One-time Game of Thrones guest star Ian McShane infamously dismissed the HBO show as “just tits and dragons,” but fans who watched the recently completed Season 7 might’ve noticed something. There were more dragons than ever, yes, but not that many tits. The penultimate season of Game of Thrones actually featured less nudity than any of the six previous seasons by quite a lot.
Broadly did an extremely thorough rewatch of the entire series, and found some incredibly interesting data about both the amount of onscreen nudity and the gender breakdown. (It should surprise nobody that there are way more naked women on the show than there are naked men!)
Here is a season-by-season summary of Broadly’s exhaustive breakdown of Thrones nudity. You’ll likely notice that the later seasons were more thoughtful in their use of sex and nudity. That’s probably intentional — when your show is as big as Game of Thrones quickly became, you don’t need gratuitous nudity to get people watching.
Well, okay, maybe you don’t need as much.
Back when Game of Thrones was a scrappy little fantasy show in its first season, there was tons of nudity. This was the show that codified the term “sexposition,” after all. In fact, there was more nudity in Season 1 than there has been in any season since. The record shows 33 naked people, with a gender breakdown that was heavily skewed towards women. Some 88 percent of the nude characters were women, while only 12 percent were men.
Season 2 was actually the second-least nude season of Thrones, though it still had almost three times as many naked people as Season 7. The sophomore season saw 16 characters disrobe, but all of them were women.
The next year saw a slight uptick in the number of naked characters, but it also saw a mild increase of gender parity. The third season showcased 19 naked people, with women accounting for 79 percent of the total compared to the guys’ 21 percent.
Season 4 saw another increase in nudity from the previous season, with 23 characters baring it all. Nude dudes accounted for a smaller percentage of the naked characters, though, as only 9 percent of the bare characters were men. Women accounted for the remaining 91 percent.
Season 5 came closer to beating the first season’s total nudity figure than any other, as 28 characters were naked over the course of its 10 episodes. This time, the breakdown was 68 percent women compared to 32 percent men.
The nude number dropped again for Season 6, which featured 22 naked characters, again with a 91 percent to 9 percent female-male breakdown, after rounding.
It’s really hard to overstate just how much less nudity there was in Season 7. Sure, it was a shorter season, but that alone doesn’t account for such a huge drop in the number of characters that dropped trou. Only six characters got naked in Season 7, and there was an equal number of nude men and women. Despite — or perhaps because of — how much less nudity there was last season, what we did see seemed to matter more. Look no further than Grey Worm and Missandei’s sex scene, which displayed a level of sexual maturity that Thrones has arguably never reached before.
Broadly’s breakdown also examines the number of rapes and how many men and women die in each season of Game of Thrones, as well, and they paint a similar picture. For all of the problems Season 7 had, Thrones seems to be getting better at one of the show’s most-criticized aspects. Too bad we’ll have to wait for a long, long time to see how much we’re going to see in Season 8.
If you liked this article, check out this video about incest on Game of Thrones.