Game of Thrones Animal Abuse
 By Winniefield Park   •   16th Jun 2015   •   9,358 views   •   0 comments
Game of Thrones Animal Abuse on the Set

Game of Thrones is rapidly coming to an end and I canít say Iím disappointed. I watched the first few seasons and thought it was entertaining, but gruesome. Now, I feel like itís just gruesome, and hoping for at least a happy ending. I havenít read the books so I donít know how everything turns out. One thing I have enjoyed are the horses and the relatively good riding. Of course, many of the inaccuracies of horse behavior portrayed in movies are seen in the series. But something that has many people disturbed is the portrayal of animal cruelty.

During the course of the series, there have been many gruesome scenes involving horses and other animals. There has been a rumor that PETA has had something to say about these depictions. But from the research I did on PETAís site and online in general, I canít find anything directly condemning the Game of Thrones crew or cast of any type of animal cruelty, real or fake. Peter Dinklage, who plays what I think is the only interesting character left, Tyrion Lannister, is a PETA supporter, and has done several PSA type Youtube videos about the cruelty of factory farming. ďGame of Thrones should be denounced for its unethical displays of animal torture and murder, especially against horses.Ē Stated one blog erroneously. And, ďPETA is reportedly spending millions of dollars on an animal cruelty awareness campaign and to have the show canceled.Ē But, PETA hasnít really said or done anything of the sort.

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Generally I like what I've seen of the riding. A company called The Devilís Horseman supplied many of the horses and stunt riders. They have also supplied horses and performers for more sedate shows like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and Dr. Who, as well as for movies Snow White and the Huntsmen and Hercules. Not only do they provide human and equine performers, they also provide actors with lessons, emphasizing Ďsafety firstí. Which could be why the riding in the series has been quite acceptable and the horses look comfortable with few uncomfortable actors jabbing on the bit, or bouncing in the saddle.

But beyond the terrible riding you sometimes see in movies, I always find scenes of animal torture or killing very disturbing. I know that thanks to CGI and other special effects, even the most realistic of them are fake. But, even before GOT, Iíve noticed something. Scenes of violence against animals and children upset me more than violence against adults. I donít like violent movies and rarely watch television. But nothing will get me up off the couch quicker than something bad happening to a horse, dog, cat or child. GOT has been hard to watch in that respect. Iím surprised Iíve stuck with it as long as I have.

There are people who will watch these things without a qualm. Others feel that these depictions make us more immune to noticing cruelty. The more we see horses abused or killed, the more we may disregard it. For those who complain this is the case, why is it okay to depict human cruelty? Iím not sure what to think myself. What is your opinion?
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