Natalie Dormer: Game Of Thrones not for viewers who seek escapism
Viewers who watch TV for escapism should steer clear of Game Of Thrones, the show's star Natalie Dormer said.
The 34-year-old was responding to suggestions the programme had gone too far with its negative treatment of women.
In the last series one of the female characters was raped, and another was burnt alive.
Dormer told Sunday Times' Culture magazine: "All I know is that I turn on the news, and it's covering a boy drowning off a coast, or children being shown beheading videos.
"The horror of human nature is prevalent in our world, and I appreciate that some people want to turn on the telly for escapism - but if that's what you want, don't watch Game Of Thrones.
"I choose fantasy to vent, to process complex political, sexual and social politics at the safe distance of fiction.
"For me that's what art should be."
She added that while parts of the show were difficult to watch, she did not think sheltering young people was doing them any favours.
Game Of Thrones, in which Dormer plays Margaery Tyrell, is back for its sixth series in April.