‘Game of Thrones’ cinematographer says it was your fault 'The Long Night' was too dark

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Long Night was dark (Credit: HBO)

Did you struggle to see a damned thing during the climactic Battle of Winterfell in the latest Game of Thrones episode The Long Night?

Well, that’s your fault.

German-born cinematographer Fabian Wagner has defended the murky lighting in the episode which has lead to fans complaining that they didn’t have a clue what was going on during the more frenetic action sequences (i.e. 90 percent of the episode).

And not only has he defended it, he’s laid the blame squarely at YOUR door.

Read more: Here’s why the lighting in Game of Thrones is so bad

“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly,” he told Wired, in an interview alongside director Miguel Sapochnik.

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

“Personally I don’t have to always see what’s going on because it’s more about the emotional impact. Game of Thrones is a cinematic show and therefore you have to watch it like you’re at a cinema: in a darkened room.

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

Richard Dormer and Maisie Williams in the Game of Thrones (Credit: HBO)

Wagner has previously worked on a host of UK TV shows from Sherlock to Spooks, and was also behind the camera on pivotal Thrones episodes such as Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards.

He added that it was the whole point of the episode to make it look different.

“The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode,” he said. “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.

Read more: Game of Thrones borrows Last Jedi moment

“Everything we wanted people to see is there.”

This will provide little comfort for those who could not take in the action properly due to the darkness on screen, a complaint that has been pretty widespread.

Some also suggested that the ‘compression’ of the files streamed from HBO were also part of the problem, as well as the bitrate of the streaming from different providers, for those watching on streaming services.

Game of Thrones continues on Sky Atlantic on Monday.