Chinese censorship of Game of Thrones makes the show incomprehensible
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"I guess that’s okay if all you want to watch is a medieval European castle documentary."
Details have emerged about how the Chinese Government has censored Game of Thrones in the country, and it sounds like it makes the show unwatchable.
In particular, six minutes from the season eight opener 'Winterfell' were removed, taking out key plot details, according to a report on The Verge.
***SPOILERS FOR SEASON EIGHT, EPISODE ONE AHEAD***
Most of what was removed was what you might expect - the sex, violence and nudity that Game of Thrones is known for.
But also taken out was one pretty important scene - where the body of Ned Umber is found pinned to a sigil symbol, as a message left by the Night King.
The Verge theorises that is was censored because the Chinese Government has been known to ban the depictions of undead creatures in film - which people have also cited as the reason for the new Ghostbusters movie not getting a release in the country.
The show has been censored in China since it began - with one user claiming that around 20 minutes of the first episode being cut.
"They’ve cut about a quarter of all the fight scenes, then a quarter of the nude scenes," reports another user. "I guess that’s okay if all you want to watch is a medieval European castle documentary.”
The censorship is therefore leading to many fans turning to piracy to get the full, uncut versions of the show.
Piracy is a worldwide problem for Game of Thrones though.
Reports suggest that 'Winterfell' was pirated over 55 million times withing the first 24 hours of it airing, with the most-pirated views coming from India (approximately 10 million).
China does take second place with roughly five million pirated views, while America, in comparison, where HBO is arguably the easiest to access via legal means, is in third spot on four million.