‘House of the Dragon’ Viewers Outraged Over Scenes Too Dark to See, HBO Defends Them as ‘Intentional Creative Decision’

“Game of Thrones” fans might have experienced déjà vu while watching the seventh episode of HBO’s prequel series “House of the Dragon,” which resulted in outrage from many fans over several scenes being too dark to see. “Thrones” ignited similar backlash during its final season, especially for the dimly-lit battle episode “The Long Night.” Both that episode and Episode 7 of “House of the Dragon” were directed by Emmy winner Miguel Sapochnik.

As many fans took to Twitter to express their frustration over “House of the Dragon” being too dark to see, one of HBO’s social media accounts went public defending the dark moments in the episode as “an intentional creative decision.”

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“We appreciate you reaching out about a night scene in ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 7 appearing dark on your screen,” the HBO Max Help account replied to one fan who wrote the network needs “to issue a written apology for literally a whole episode of black screen.”

“The dimmed lighting of this scene was an intentional creative decision,” the HBO account said. Per HBO, less than 1% of social posts spurred by Episode 7 were about lighting issues.

lighting situation.

Many fans claimed the episode was “unwatchable” because the screen was simply too dark. The Ringer writer and podcaster Joanna Robinson tried to warn fans ahead of the episode’s airing to update their TV settings to make the screen a bit brighter, adding, “Watch it with all the drapes closed.”

Sapochnik is no stranger to this kind of backlash given the outrage he faced over the dark scenes in “The Long Night.” He spoke to IndieWire at the time and defended the creative choice, saying the darkly-lit cinematography was what the show’s atmosphere needed.

“It made sense that this was the last hope humanity has, the last beacon of light, and from the perspective of where we needed the story to go — which was to reach a surreal, chaotic climax — we needed an environment that was friendly to that,” Sapochnik said. “So all the reasons for doing it were there, and nobody sat there and wondered if it was gonna be too dark.”

“House of the Dragon” continues its run Sunday nights at 9pm ET on HBO and HBO Max.

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