Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3, "The Long Night".
Maybe you, like many others who have been on social media in recent days, had trouble seeing the most recent episode of Game of Thrones in which the living confronted the dead In the darkness of the night. There was a lot of fire to surround, but for the most part, the episode was a series of hard-to-see actions that take place in dimly lit environments. Even the most diehard fans complained en masse.
Know that the decision to film the episode in such a way was intentional, according to director of photography Fabian Wagner, and that he blames the configuration of his TV or the quality of his screen if he had trouble understanding what was happening. After all, Wagner says the program was directed and filmed as a cinematic experience that can be seen in a movie theater, although it is transmitted predominantly in compressed quality to screens of all shapes and sizes.
In a couple of interviews granted to Wired UK and TMZ Wagner explained the reasoning behind the artistic choice to film such a dark and claustrophobic battle. He also pointed to the technology, specifically the lack of quality and understanding of it. "A lot of the problem is that a lot of people do not know how to tune their TVs properly," said Wagner Wired UK . "Many people also, unfortunately, see it in small iPads, which in no way can do justice to such a program."
What's this TV tuning you're talking about? Well, according to the television expert resident of The Verge Chris Welch, there are a number of factors that could result in a less stellar episode transmission. Wagner himself also said that the compression of the episode by HBO, to help smooth the transmission process for millions of viewers with different connection speeds, is another contributor.
The brightness level of your TV, as well as the image mode. Both can affect the way a clear screen action appears in scenes with very different lighting levels. There is also the level of backlight that can illuminate the hard-to-see parts of a particularly dark shot, while nearby light sources can cause reflections and make it even more difficult to focus the image on the screen.
HBO called this the biggest battle in film history knowing that we could not see if that claim was true
– tc (@chillmage) April 29, 2019
Having an OLED screen too It helps a lot to differentiate the action of a shot with a considerable amount of black pixels in the frame. Finally, as Wagner points out, the quality of unformatted streaming must be taken into account, with fans debating the best streaming service to watch the episode before an official Blu-ray. For now, it seems that Amazon is the way to go given its higher bitrate potential.
As for why the episode had to be so dark, Wagner says it was an artistic choice. "The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode," says Wired UK . "We had seen so many battle scenes over the years: to be really shocking and to take care of the characters, you have to find a unique way to portray the story."
For those who are still not convinced, Fabian offered A more definitive answer to TMZ. " We try to give viewers and fans a great episode to watch," he said. "I know it was not very dark because I fired it."