- Warning: Spoilers ahead for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode three, “The Long Night.”
- “Thrones” fans were upset about the lighting in the latest season, especially during the Battle of Winterfell in episode three.
- However, the cinematographer who shot the epic battle has an explanation.
- Fabian Wagner told TMZ that “Thrones” has always been a “very dark and a very cinematic show” and that it’s not designed to be watched on a phone screen or in broad daylight.
- He recommended watching the show in a dark room at home with the TV settings adjusted, according to TMZ.
- Wagner said of the latest episode, “I know it wasn’t too dark because I shot it.”
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Twitter has been alight with criticism from viewers saying they could barely see the epic battle scene in season eight, episode three, “The Long Night.”
However, the cinematographer who shot the Battle of Winterfell has an explanation for the lighting decision.
- Helen Sloan/HBO
Fabian Wagner, who also worked on “Thrones” episodes like “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards,” told TMZ that “Game of Thrones” “has always been very dark and a very cinematic show” and is therefore not designed to be watched on a phone screen or in broad daylight.
He recommended watching the show at home in a dark room and adjusting the TV settings, according to TMZ.
He also told the news site that the episode was designed to be dark and disorientating, just as it would have been in a real battle. “We tried to give the viewers and fans a cool episode to watch,” he said.
Wagner said the lighting was not a mistake. “I know it wasn’t too dark because I shot it,” he said.
Wagner isn’t the first “Game of Thrones” cinematographer to defend the show’s lighting – or lack thereof.
Robert McLachlan, who worked on eight “Game of Thrones” episodes, told INSIDER’s resident “Thrones” expert, Kim Renfro, that the show was dark because it was meant to be “as naturalistic as possible.”
The idea is “to make these sets and locations feel as if they’re absolutely not lit by us, but only by Mother Nature or some candles,” he said, “so that it feels more naturalistic, albeit enhanced in some cases.”
So there you are. “Game of Thrones” isn’t too dark – it’s just really realistic.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.