's not being done gratuitously or to titillate or anything like that."
The "House of the Dragon" cocreator said he was very confident in how the subject was approached on set, with an intimacy coordinator working with the actors, who all rehearsed scenes "long in advance."
"They consented to everything that they ended up doing on camera and I think they felt good about it because they knew as actors that they were performing a story and not doing sex for sex's sake," Condal said.
Sapochnik weighed in as well, saying: "We have to be responsible partners to the people that we're working with, both on the screen and behind the screen."
"I think the industry is taking note and there may be a certain overcorrection happening, which is always a natural part of making an overall correction," Sapochnik said. "You can't just partially correct. You have to find where you are - it's like a pendulum. It has to swing like this to find the right space. And it's really important to us that we be part of the solution there and not part of the problem. So that's how we've been approaching it."
"House of the Dragon" premieres on Sunday, August 21 on HBO at 6 p.m PT/9 p.m ET.