The horrific birthing sequence in the first episode of House of the Dragon has surprised viewers and caused controversy on the gore and brutality in the programme. Beware of spoilers!

The Game of Thrones prequel/spinoff House of the Dragon started streaming on HBO Max (and Disney+ Hotstar in India) on Sunday. 

However, many critics and fans believed the spinoff's depiction of gore and brutality on screen was superior than the original. 

The director of the programme has now defended a particular sequence that has the audience discussing.

If you haven't seen the first episode of House of the Dragon, you might want to stop reading because it contains heavy content and spoilers.

 Two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, when the Targaryens were at the pinnacle of their power, take place in House of the Dragon.

King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Queen Aemma Arryn are depicted in the scenario (Sian Brooke). 

The maester alerts the king that there are issues as the queen is about to deliver the new heir.

Only if they rupture the queen's womb, which would ultimately result in her death, can they preserve the child.

The delivery scene that follows is fairly gory and brutal, with images of violence from the concurrent celebration tournament interwoven. The scenario was deemed unpleasant by many spectators.