How Young is Too Young for Game of Thrones?

By Rhiannon Kavity on May 1, 2013 to Game of Thrones

What-Age-Thrones-Family

When you become a parent there are a million things to worry about. Many nights are spent lying awake debating whether or not it would be too dangerous to allow your six year old to play football or if your teenage daughter has a secret boyfriend she hasn’t told you about. One of the things parents tend to worry about the most is at what point is it time to start introducing the “difficult” topics (violence, sex, abuse, and drugs). While some parents wait until their child has reached puberty to begin discussing sex, others talk about it from the first moment a child asks a question. These difficult topics and the desperation to find the right time can often plague a parent’s mind for years before they sit their child down to have these conversations.

Tshirt-GoT

Tshirt via TypsyGypsyTees on Etsy (click image for source)

In 2013, parents have a whole new dilemma to deal with.  In a generation where these topics seem to be the basis for most novels, movies, and television shows, the possibility of children learning about these things (in a way we might not wish them to) increases exponentially. The reality is undeniable. These topics have become a staple of our society. It’s almost impossible to find a “family friendly” television show that everyone enjoys.

While HBO has a wonderful family selection available for the customers with On Demand, debate has sparked about whether or not the major shows the network provides are appropriate for younger generations. This past week our Facebook page has practically imploded with people commenting about whether or not the ever-popular Game of Thrones falls into the “family friendly” category (though our comment here was meant to be tongue-in-cheek).

I’m looking at this from a parent’s perspective and with the understanding that not everyone might agree with my stance. The fact that I have pretty liberal views when it comes to parenting my daughter should also be noted. We’ve been regularly discussing those “difficult topics” since she was around four years old. I’ve always been a big believer in: if she’s old enough to wonder about it, it’s my responsibility to educate her.

That having been said, I don’t think I would be comfortable allowing her to watch a show with so many of these things at once until she reached an age where she had the maturity to fully understand what she was seeing. Personally, I love every single aspect of the show and obsessively watch it each week. And while I think it’s important to educate our children and to talk about things with them instead of brushing them under the rug, Game of Thrones just isn’t appropriate for younger children.

If one goes by the typical ratings given to shows on other channels or even the ones that are given to feature films, Game of Thrones would definitely score a rating of R or higher.  That rating suggests an age of seventeen or older and often require a teenager to show identification proving their age or the presence of a parent. The show deals with incest, graphic sex scenes, extreme violence, betrayal, sexual abuse, drugs, rape, and drinking. While it has some amazing qualities such as brilliant writing, fantastic actors, a detailed history that mirrors reality, redemption and beautiful scenes, these things can easily be overshadowed by the harsh reality depicted on the show.

Dead-Bodies

There is huge difference between discussing something with your child and having it shown on screen, which is one of the difficult lines that parents walk. I am a full supporter of having such talks and not leaving children in the dark about the realities of the world we live in. However, my daughter will not be enjoying the amazingness that is Game of Thrones until she is at least sixteen years old, which is one of the beauties provided to us buy DVD box-sets.

So that’s how my family plays it.  What about yours?  We’re looking to hear from the Game of Thrones community today.  At what age would you allow your child to enter the world of Westeros?  What about the books?  Is the age there any different?  Leave us a comment below and send in your vote in the poll here:

At what age is it appropriate to let children watch Game of Thrones?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

  • disqus_xVRW384WHM

    I am sad to see most people think kids at 15 should watch GOT. Thats why the world is becoming so sick because people in their most vulnerable age watch such things. Shame on you parents with NO judgement whatsoever, you are making the world a worse place.

  • Daniel Bell

    Is it ironic to censor someone for pointing out censorship laws?
    I hope not because here they are.
    http://www.tvguidelines.org/ratings.htm

  • Daniel Bell

    The parental ratings system is not up for debate.

    http://www.tvguidelines.org/ratings.htm

  • Namnoot

    Unfortunately the prevailing attitude these days is children should be exposed to sex at every turn. You have people advocating that children be allowed to watch Game of Thrones or the recent hardcore movie (which isn’t porn because it was made by a respected director instead of someone named Seymore Butts) Love 3D or Orange is the New Black. The sexually explicit and violent Jessica Jones was shown at a sci-fi convention in NYC with children in the audience apparently and no one cared. So I’ve thrown my hands up in surrender. The TV ratings should be eliminated and I’m looking forward to the release of “Baby’s First Porno” coming soon to a Toys R Us near you.

  • David

    I can’t believe how prudish the commenters are! Sure, it’s obviously not for kids, but nowadays teens are so exposed to much worse content online and around them everyday that it doesn’t make much sense to forbid them from watching a show like this. Clearly you have to reach a certain level of maturity to understand and have a moral stance on the themes and explicitness of the show, but after 16 or so, most teens have that level of maturity. And if you feel your child doesn’t have it yet, then explain to him how to interpret what he is watching. Don’t forbid him, especially if the show is popular among his friends. It may sound stupid, but there’s nothing more important to a child than social acceptance and he would certainly feel pathetic if he couldn’t share the magical world of Westeros with his friends.

    Also, it’s a really great show. Don’t spoil the experience for him just because it contains explicit content. Explain to him your stance on sexual relationships and whatever other matters concern you about the show. There’s just so much more to the story than the few moments of gratuitous sexual content in each episode.

