Game of Thrones fans might have differing opinions on characters, plotlines and deaths but they all seem to agree on one thing – the lighting of the show is bad.
Every week, social media is filled with complaints about how dark the scenes looks and more importantly how it affects their ability to see the action.
After episode 3 “The Long Night” aired, the frustration continued as fans struggled to see what was going on during the Battle of Winterfell.
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However, according to an interview with one of the show’s cinematographers in 2017, there is a reason for the lack of lighting.
“I think we’re all very much on the same page where we’re trying to be as naturalistic as possible,” Robert McLachlan told INSIDER.
McLachlan served as cinematographer for eight episodes including season 3’s “Rains of Castamere,” season 5’s “Mother’s Mercy,” and season 7’s “The Spoils of War.”
He says that the lighting was done to reflect the seasons of the year as well as how sparingly candles would have been used during that era.
“If you watch season one again, there’s a lot of unmotivated backlight,” he explained. “Even day exteriors, you can tell that they’ve been lit. The cinematographers who’ve been doing it since then, I think we’re all very much on the same page where we’re trying to be as naturalistic as possible.”
It’s not the first time a period TV show has been criticised for lack of lighting; the BBC’s Henry VIII drama Wolf Hall similarly used minimal lighting and was criticised by viewers for it.
“They are legitimate concerns to have but the camera we were using is amazing,” director Peter Kosminsky said at the time. “I don’t like the type of filmmaking where people have to shut off all the lights to be able to see what is on the screen properly.
“I would never present something to an audience that was dim or gloomy or difficult to see,” he added. “Of course, the night scenes are quite moody but only in the sense that any drama’s night scenes will be quite moody compared to a daylight scene.
“It would be completely stupid to give something to audiences that they weren’t able to see.”
With three episodes left of Game of Thrones here’s hoping the weather brightens up.
Game of Thrones returns next Monday at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic and Now TV.