The Cinematographer For ‘Game Of Thrones’ Just Blamed That Dimly-Lit Episode On People Not Knowing How Their TVs Work—And, Excuse Me?

If you had a difficult time seeing the Battle of Winterfell unfold on the latest episode of Game of Thrones because it was too dark, well, that’s on you.

BEWARE of SPOILER ALERTS if you haven’t watched Sunday’s episode, “The Long Night.”

Fans of HBO’s GoT took to social media with various reactions after Sunday’s airing of “The Long Night,” which culminated in a very dark scene.

The momentous defeat of the Night King could’ve been more victorious to witness had it not been for the “indistinguishable” lighting that made it hard to make out the events in the climactic battle.

After much criticism over the unfortunate lighting, the episode’s cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, went on the defensive by pointing the finger at viewers’ televisions.

He told Wired that most of the time, viewers’ devices are part of the issue.

“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.”

Wired noted the contrast of the show’s earlier seasons with crisper, back-lit visuals, to that of the tone deliberately reflecting the darker subject matter in later seasons.

The darkness was a deliberate decision made by showrunners to make this battle different from former battles.

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

Those who are familiar with the work involved defended the production team.

Some fans didn’t seem to have a problem.

While others thought it was an unfair assessment.

Others who work in the industry disagreed with the creative choice.

Manchester-based videographer Sophie Barrott barely lasted 15 minutes into the battle scene and thought it was a disservice to dedicated fans.

“There’s a fine line between creating atmosphere for your audience – who have waited eight seasons for a battle of light versus dark, the dead versus the living – to leaving them completely in the dark, straining their eyes beyond comprehension.”

She added:

“The lack of light sources, or the over-crushed blacks in the grade of the episode, create a confusing of a mix of frustration and intense imagination.”

(“Grade” refers to post-production color-tweaking.)

Wagner continued his explanation that came off sounding more like an excuse.

“Personally I don’t have to always see what’s going on because it’s more about the emotional impact.”

He suggested that audiences should recreate their home-viewing environment “like you’re at a cinema” to maximize their experience.

“’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.”

The verdict is in.

This user took more issue with the editing.

Wagner concluded the interview by taking the criticism in stride.

“With a lot of hype comes a lot of criticism. People love to find something to talk about, and so that’s totally fine.”

How about you? Were your eyes hurting from squinting the entire time?

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