  • Ben the Cable Guy

    As long as people are able to distinguish fantasy from reality then they can watch the show regardless of age.

    At least that is what I think

  • Valar

    I was 13 when I was allowed to watch Terminator 2, which had a lot of content pretty close to this…boy was I enthralled :) Any younger though…especially scenes like Oberyn’s head and Sansa’s rape.

    • Jean

      not even close to this intensity…besides sarah getting licked when shes strapped down

      • Valar

        Well, a lot of people got shot and stabbed though.

    • Mariana On Fiyah

      I watched Terminator as a child (by that I mean when I was 5 or so) and I was just fine. My mom looooves films like Terminator, Alien and so, and I’d always watch them with her as a child. We had so much fun.

      • Valar

        I would have been absolutely terrified of the Terminator when I was five. Even Star Wars was too much for me :)

  • Clash of Clans Account

    It’s a kids show.

  • Person

    I’m an age, and here’s my opinion.

  • Francesca Vezzosi

    Obviously the level of maturity of each single person should be taken into consideration and it is true that violence and sex are everywhere, but sex and violence are particularly visual in GOT and I wouldn’t allow my < 18-year-old children to watch it.

  • Ranga

    I’m almost 12 and I have watched the entire series and I loved it. I know other kids at my age would scream at the violence and look away at the sex scenes. My parents do not know I watch it but I consider myself mature enough to be able to cope with the adult themes. The sex and violence isn’t there for no reason, in reality, there are brothels and gore in places where there is war.

    • Hiro Hamada

      Haha … you’re just like me. XD I’m a bit older than you but I started watching when I was 12. Yes, I think that it depends on the individual and how mature they are; I just hope my parents don’t find out lol

      • rubystars

        If you have to hide something from your parents you don’t need to be doing it.

        • wheatfat

          Couldn’t disagree more. Years ago when I was 16 I had to hide my watching of the Simpsons. You underestimate how retarded parents can be.

    • Upsidedownunicorn

      Ditto, I’m almost 13 and do the same… exempt I’m still on season one :p

    • Mariana On Fiyah

      I’m turning 19 now, but my sister (she just turned 13 this Monday) has been watching GOT since she turned 12. She loves the show and enjoys it. That said, she asked me to spoil her major violent scenes and such up until the end of season 5. If she thinks she’ll be fine she watches them, if she thinks she doesn’t then she’ll just watch them when she turns older.

  • Brianne Kriebel Metzger

    I think it really depends on how mature the child is. I can tell that some of the youngsters commenting that they have watched it are mature enough. Especially since they are able to reflect to an age that they think they wouldn’t have been ready to watch it. I think a good rule of thumb if you want to make sure you are making the right choice as a parent is “if you can read the books you can watch the series” but come on. If your kid wants to watch it they will find a way to. I saw some things that I shouldn’t have at a young age (as I think everyone has) and we turn out fine. Just take to your kid about the mature themes.

  • KitKat

    I’m 17, and I truly enjoy the Game of Thrones. Had you shown me the show when I was say, 13, I would have flinched at the sex scenes, seeing as that’s a given, but other than that, I view myself as being mature enough to be able to watch such an intriguing show.

    • Mr.Coolstories

      Cool story

    • Weilum Lee

      the scenes caught way off guard especially when the scene changes so rapidly and girls start moaning.. I’m like OH SHIT!! I quickly lower the volume

  • Balloon Boy

    I’m twelve years old and i have watched to episode 8!

    • Balloon Boy

      UPDATE:I have now crossed into season 3 teritorry

      • Mr.Obvious

        Thanks for the update!

  • Cory Berry

    I would say most people today could watch it when they’re 16, I’ve seen the whole series this year and I’m 15. However, I am used to the violence so it wasn’t really a problem for me, I got to say though, the torture scene is disgusting and would’ve quit watching it if they showed “more detail.”

  • Benjamin

    I’m 15 and could probably have watched this when I was 14 aswell (I do read he books aswell, so that does give me another picture of the series). My older brother who’s 38 (don’t ask me how that works) sometimes have problems with watching these kind of stuff (like, the goriest of the goriest), so it all comes down to how mature you are. Here in Sweden the highest age for watching certain movies and series is 15 years, but I always take the age rating with a pinch of salt. Violence and scary or disturbing content is what is taken the most serious, then sex and drug/alcohol use and bad language is last. Due to the violence the and sexual content the show still gets the highest rating here though. But off course I can’t apply this rating system on other countries, who all have their reasons for their rating system, which I understand, so let’s get back to the matter at hand. I think a mature kid at 14-ish, who can distinguish the difference between rality and fiction, and understand that most of the so called ”adult content” depicted in this amazing show would never occur in real life, should be fine with watching the series. It has a great plot and story. Keep in mind that most of the screen time is dedicated to the other parts of the story, like for example: political strife, propaganda, war tactics, magic, survival e.t.c. Altough the violence and sex is present, it does make up a minority of the show.

    =)

  • gamewojtek

    I’m 12 old, and I read book. It’s realy cool actualy (I’m reading Clash of Kings now).

