Game of Thrones was a beautiful show. The CGI, the sets, the costumes…everything was top notch. But sometimes, especially towards the end of its life, it got dinged for looking too dark. In particular, the episode “The Long Night” drew criticism for being hard to make out, but there were a lot of dimly lit scenes, the intent probably being that the directors of photography on the show wanted to keep the lighting realistic.
One of those cinematographers was Fabian Wagner, who lit landmark episodes like “Hardhome,” “The Winds of Winter,” and indeed, “The Long Night.” Not long ago, he posted the newest trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon on his Instagram…and looking at his caption, I’m honestly not sure if he’s being shady or not.
You be the judge. (Also, Jason Momoa weighs in on the post with a simple, “f**k yeah. bro,” which is nice.)
House of the Dragon is “not too dark,” according to Game of Thrones cinematographer
“Well, it’s got dragons, an iron throne, cool costumes, shafts of light, and it’s not too dark!!!!!!” Wagner wrote. “Even when you watch it on your iPhone in broad daylight.”
Now, to be fair, Wagner posted the entire trailer, parts of which are brightly lit, mostly because they’re filmed outside. But then there are other shots like this:
I’m sorry, but this is dark; this is a dark-looking showing. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I dunno…I wanna see their faces better, and if that takes a couple of fill lights, then so be it.
Is it just me? Is the dim photography working for other people? We can all see how it plays out when the series premiere airs on HBO and HBO Max on August 21.