Like many other shows on HBO, Game of Thrones comes chock-full of all the violence, foul language, and gratuitous sexual content that the North American viewing public has come to crave. But those are real people performing in those scenes, and not all of them are completely comfortable with baring it all.
Take Emila Clarke, for example. You are likely aware that she plays one of the main characters on Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen. In early seasons of the show, she was often shown in various states of undress, including one particularly uncomfortable scene where she was consummating her newly arranged marriage to Khal Drogo and was clearly not enjoying herself.
In more recent seasons, she has been able to keep her clothes on. Partly because her character is more powerful and less vulnerable than it was early in the series, but also because Clarke has reportedly refused to participate in any further sex scenes.
According to The Daily Mail, she’s not a fan:
Sex scenes should be more subtle. I’m British, so I cringe at that sort of thing anyway. I can’t stand it… I don’t want to have sex thrown in my face and I’ve always thought the suggestion is so much more titillating than the act itself… Most sex scenes you see in films or on TV are gratuitous and they’re usually just to attract an audience.
On screen, the subtler the better.
She’s both right and wrong. Sex is sometimes a powerful motivator for the characters in Game of Thrones, so there is a place for it onscreen. But nudity for the sake of nudity does not help tell the story, but is sometimes thrown in just to please the audience and/or uphold HBO’s (probably non-existent) quota of naked bodies.