  • James

    I’m 11 and i watch it, BOOBIES ; )

    • Howard

      … Exactly the reason why you shouldn’t be watching it.

      • Ian

        ffs, it’s just a show

      • Mariana On Fiyah

        Boobs are a natural thing lmao

  • Luke

    I’m 17, i would of started watching Game Of Thrones earlier, at season 1, when i was 14, but i was caught up watching Breaking Bad, Dexter and The Sopranos on DVD, I think it’s ok for 12-13 > to watch it, if your mature. Sure it’s violent, i love violence in movies and TV, but that doesn’t mean i like violence in real life, i hate violence in real life, i hate watching the news when their taking about bombings and murders. I’m a big movie buff, and i love stuff like, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez (not including spy kids 4 or sharkboy and lavagirl which are shitty movies) Films, but it’s all stylized, as is game of thrones, it’s not liked gross out, fucked up shit like human centipede.
    And the torture scene in season three wasn’t that bad, remember, it’s not real, it’s just a show. At least you didn’t see his dick get cut off
    The sex and nudity in the show is “Very Nice” haha, my girlfriends and girlfriend watches it and they don’t find it shocking
    If your not a psycho and know the difference between fiction and reality, then you should watch it, it’s soooooo AWESOME

  • 18. Anything below is just wrong. If you spend your adolescence being exposed to such violence, I wonder what is left to look forward to in adulthood. At 15, I want to read and appreciate Harry Potter, The Hobbits and Chronicles of Narnia. Story meant for adolescences.
    There is no reality in Game of Thrones, that reality was thousands of years ago. I don’t eat in KFC with the fear of a hound walking in, demanding for all the fucking chicken and then eventually fucking shit up. So please, the argument that GoT is realistic is invalid.
    It’s a shame though, with all these technologies around, there is almost no point putting a restriction on it. Kids will find it, will enjoy it and eventually lose their beauty of innocence.
    There is time for everything.

    • Nyarlathotep96

      HP, Hobbit and Narnia are for 10-13 years old children

      • EchoingAngel

        Early Harry Potter, the Hobbit and Narnia are aimed for ages 10-13.

    • Mariana On Fiyah

      Uh I’ve been watching stuff similar to Game of Thrones since I was like 11? and I’ve turned just fine. Not everyone matures the same way.

    • wheatfat

      We all watched things we weren’t supposed to as kids. I started GoT when I was 16. There’s no reason whatsoever that I should have waited either, honestly.

  • Kayla

    It seems the depictions of violence are getting worse and more common with each new season. The first season wasn’t bad and if I had children, I would have no problem allowing a 13-14 year old to watch it. But the current 3rd season is honestly difficult for me stomach, and I’m not exactly spooked easily… the torture scenes are long and extremely disturbing… there’s graphic rape, along with constant battle scenes, swords being shoved through mouths and out the back of the skull.. crucified children used as mile markers.. the list goes on. I’m all for being open and not trying to shelter kids too much but I also believe that there are some things that are not beneficial or even healthy for them to see until they’re much older. So I think at least 16 years old for this current season but I guess it depends on your child.. As for the (consensual) sex scenes, I don’t see why they matter.. I’m sure it’s not anything too new to any teenager. Overall, it’s an amazing show but not for kids, which is why it’s on HBO..

  • the tall hobbit

    i’m 16, and i must admit, while i was expecting ‘adult scenes’ the amount of nudity and sex scenes in the first episode alone really shocked me, and after that i was sort of like, okay nothing should phase me now, but really the question is are you there for the epic story line? that’s what i was there for, and sometimes i just cringe when the scenes come on because sometimes its just too much, at which point i start debating whether its just better to stick to books and rely on lord of the rings and BBC for all the epic stuff…

    • C-Roy

      I’m 13 now. Would the show be okay if I were to skip over the gratuitous sex scenes, would I be okay? Or are the scenes lengthy?

  • Jon Snow

    I’m 12 and I’ve read the books and watched the show . I think it just comes down to how mature u r

  • GoTfangirl13

    I’m 17 and reading the books. I haven’t seen the show but I’ve discussed the differences with people who have. The books are somewhat more graphic, I think but not that much more. I think I would have been able to handle the show at 15 or 16 and I know 14 year olds who have watched it and read and not been more disturbed than most adults watching the show. I do know many people my age who I truly do not think would be able to handle it. Most people older than me should definitely be fine watching it. I think that if someone is interested in GoT who is at least 15 they should be allowed to watch it. If they are younger than 15 they might be able to handle it depending on their maturity. I wouldn’t let my 12 year old sister watch it or read it yet even though she is curious about it.

  • Jonathan Backner

    I am 12 and love this show and the books. It is much deeper than just a bunch of nude women and violence. I honestly think it depends more on maturity than just age, but if you can you should watch/read it.

  • Styro

    I’m 13 and watch Game of Thrones because it is simply a brilliant TV show. Sometimes I question if some of the sex is not storyline but simply viewer pleasing yet nearly always the sex is vital to the plot! The violence is simply there, I do not get nightmares, I am not a sociopath and I do not see why it is bad, it is a vital part of the show! I watch Dexter, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones which admittedly my parents aren’t entirely aware of, yet I appriciate these shows not because they are taboo subjects (Sex, Drugs and Violence) but because they have brilliant storylines and grasping narrative that these subjects play a vital role in! If people appreciate and understand, there is no harm!

