10 Most Controversial Scenes from Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones cast

Nearly every season of GoT there seems to be one scene that makes viewers ask: Did HBO finally go too far? There have been beheadings, castrations, rapes, incestuous couplings, and scenes of savage gore. These are the 10 most WTF controversial scenes from “Game of Thrones.”

#1: DAENERYS EATS A STALLION'S HEART

Season 1 of “Game of Thrones” had one of the biggest gross-out scenes in the entire 7 seasons of the show: Daenerys (played by Emilia Clarke), as the pregnant Khalessi of the nomadic and barbarian Dothraki, is forced to eat a bloody stallion's heart as part of a ceremony involving lots of chanting women. If she succeeds, her child will grow up strong, a leader among the nomadic Dothraki. But if she fails, the child will be weak. There's a lot riding on her ability to fight back a gag reflex – and at one point, her face bloodied, Daenerys looks like she won't be able to do it. But she eventually chokes back the gag reflex and eats the entire bloody stallion heart. Then she faces the crowd – blood smeared everywhere on her face and body – and proclaims that the name of her unborn son will be Rhaego. (The crowd, of course, goes absolutely nuts)

#2: THEON GREYJOY ALMOST BOTCHES A BEHEADING

There are a number of reasons to almost feel pity for Theon Greyjoy – he has been tortured and castrated, and has de facto been held hostage in the House of Stark. So you can imagine the delight that he has when he has a chance to behead one of his enemies, Ser Rodrik Cassel. The only problem is – it's not a clean beheading. You have to know how to wield a sword to make the head come off with a single thwack, and that's something Theon Greyjoy hasn't seem to have mastered. It takes him a handful of hacks, and then a kick, before the graphic beheading scene comes to a merciful end.

#3: JAIME LANNISTER RAPES HIS TWIN SISTER CERSEI ON AN ALTAR

game of thrones jaime lannister

The one scene that finally made some people say “enough is enough” is the brutal rape scene involving Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei. They've hooked up in the past, and Jaime can't understand why Cersei seems to be ignoring him when he returns to King's Landing. Later, when they are alone in the burial tomb next to the altar of their deceased love-child Joffrey, Jaime grabs Cersei and rips her dress. “Jaime, not here…. Please…. Stop it,” Cersei implores. But Jaime is not listening, even when Cersei begs him, “Stop, it's not right.” Jaime's response is chilling: “I don't care.” He then proceeds to rape Cersei against the altar of their child.

There are, of course, several layers to this WTF controversial scene. HBO seems to have really raised the stakes on this one. There's the incest, of course. There's the rape, which is awful and icky. And then there's the fact that he's committing the rape in a sacred area. All in the name of character development, as they say at HBO.

#4: JOFFREY'S SADISTIC KILLING OF A PROSTITUTE WITH A CROSSBOW

If rape isn't your thing, what about sexual sadism? There's one scene in “Game of Thrones” where Tyrion brings young Joffrey two prostitutes in order for him to have his way with them. But that's when the sexual sadism starts. Joffrey forces one of the prostitutes to beat the other with a whip, while he aims a crossbow at both of them. He then tires of this sport, and decides to have one prostitute beat the other with a club while he again watches on with his crossbow.

But wait – there's more. Later, he ties up one of the prostitutes to his bed post. He then decides it would be great sport to start firing his crossbow at her. With every shot from his crossbow, he succeeds in pinning her bloody body to the bedpost.

#5: THE RED WEDDING

Even people who aren't fans of “Game of Thrones” have probably heard of the “Red Wedding” scene in Season 3. That's when Robb Stark, his wife Talisa and the Stark family are invited to attend the wedding of Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey. But things are not what they seem. When the musical band in attendance begins to play “The Rains of Castamere,” a gang of assassins appears. One assassin decides to go after the pregnant Talisa, repeatedly stabbing her in her belly. At the same time, a group of assassins begin to rain down arrows at the Stark family in attendance at the wedding. Needless to say, violence, chaos and mayhem soon ensue.

#6: THE DECAPITATED HEAD OF GEORGE W. BUSH ON A SPIKE

The show's creators – and D.B. Weiss – have never backed away from controversy, and one of the most controversial moments in the show's history occurred when the decapitated head of former President George W. Bush was shown impaled on a spike in Season 1, Episode 10. The scene happens when Joffrey forces his wife-to-be (Sansa Stark) to stare at the head of decapitated father (Ned Stark), who was named a traitor to the realm. WTF, right?

In the commentary for the Season 1 DVD, the show's creators admitted that they used a prosthetic head of former President Bush. As they pointed out, there are only so many fake heads that you can use during a scene like this, and they just decided to go with one of the heads that happened to be laying around the film studio. Oops, it happened to be the head of a U.S. president!

The uproar over this controversial scene was so great that HBO has since deleted the Bush-on-a-spike scene from future Season 1 DVDs, as well as from all future streams of the show.

#7: JAIME LANNISTER SHOVES YOUNG BRAN STARK FROM A CASTLE WALL

In Season 1, there's the “incest scene” that everyone is still talking about – Jaime and Cersei Lannister, twins by birth, are secretly having sex at the top of a high castle when young Bran stumbles upon them fornicating. Bran, of course, is horrified by what he has witnessed, and quickly tries to make his way down from his climbing position. But Jaime Lannister catches him and then sends him tumbling over the parapet to his near-certain death. (Bran somehow miraculously survives) The reaction of Jaime Lannister to this death is bone-chilling – he turns to Cersei and nonchalantly says, “The things I do for love.”

#8: TYRION LANNISTER MURDERS HIS FATHER WITH A CROSSBOW

Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) is a bit of an imp, and there's absolutely no reason to feel sorry for him, despite his diminutive stature. Yes, he's viewed as the black sheep of the family, and yes, he's often abused – but Tyrion is a morally-challenged figure throughout “Game of Thrones.”

Case in point – there's one scene where he finds his former lover Shae asleep in his father's bed. He's consumed with rage, and throttles her with his bare hands while she reaches for a knife. Then, when his father returns to the bed to make love to Shae, Tyrion shoots him with a crossbow.

#9: CERSEI LANNISTER IS FORCED TO WALK NAKED THROUGH KING'S LANDING

game of thrones cersei

What comes around goes around in King's Landing. In this case, Cersei Lannister, who has pretensions to the Iron Throne, is forced to walk naked through the streets of her city. Her beautiful gold hair has been cut off, and the mob in the city pummels her with food and stones. It's a bit disconcerting to watch, and you just know that Cersei is going to get her full revenge later.

#10: RAMSAY BOLTON GETS HIS FACE EATEN OFF BY WILD DOGS

Revenge is a dish best served with a side order of blood and sadism. In one scene, Ramsay Bolton has been designated for death. But this will not be a simple death. No, this death involves a pack of wild dogs eating off his face and condemning him to the cruelest possible death. Revenge in Westeros is quick and bloody.