In Depth

Why are there no gay sex scenes in Game of Thrones?

George RR Martin says female readers have been requesting man-on-man moments in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones leading man Kit Harrington

Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin has revealed why there are no gay sex scenes in his bestselling novel series.

Responding to a question at a book festival, the author explained that his fantasy novels are narrated through "viewpoint" characters. As none of those characters are gay, there have been no explicit gay sex scenes in the Winterfell novels to date. 

But in HBO's television adaptation, the approach could be different, he suggested. "A television show doesn't have those limitations," he told the audience at the Edinburgh International Literary Festival.

He also said readers should not rule out man-on-man action in the series’ remaining novels. "Will that change? It might," he said. "I've had letters from fans who want me to present particularly an explicit male sex scene – most of the letters come from women."

"I don't pretend to understand this," he added, in comments reported by The Guardian.

But he promised: "I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it. If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it, but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them."

After all, he concluded, storytelling "is not a democracy", he said. "If it was a democracy, then [leading villain] Joffrey would have died much earlier than he did."

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