  • Melvis

    You’d let your 16 year old watch soft-core porn? Interesting parenting method.

    • L

      considering children as young as 11 come across much worse in everyday life. would you rather have your child watch game of thrones, or come across it in a pornagraphic or gore site.

    • Martin Alberter

      Considering most children have been in an orgy by 16, I wouldn’t worry

      • Mr.UnderageSex

        Wtf, do you live in Africa?

        • Martin Alberter

          Germany

      • Mariana On Fiyah

        Lol I’m 18, in college and like around 7 out of 10 people of everyone I know are still virgins

  • Francisco E.

    I’m 13 and i love watching Game of Thrones.I really think that if you’re mature enough you can see it,i love the plot and the politics and especially how you get so attached to the characters like Lord Eddard Stark.But still,it has alot of blood,gore and sex and if you’re not mature enough you really should NOT watch it.Apart from all of that, the Game of Thrones series is epic and i recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good novel with politics,plots and set in medieval type ages.You will get so attached to a character that when he dies(wich is very probable since George R.R Martin always trolls us by killing the protagonists).I’m even thinking about reading the Song of ice & fire when i get older couse right now i don’t think i’m ready for the amount of detail that is seen in the books and i think it will ruin the reading experience for me.Right now i’m reading The lord of the rings series wich is more soft and calm than ASOIAF.
    Well that’s all goodbye and greetings from Venezuela.

  • Luna

    It really depends on the child. I’m 15 and love Game of Thrones, though I think there’s too much sex and violence. If you’re mature enough to see past that, it’s a great show. It’s so realistic, that if you can do that, you’ll learn a thing or two about humans and the World around us.

  • Octagon

    I agree with the majority of the people saying it’s more maturity based than age based. I am a fourteen year old girl who has only started watching GoT recently and it does live up to its ‘R’ rating, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take it all in with a grain of salt. In fact, I always end up having a very strong opinion about the events that take place, and often times I’m against them. Take that as an example that just because there’s two people having sex, or someone’s getting decapitated, doesn’t mean I find it “cool” or want to try it myself.
    And for the record, if my mother came up to me and asked me if I was watching this, I WOULD lie, strictly because she does shelter me and has very little knowledge about what I do and don’t know about as far as what goes on in the world.
    If you’re seriously concerned about your children watching shows (reading books, etc…) like this, and you aren’t sure if they’re ready to handle it, I suggest that you yourself introduce it to them (considering the maturity level of kids usually doesn’t become stronger until around ages 10-13, that’s probably a good age to start at) and see how they react, and then go from there. You might be surprised.
    Good luck.

  • Philip

    I watch GOT and i’m 15. I don’t see any problem with me seeing it, i can handle what is happening on the screen and i love the series.

    Many of my friends which are at my age is also pretty mature so i think that it is wrong of a parent to say that the child must be of a specific age. When i get kids i’m not going to age restrict them but look at their maturity instead.

  • Ingrid Tellzen

    I have a 10 y/o daughter and she determines her own content. If she feels uncomfortable with something she will leave the room of her own accord and we will talk it through if she wants to. She finds most of G.O.T pretty confronting, however she loves Danny’s dragons and will watch the scene when the dragons are born over and over again.

  • MonâMe

    I agree with everything Kayla Rose Graham, Jonathan Wisnoski & Lttlemoi said in every first sentence of their paragraphs. When it comes down to it, age is only a number. The more a child’s Mother & Father keep the “Kid Gloves” on and try to shield them from the world they live in, the longer they’ll have to play catch-up with reality in their teenage and sometimes adult years. I’m not saying take them to the Red light district” when the ask where babies come from. What I am saying is, “Tell my you weren’t upset when you found out your mother and father lied about Santa Clause? I know I was :'(

  • Charlie

    I was fortunate to have parents who taught me about sex and violence at a very early age. From then on I always watched adult movies with them without the fear of “covering my eyes” during awkward moments of graphic violence or scenes with nudity. I thank them to this day for doing that because it really helped me mature a lot more at a younger age.

    That being said, it really depends on the person. I was able to mentally comprehend what my dad was telling me at 10 years old, but others may not be ready to completely understand it. I’d say that by puberty (around 13-14 years old), children should have been taught all about sex and whatnot. Around that age is where I would draw the line. However, I know 22 year old’s who still aren’t mature enough to watch the show. So again, it all depends on the person.

  • I think 14 or 15 is old enough. I know the recommended age for such content is generally 18, but kids these days are a lot more tuned into modern society. Their developed perception, paired with the sexualization of their idols in the media, adds to their knowledge of more mature issues. I’m not saying it’s right, simply that this is just the way the world is now!

  • I don’t think there’s an age that’s set in stone for maturity. I think it’s up to the parents to judge what their child can handle.

  • Kevin

    I believe that for me personally I would go mostly with the way I was taught about stuff like this from my family. Granted that sometimes that may not be the best in the eyes of others, I mean when I was like 10 I think my grandfather sat me down and said “here is an Austin Powers movie learn something”, but anyways leads to my way which is if the child seems to be able to grasp the concept then that is when they are able to learn about it and see it. That means that every child is different and no one child will learn or be able to watch at the same age because its a matter of how fast they grow up.

