'People don't know how to tune TVs': Cinematographer defends Game of Thrones lighting

A still from episode 3 in season 8 of Game of Thrones (left) and the same still brightened up by our digital desk (right) Picture: HBO.

Following one of the most highly anticipated episodes in television, fans were left feeling somewhat in the dark- literally- after watching season 8, episode 3 of Game of Thrones.

'The Long Night' was a pivotal episode in the show's final season and as such, had a longer duration of 82 minutes as opposed to the usual hour.

Picture: HBO.
Picture: HBO.

The episode followed most of the major characters as they battled the Night King and his army of White Walkers throughout the night in the Battle of Winterfell.

However, fans were quick to vent frustration at the particularly dark-lighting in 'The Long Night', making it difficult to decipher who and what was going on in some scenes:

In response to the backlash from fans, Game of Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner spoke to a number of publications defending the dark lighting.

Speaking to Wired, Wagner seemed to suggest it was the viewers fault for not knowing how to adjust their display settings on their devices:

"A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly.

"A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.…

A still from episode 3 in season 8 of Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO.
A still from episode 3 in season 8 of Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO.

"If you watch a night scene in a brightly lit room then that won’t help you see the image properly.”

He also said that the showrunners themselves wanted the episode to be as dimly lit as it was.

"We’d seen so many battle scenes over the years – to make it truly impactful and to care for the characters, you have to find a unique way of portraying the story."

He added: "Another look would have been wrong. Everything we wanted people to see is there."

Wagner also shot the episodes 'Hardhome' and 'Battle of the Bastards', but told TMZ that the murky darkness is down to the HBO's compression of the episode, meaning it loses some of it's high definition.

He said: "I know it wasn't too dark, because I shot it."

Picture: HBO.
Picture: HBO.

He added that Thrones has always been a very dark and cinematic show, advising viewers to watch it in a dark room and avoid watching it on phones and places that are bright.

Thankfully, the next episode looks to be shot in the much sunnier King's Landing-in the daytime.

What do you think? Was it 'realistically dark' as Wagner claims, or could it have done with a bit more brightness? Let us know.

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