Since its debut during the 1970s, premium cable network HBO has remained intent on pushing the envelope, consenting to feature series that never would have received air time on network television or even on most cable channels. The controversial aspects of HBO’s programming range from graphic sexual content to gory displays of violence and the tackling of social topics that would otherwise be considered off limits for the small screen. Although these features often spark major backlash, they also ensure HBO’s continued status as the most forward-thinking, edgy network on television.
1) Game Of Thrones
Derived from George R.R. Martin’s popular fantasy series, Game Of Thrones has attracted plenty of attention with its constant use of gore. From the very first episode, viewers were treated to disturbing images of characters being maimed and killed in every conceivable manner. This includes death by fire, beheading, slit throat and even, in the case of Viserys Targaryan, exposure to molten gold. Many of the worst deaths took place near the end of the third season, when the infamous Red Wedding shocked viewers with its sheer savagery.
As bothersome as Game Of Thrones’ death scenes can be, the incidents involving torture without immediate death are typically even worse. For example, during the show’s third season, Theon Greyjoy is tortured mercilessly by Ramsay Snow, with perhaps the most cringe-inducing moment occurring when Ramsay enjoys eating a huge sausage — shortly after having Theon’s manhood cut off.
Readers of George R.R. Martin’s Song Of Ice And Fire series are well aware of the fact that plenty of additional violent scenes are sure to arrive during the upcoming fourth season of Game Of Thrones. Thus, this show’s status as one of today’s most controversial series is not about to disappear any time soon.