  • I’m not sure that the parents are giving their children enough credit here. If they can’t see it with your blessing and they want to see it, you can rest assured they will find a way. I grew up with great parents who were very careful about what we watched and things we were allowed to do. They did, however, make the mistake of trusting other people’s parents to do the same. I found ways to watch forbidden horror films, off limits TV & even porn, starting at around age 11. All I had to do was figure out who had parents that wouldn’t notice. Looking back, I think it would have probably been better for my parents to have made me watch something like GoT with them, I would have been excruciatingly embarrassed, my curiosity would have been sated and I’d not have worked so hard to gain access to the forbidden in the future.

  • Glassylady

    I think it has to be based on the child. My children, thankfully, are grown. I would have been ok with my daughter watching this show at 14 as she would have been able to process it appropriately and any questions about the show would have served as a chance to discuss morals and values. My son is a different story, he would not have been able to handle it until he was 15 or 16. They are brother and sister but two very different people.
    My daughter and I have talked about some of these issues in the context of her having children. I can say that I am very glad that I will never face these dilemmas as a parent again. The world is a very different place than it was even 6 years ago. Good luck to all the parents out there facing these difficult choices.

  • Sherry

    Definitely not below 12,and preferably 15.Children imitate what they see in life,let alone what they see in TV with cool graphics.You are gonna show something like game of thrones,you will frame their mindset for it,even if they don’t try things on nearby siblings,or become victims.I believe this is the reason for the rape culture in society. Do you know showing children porn,is an act equal under pedophilia in law?Why?because it damages their psyche. Children should not be introduced to any graphic visual (violence,rapes) content unless you wish them to do such a thing at that age.And children don’t have the judgement,nor the mental ability to stop themselves from things that are damaging to them at an early age,and learn at that point by trial and error instead of judgement.Just because free access to information and tv with no censorship exists doesn’t mean it is okay to feed graphical visual data of gore crimes to children,it’s an act of abuse,and even if the child seems “okay” with it,there is a reason age of consent is not kept in law at 6 years of age.Children are not adults.

    On the other hand,as early as 4 or something,children should be made aware that these things exist in life(rapes,child incest and other things,murders) and should be told,prepared and should know how to defend themselves in-case of an attack.They should also know about sex,and protection,as early as possible,and prevention against stds,no matter what age they think they want to have sex. While an open communication is important,it doesn’t and should not be by watching porn together as a parent-child building activity.

  • I don’t have children, but I’m only thinking of how devastatingly embarrsing it would be to say ath high school that your parents won’t let you watch an immensely popular cult show like this. That would be far more damaging than the content to a young mind. So 11/12 ( going up to high school age)

  • To the author, you sound like a retard who doesn’t even read the books anyway.

    • Mr.BigDick

      And not a single shit was given that day.

  • Thea Pavlou

    It depends on the child, usually I would say 16 but my sister is a living example to contradict my point, she’s mature for her age. In my home growing up we were never sheltered from these kinds of things on TV or in books and my parents used the age ratings as a guideline to make an informed decision of whether we could watch it, which we would not question due to the openness of them considering it in the first place. You take it away with vigilance and they’ll find a way of watching it no matter what you do.

  • Courtney

    For those concerned about the sex side, realize this, majority of children are now exposed to such things by the time they are seven. And more so sadly now, many are already having sex by the age of twelve. with the many media outlets, children are no longer as naive and innocent as we like to think. Sheltering them and assuming they know nothing is plain stupid and ignorant in this day and age. Music, television, news – all of these every day things expose them to blood, death, sex, gore, and violence. Really sit down and listen to what your kids are, what songs play on the radio and the meaning behind them. Your child has friends, and I’m plenty sure at least one of them has let them in on something about the world. Whether they approach you or not is a different story. Please do not underestimate the ability of children, no matter the age. I myself, though not having kids, would sit and watch it with them. it is not being perverse, it is making sure my child is well prepared, of course I was not raised in a traditional “American” home where everything was hidden. When I had questions, they were answered, if I watched something and didn’t understand, it was explained. I was even granted the ability to have sex when i was ready, providing I told my stepmother so i could be given condoms and put on the pill. All because she would rather be made aware and know I was safe instead of smothering me and wondering if i was doing it behind her back with high risks. So to answer, my age to let a child watch would be when they find it interesting enough to watch and to answer any questions.

  • blahblah

    who ever votes ‘No one should be watching this rubbish!’ doesn’t know what entertainment is..

    • Berthold Stegemann

      or because of fun xD

  • I have thought about this too, In Australia the show is rated R18+ and its very easy to see why:
    The Constant Sex/Nudity scenes.
    The frequent graphic violence, especially torture scene’s from the first few episodes of season 3.
    The extremely harsh language.
    The fact that one of the main traits of the show is “deception” something you defiantly don’t want your kids to be using at a young age.

    I have thought that if the show had a Free-to-air version, where most of the more graphic stuff would be edited out and still at least 2 season’s behind the uncensored version so you don’t lose subscribers but may also get new fans than it “might” be possible although at the same time that is a rather tall order.

