Game of Thrones Age Rating: Essential Guidelines and Information

Game of Thrones, the immensely popular American fantasy drama television series, has garnered a large global following since its first season in 2011. Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the show pulls from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, bringing the rich world of Westeros to life on screen. With its complex plotlines, intricate politics, and vivid characters, the show has managed to captivate viewers of various ages. However, the age rating for Game of Thrones has long been a topic of debate due to the show’s explicit content, which includes graphic violence, intense sex scenes, and mature themes.

Navigating the age appropriateness of Game of Thrones is not an easy task for parents and potential viewers. Consequently, understanding the reasoning behind the show’s age rating is crucial, especially considering the potential emotional impact of its more intense scenes on younger audiences. International age ratings and comparisons with other TV series can provide insight, but parental guidance and viewer discretion are ultimately essential since individual reactions to content can greatly vary.

Key Takeaways

  • Game of Thrones has a mature age rating due to its explicit content and intense themes.
  • Understanding international age ratings and comparisons with other TV series can help inform potential viewers.
  • Parental guidance and viewer discretion are important in determining the age appropriateness of the show.

Game of Thrones International Age Ratings

United States

In the United States, the Game of Thrones TV series is rated TV-MA, which stands for “Television – Mature Audiences.” This rating indicates that the show is primarily intended for adult audiences and may not be suitable for children under 17 years of age. The TV-MA rating is due to the show’s explicit content, including violence, sex, and nudity.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the Game of Thrones TV series has an 18 certificate assigned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). This rating means that the show is suitable only for adults aged 18 and over. The 18 certificate is given due to the explicit content, including strong violence, sex, and nudity present in the series.


In Australia, the Game of Thrones TV series has an MA 15+ rating for seasons 3, 7, and 8, meaning that it is legally restricted to viewers 15 years and older. And a R18+ rating for seasons 1-2, 4-6.

Content Overview

Violence and Gore

Game of Thrones is known for its intense violence and gore. The show includes numerous graphic scenes, such as bloody battles, beheadings, torture, and gruesome deaths. Viewers should be aware of the high level of violence and gore depicted in the series before deciding to watch, especially with younger or more sensitive audiences.

Sexual Content

The show also contains explicit sexual content, featuring scenes of incest, graphic sex, sexual abuse, and rape. Due to its mature themes, it is not recommended for younger viewers or those who may be uncomfortable with the portrayal of sexual situations.

Language and Profanity

Swearing and profanity are also present throughout the series, including the use of strong language. The show’s dialogue reflects the harsh nature of the world it is depicting, so viewers should be prepared for potentially offensive language.

Parental Guidance and Viewer Discretion

In addition to its violent content, Game of Thrones features explicit nudity and various sexual acts. It portrays incest, orgies, and other sexual situations throughout the series, which makes it inappropriate for minors and some adults who may find such material offensive.

The recommended age for viewers of Game of Thrones would be 18+, as the show’s content is tailored towards a mature audience. Parents should exercise discretion and consider whether the themes and explicit nature of the series are appropriate for their family members before watching together. It’s essential to engage in open conversations about the content and ensure that viewers understand the context of these situations within the storyline.

Comparisons with Other TV Series

Game of Thrones, being one of the most popular and influential TV series in recent years, has drawn many comparisons to other television shows. With its large ensemble cast, complex storylines, and high production values, it has set a high bar for other fantasy series attempting to match its success.

One notable comparison is with the CBS drama series, “Bull.” While the two shows are in different genres, “Bull” has managed to garner a substantial viewership, with an average of 13.5 million viewers. However, Game of Thrones experienced a steady incline in viewership ratings throughout its run, despite a decline in fan appeal in its later seasons.

The high levels of violence, gore, and sexually explicit content in Game of Thrones set the show apart from many mainstream television series. Although often criticized for sensationalism and explicit content, these aspects contributed significantly to the massive cultural impact of the show.

When comparing it to other fantasy series, few have managed to achieve the same level of critical and commercial success. Game of Thrones has emerged as a prime example of the enormous potential the fantasy genre holds for television, and many networks have been scrambling to produce content that matches its quality and appeal.

Possible Impact on Audiences

For younger audiences who may be exposed to the show, there is a risk that the graphic nature of the content could cause them to develop an inappropriate perception of reality. The show’s depictions of violence, especially towards women and children, may raise concerns among parents about the potential desensitization of young viewers to acts of brutality.

Older viewers, on the other hand, might appreciate the show’s ability to portray complex storylines and engage in thought-provoking themes. Game of Thrones often challenges viewers’ conceptions of morality and explores the consequences of characters making difficult decisions, which may encourage critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the intricacies of human nature.

As the show deals with mature themes, including incest, sexual abuse, and betrayal, it could lead to interesting and constructive conversations about the nature of power dynamics and the role of sexuality in society. The show’s portrayal of political intrigue and family dynamics offers viewers the chance to examine real-world social structures in a fantasy-driven context.

Isabella Thornton

Isabella Thornton is a respected film critic based in Los Angeles. For over a decade, her incisive and engaging reviews have captivated a broad spectrum of readers, providing fresh perspectives in film criticism. Her work uniquely appeals to both the seasoned cinephile and the casual movie-goer, establishing her as a trusted voice in the industry.

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