Fantasy geeks have been abuzz for months now about HBO’s upcoming adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s best-selling epic Game of Thrones — the question is what’s going to draw neophytes into the fictional land of Westeros. The answer, most likely, is the sex. Lots of sex. “There’s a lot of sexual intrigue going on,” says Lena Headey (who plays Queen Cersei), in a massive understatement. “And we don’t shy away from that.”
The first two episodes alone include exhibitionist sex at a wedding, girl-on-girl sex lessons, and a startling bit of incest. This all adds up to, well, lots of nudity. “I lay naked in furs a lot,” says Jason Momoa, who doesn’t wear much to begin with as warlord Khal Drogo. “I think I’m naked more than I talk.” The costuming for Peter Dinklage, as prostitute enthusiast Tyrion Lannister, reflects the amped-up “sexual intrigue” as well: “He’s mainly in nightgowns,” Dinklage says of Tyrion. And Emilia Clarke, the relatively unknown English actress playing Drogo’s innocent betrothed, Daenerys Targaryen, appears the very first time on screen in the buff — but, she promises, it’s all in good taste. “There are a few naked scenes in the beginning of the series for me,” she says. “The thing is that it really is integral to the character. It’s the growth of a woman and it’s a sexual awakening as well.” As HBO Entertainment President Sue Naegle says, “I don’t think we’re always looking to be deliberately provocative, but we certainly allow for that. I like my fantasy a little dirty.” So do we!