    I don’t have kids myself but if I did I defiantly would not let them watch the show until they’re a decent age of maturity.

  • Sex, violence, drugs, abuse etc. are everywhere else! Some shows for children aren’t any different. I think that depense from sophistication and some 13 years old are different than others 13 years old. So it’s very personal and every parent should weigh it about sophistication of their children. But incest, sexual abuse, rape aren’t right for children at least 15 years old. And I don’t think that political problems in Game of Thrones could entertain small children or 13 years old teenagers.

  • Brooke

    I have a 6 year old and typically I discuss mature subject matters with her in a way she can understand when she asks questions.
    I would not at her age allow her to watch GoT, (although she did walk in on the Lord of Light birth scene once. I have allowed her to watch some PG-13 and R movies if they are not too sexual or graphically violent. She enjoys horror films and there are some great shows and movies that include some inappropriate content that we enjoy watching together. It’s a hard balance to strike.
    I watch Game of Thrones each week with a group of friends and one couple brings their 15 year old son to watch with us. He had actually watched seasons 1 and 2 on his phone before they ever saw an episode. It seems to be fine for him and I would probably allow my daughter to start watching something like that at 13 or 14 if I felt she could understand some of the more difficult adult concepts.
    My feeling is to allow some exposure to what is in the world rather than sheltering so that kids have a frame of reference in which to understand right from wrong, good and bad, etc. And of course, it does depend on the maturity of the child.

  • My almost 15 year old started reading the books at 13 without my knowledge. Although the content is very graphic I allowed it b/c he was reading well above his level by his own accord. But I told him he can’t watch the show until he’as 30 ;-)

  • Itza C. Kret

    I’m much more worried about today’s brainless pop culture (swag / yolo) than I am about blood & violence. Some of the earliest movies I can remember seeing were horror and violent movies (monsters ripping people to pieces) and I grew up just fine.
    The sex part though might be less suited for youngsters, kids these days are lacking brains & self respect enough as it is. Back in my day kids were still kids. We didn’t care about fashion or impressing other kids. we played in the mud & built tree houses.

    for reference, I’m 33 & living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands of all places. Not old man from Jesusville Utah

  • I totally agree with a lot of points here – I wouldn’t want my kids seeing the show until they were mature enough to deal with the subject matter, and even so I’d probably want to fast-forward through the gratuitous nudity, etc. That being said, I started reading George RR Martin’s books when I was 13. They deal with a lot of heavy topics, and there is a lot of sex and violence (just as in the show), but at that age I was able to process it all and move forward, and I don’t think it had a negative affect on my development – just the opposite, they’re great books and I think I was smarter for reading them. I think your kids deserve a little more credit than you’re giving them – if you think they don’t see violence on the news or have classmates having sex at age 15 and can’t handle the show until they’re 18+, you might need to reevaluate. Now I’m not saying sit your 13 year olds down to watch GoT with you every Sunday, but I am saying maybe some teenagers are more mature than you think.

  • Johnny

    A kid who wants to watch this show will just pirate it like millions of people do. If my kid wanted to watch this show, I would rather watch it with her/him and educate her/him than leave them to watch it in secret.

    • Lttlemoi

      I hate watching shows and movies with my parents because our tastes differ so much. I’m 18 right now, and I would never let my parents watch GoT. I explicitly pause the video until they have left (unless in the middle of a sex scene of course). (I watch it online btw)

  • Lttlemoi

    I think that maturity is very important. I for one, started watching horror movies when I was around 15 years old. (e.g. the Mist, Scream, Saw, AVPR…) (atm, I’m 18 years old) Knowing yourself is incredibly important and also happens to be something that comes with maturity.
    My sister on the other hand can’t stand the sight of blood (she’s strongly hemophobic) so she will never watch shows like GoT, though she’s a year older than me.
    I also don’t think that you should let the parents decide. My mother, for example, would strongly forbid me to watch it (she also forbade me to play Call of Duty and other violent games, though she has never played them herself) while my father would do nothing but snorting and complaining about how unrealistic the show is.

  • GhostLink

    If they are not old enough to be watching Game of Thrones, chances are they will find the show boring anyway. So if they like it, let them watch. Not everybody is the same, and some people mature earlier than others. Maybe your 10 year old child has the intellectual capacity to understand Game of Thrones, and if so, brilliant! Why would you deny him what he finds interesting? If anything, it will expand his understanding of things.

  • Mrs Rahe

    This is an awesome fantasy series, it has no educational value. There’s no point in letting kids watch it when there is gratuitous nude scenes (not in a positive light either), and a lot of death and mutilation. I’ve read the books and love the series, but there’s no way my kids are watching it before they’re 16, and even then it’s a maturity thing.

  • Melissa Bernasconi

    If the kid is under the certificate then its the parents decision and obviously no 15/16 year old is the same so you can’t really generalise it. There is nothing in the series that will harm you for life but like the comment below it depends on the personal maturity of the individual.

  • MegE_N

    HBO and GoT are not education. They are entertainment programs. Explaining and educating sex, violence, incest, etc. to your child is one thing, but exposing them to this brings out a lot of very complex issues that young adults and children don’t have a lot of experience processing. While I have no desire to tell people how to parent their own children, I would not show this to my child before they were 17 or 18.

