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“Game of Thrones” Star Talks Controversial Rape Scene

“That was pretty intense.”

Understatement of the TV season much?! That’s what Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer had to say to E! News about the controversial rape scene that went down between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the HBO hit’s latest episode. And while the scene on its own was already shocking, given that the brother and sister had sex next to their dead son, King Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) corpse, the fact that it was originally a consensual sex scene in the books that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss decided to change for the small screen made it even more so.

And similar to fans of the series, Dormer reveals to E! News’ Alicia Quarles that her costar Lena Headey also had “mixed feelings” about the scene debated ’round the Internet.

“I remember talking to her in the makeup trailer the day before she had to shoot that, she had mixed feelings about it for obvious reasons,” Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell, Joffrey’s recent widow, says. “But as an actor, those scenes are the ones you really get to sink your teeth into, so there’s sort of a perverse enjoyment in exploring those really dramatic moments as well.”

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin also weighed in on the controversy on his personal blog, defending the show’s decision to alter the scene. After explaining that the show is operating on a different timeline than his epic ongoing literary saga, Martin wrote, “The scene was always intended to be disturbing but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”

The episode’s director Alex Graves also spoke out on Cersei-Jaime scene.

While he admitted he’s “never that excited about going to film forced sex,” he understood the decision Benioff and Weiss made. “Jaime is still trying to believe as hard as he possibly can that he’s in love with Cersei,” he said. “He can’t admit that he is traumatized by his family and he’s been forced his whole life to be something he doesn’t want to be.”

Graves also revealed that the two actors had a hard time filming the scene, but only because they couldn’t stop laughing because of Jack Gleeson’s role…or lack thereof.

“I wanted to make sure I had Jack in there as much as I could,” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter. Of course Lena and Nikolai laughed every time I would say, ‘You grab her by the hair, and Jack is right there,’ or ‘You come around this way, and Jack is right there.'”