HOUSE of the Dragon fans have been left 'sickened' by a twisted childbirth scene branded the 'most shocking Game of Thrones moment EVER'.
The prequel series began on Sunday night in the US before premiering in the UK the day after.
*WARNING: The content discussed in this article could be distressing*
House of the Dragon is set about 150 years before the events of Game of Thrones, documents how the House of Targaryen falls apart in the bloody Dance of Dragons civil war.
There was plenty of bloodshed in the first episode in a disturbing scene featuring Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke).
The pregnant Queen went into labour and husband King Viserys Targaryen I (Paddy Considine) rushed to be by her side for the birth of the – hopefully – new heir to his throne.
However, the baby was breech the Maester in charge told the King he could either leave the birth to the fate of the Gods or give him permission to cut directly into Aemma’s stomach so they can deliver the baby.
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While the latter option meant certain death for his wife, the King felt he had no choice and tried to soothe his screaming wife as she was pinned to the bed and looked in horror as she saw the Maester approaching with a knife.
The horrific scene then saw the Maester slice into her stomach and pull the baby directly out of her womb, causing fatal blood loss.
Sadly, the decision was in vein, as at the Queen's funeral it was revealed the baby – a boy named Baelon – had died only a few hours after his traumatic birth.
Viewers flooded Twitter with comments on how the scene had been even more distressing than the famous Red Wedding scene in Game of Thrones.
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One wrote: "There’s been so much death in this series but this scene of her giving birth with no anesthetic c section?? Might be the most gruesome scene I’ve watched."
Another added: "I can not stomach this child birth scene. I am sick."
A third tweeted: "I wanna rewatch the episode but I will skip the c-section because it is the most disturbing thing I ever seen even more than the red wedding."
Meanwhile a fourth shared: "First episode into house of dragons, and HBO has already given us a red wedding 2.0, really looking forward to the many years of trauma ahead …. will I stop though?… NEVER."
Co-runner Ryan Condal revealed the scene was "not meant to be gratuitous", telling Vanity Fair: "There’s this whole idea in Game of Thrones, or in the Middle Ages, or in historical age like this, that the men marched off to the battlefield and the women’s battlefield happened in the child bed.
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"That was a very dangerous place to be. All of the complications that people go through in modern birth that are now fixed by science and medicine and surgery were not really possible back then.
"Any slight complication, anything could lead to very tragic consequences for the child and the mother."
House of the Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK.
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