    • lol… I love that your logic here is:
      Problem:Child A does not have experience processing certain complex issues/themes.
      Solution: Don’t expose Child A to complex issues/themes.

      • MegE_N

        That is not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying you don’t sit down and explain where babies come from, and then have them watch the entire series of GoT. It has a lot of complex themes to process. For me, anyway, the ideal way would be to introduce these complex themes into entertainment more incrimentally. You know: Rated G comes before PG comes before PG-13 and so on and so forth.

  • Stephanie

    The FDA approves GoT to people 15 and older, without a prescription.

    • Kayla

      I didn’t realize the drug administration required prescriptions for television viewing.

  • nominalize

    Who would want to ruin the pleasure of watching the show by having to pause it every two minutes: “Mommy, why don’t I do that with *my* sister? Daddy, why did he cut his head off? Mommy, didn’t you say that when you die you don’t come back? Daddy, what’s a ‘horr’? Is Mommy one, too?”

    • GhostLink

      That never happens. Please, if you think it does, stop lying to yourself. Everybody is different.

    • Martin Alberter

      haha, you live in a scary world my friend

  • Jave

    I started playing bloody video games at 7, started watching porn at 11, I was not mature in any way but i knew this things were happening in real life (i mean war, deaths, sex and what not), I’m 23 now and life’s still pretty normal, this things are still happening out there and they will not stop, i am not a parent but i have tons of nephews and nieces (age 2-6), why shelter them in an fragile bubble? i don’t mean to show them all this things to prepare them, just let tem live and life will show them these things, explain things if they ask, but what kid or teenager really ask their parents for this kind of thing?

  • Are you guys forgetting about the straight up PORN scenes in this show? This show is so incredibly filled with sex (especially earlier seasons) and one of the story lines revolves around a whore house….I say 18+ as a mark for the age of what you should be, and then let the parents of the mature teenagers decide if their kid(s) can handle it. Legally, you have to be 18 to watch porn, you should should be 18 to watch GoT porn.

    • Lttlemoi

      why is sex and porn always rated so harshly while violence is deemed ok?

      • asdf

        I agree to that. It hasn’t been too long since I grew up and I can conclude: Violence and shocking/gross scenes are much worse than seeing someone having sex.

        And if a child can handle violence in film depends only on its maturity. In my opinion no one knows the point where it’s ok for a child to watch schow XY, not even the parents.

    • Sarah

      Can i just say that you can definitely access porn before you’re 18. And most kids, guys and girls, have seen it by that time if they were curious enough to look it up.

  • Martin Alberter

    She will just figure out how to use torrents. Which is a good thing. Finding ways to get away with illegal activities is paramount education.

    • Guest #343

      Amen brother.

  • Jessica Jones

    It depends on the kid. If one of my kids was mature enough at around 13, I’d let them watch. Certainly not younger than that though. The show is fantastic, but it is anything but family friendly.

  • Guest

    I think talking about sex, the physical act of it, should come after puberty, but there are age appropriate topics you can discuss before that.

    As the mom of a 12 year old boy, I worry all the time about what he might be learning from his peers, so I make sure he has enough information to make him educated, but not too much that makes him curious. I have also established a trust with him so he feels comfortable coming to me with questions. Since he is a science nerd, we went that route as far as discussing the issues.

    As far as GoT or any other popular HBO shows, I feel 15/16 is an ok age to let them watch. However, I may still shield their eyes to the the gratuitous sex scenes.

    • Lttlemoi

      So it’s ok to see people beheaded, tormented and lit on fire, but sex and passionate love isn’t? I do hope your son will have more sex in his life than violence.

      • Courtney Lynn

        At the age of 15/16 sure it is fine. It’s called MAKE BELIEVE. If at that age a kid cannot comprehend fact from fiction then there is a deeper problem than watching a show on TV

        • Lttlemoi

          I wasn’t talking about the age but about why sex is rated more harshly than violence.

          • Courtney Lynn

            Violence, while a part of culture, is not something everyone does. Yes, it happens more often than we like, but having a 10 year old watch a beheading is not going to make him want to go out and behead someone. And IF it does, then there is obviously more of a problem with his mental stability.

            Sex is something we all do. Regardless of gender. Sex is a part of who we are. While, no it’s not a bad thing, I would not want my 12 yr old trying to mount the girl down the street.

            Sex is pleasurable and enjoyable. If violence is pleasurable and enjoyable to someone, then they need psychological help. THAT is the difference

          • Lttlemoi

            (I don’t think you entirely got my first answer) You said that you would let your children watch the violence, but not the sex. I merely pointed out that I think it should be the other way.
            btw, I totally agree that most 15-year-old children are mature enough to watch GoT.

            (for a reference, I’m an 18 year-old Belgian)

          • Courtney Lynn

            Ah, hence your not understanding it from a parent’s perspective.

          • Lttlemoi

            “As far as GoT or any other popular HBO shows, I feel 15/16 is an ok age to let them watch. However, I may still shield their eyes to the the gratuitous sex scenes.”
            This sentence is what’s been bugging me.
            It’s true that I can’t understand it from a parents perspective, but I never said I did in the first place.

