Game of Thrones cinematographer Fabien Wagner responded to numerous fan complaints about the most recent episode depicting the Battle of Winterfell being too dark.
In an interview with Wired, Wagner explained the problem is not with the show being too dark, but is with viewers and their television setups.
Wagner states, “A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly.” He would add, “A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.”
However, he didn’t place all the blame on viewers and their TV settings. He admitted the darkness was a choice made by the showrunners.
“The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode.” He elaborates, “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 also stood by the choice to have the show so dark, “Another look would have been wrong.” He states, “Everything we wanted people to see is there.”
However, he does add that sometimes you don’t need to see everything in order to be hit by the emotional impact of the scenes, “Personally I don’t have to always see what’s going on because it’s more about the emotional impact.”
He then gets back to placing the blame on viewers indicating Game of Thrones should be watched like you are at a theater.
“Game of Thrones is a cinematic show and therefore you have to watch it like you’re at a cinema: in a darkened room.” Wagner adds, “If you watch a night scene in a brightly-lit room then that won’t help you see the image properly.”
As for the amount of criticism the show has been getting over its lighting problems, Wagner says it’s “totally fine.”
“With a lot of hype comes a lot of criticism. People love to find something to talk about, and so that’s totally fine.”
What do you make of Wagner’s response to criticisms the show was much too dark? Do you buy the idea that it’s the viewers fault for not watching it without all their lights off or not having their TV settings set properly?