  • Apollymi

    I believe that if your child asks you about it at age 7+, they have a right to know. I don’t know a child under the age of 6 that is watching GoT, so i don’t have an answer for that. But if they ask you about it, then they have a right to know. I will never not let my child watch something, unless it’s really adult, like Braveheart or Spartacus. (Sad to see that show go btw), because there are things in those shows that are really quite graphic. But there have only been a few times in GoT that they have ever shown male/female genitalia, or had a close up of someone getting decapitated. And men all have the same parts, women all have the same parts, and if they see it and ask me, I’m going to simply tell them what it is. It’s really as simple as that.

    • Alicia K

      Speaking of children under six, I always put Game of thrones on when I want my one year old daughter to take a nap. Works every time! I know at this point she is too young to even understand enough to be confused about anything, so I am not worried. However, the first time I hear her repeat a line from the show, it’s turning off for several years!

  • Kev

    I started learning these “tough topics” in school, at the age of 8, but maybe that’s because my school was run by the Catholic Sect Opus Dei. In College (which was also run by Opus Dei) we even had a subject called Philosophy of the Family. If you mentioned the word “contraceptive”, you would be kicked out of the room. It’s never too early to face reality. People have their opinions and those opinions clash. Best to get a hold of your child as early as possible.

  • Ricardo

    There is no especific age. I think 13+ is a good starting point, assuming the children had enough instructions by their family

  • I think it has a lot less to do with age than it does with maturity. While I completely agree with educating children about sex BEFORE puberty, and not just trusting sex ed at their schools to do it, really you have to judge the maturity of the child. The violence, sex, and other adult themes are “okay” for adults to watch because they know how to process that content maturely. If a teenager’s going to be watching this stuff before the age of eighteen, it really comes down to how they are able to process the content… and maintaining a dialogue about the subject matter is a must, too. You can’t just throw your kid in the deep end and wait for them to learn how to swim.

    • jonathon wisnoski

      How will a child ever get mature unless you allow them access to mature content. All children no matter their genetics and style of upbringing will remain immature unless you treat them mature at least sometimes.

      I personally never understood why you would shield a child from reality. Childhood is when a person’s brain is elastic enough to handle anything. Adults are the ones who need shielding from the unknown and uncomfortable.

      • Lttlemoi

        The problem with a child is that they just take everything for true. If a child regularly sees a movie in which violence is depicted as something cool and amazing without any further explanation, it will most likely adopt that way of thinking. Maturity means that you evaluate everything you perceive. You ask questions and know when something is ethically correct. Not just in relation to yourself but also and especially in relation to others.

        • You sound like a dumbass. I was watching worse at 12. GoT actually has the intelligence to be self conscious unlike a lot of movies with tongue in cheek depictions of murder or sexual aggression, like Kill Bill, which kids love with no repercussion to their psyche. A violent kid will be violent anyway.

          • Lttlemoi

            I used the term “child” as a description of a human being younger than 10 years old. From 10 to 15, I call them “teenagers”. between 15 and 18, it is an “adolescent” and older than 18 is “adult”.
            btw, you do know that calling people names for no apparent reason is considered childish?

          • tfsnj42

            Said like I would expect with someone using the name “Dig Bick”

          • edmund

            Apparently what you watched as a child and how you’ve responded here actually proves the point. This type of tv does not make you mature, but actually desensitizes and stunts it.

      • edmund

        Not sure how old you are but nothing you said was accurate. What does a physical aspect such as brain elasticity have to do with the emotional and mental impact this type of imagery would have on a child? There are many factors that make up what one would call a ‘mature’ person. Exposure to disturbing and complex emotional, psychotic behavior is not one of them nor does it equal maturity. This show features human depravity. There are far better and healthier ways to prepare a child for maturity. This show is not one of them. I wish more people would understand this and do a better job of nurturing our children instead of filling their minds with crud for entertainment. Definitely not a kid show.

        • jonathon wisnoski

          Brain elasticity is not, and have never been, the physical characteristic of how much you are stretch or bend a brain if you pull on it.
          That is just ridiculous.

    • That’s how I learned how to swim. Just sayin’.

  • David Pergolini

    15 is a safe age for me. The show is obviously laced with sex and violence and profanity, but its also a shining example of quality storytelling and character development. I believe that children should watch GoT when they appreciate the craft of storytelling, understanding why all of the other elements play a significant part in the universe. So that they’ll watch the show for its STORY, not tits and ass.

  • try harder

    What’s the fucking point of these retarded articles? Admin’s Edit: But I respect your opinion and those of others :) My mommy and daddy weren’t nice to me growing up so I take it out on others online. The circle of life continues via me and I’m not a strong enough person to stop it.

    • V

      As a mother of a 7-year-old, I could totally understand your stance, and
      completely agree with it, even though I’m an avid watcher of the show.
      To the asshole above me, you clearly do not have children, or a
      nurturing bone in your body, so you couldn’t possibly appreciate the
      place of this article.










Find an HBO Series





More HBO

Subscribe to HBO
Countries HBO Is In
Watch Game of Thrones Online
Watch The Leftovers Online
Watch Silicon Valley Online
HBO Premiere & Air Dates
True Detective Streaming
Other Streaming Television
HBO Boxing Live Stream
Game of Thrones on DVD & Blu-Ray
Watch Cinemax Online