‘Game of Thrones’ Cinematographer Defends Lighting Choices for Battle of Winterfell Episode

Game of Thrones” cinematographer Fabian Wagner isn’t apologizing any time soon for Sunday night’s poorly-lit episode.

Fans were particularly excited for the show’s tentpole episode over the weekend, but many were left disappointed when multiple scenes were too dark for home-viewers to make out the much anticipated Battle of Winterfell. After receiving significant criticism for its poor lighting, Wagner defended the artistic choices he made for the gruesome battle scenes.

In an interview with Wired alongside episode director Miguel Sapochnik, Wagner placed the blame away from the production team onto viewers’ home devices, which he says aren’t fit for the show’s cinematic filming.

“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly,” he said. “A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.”

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

Wagner also noted the shift in tone throughout the series, with each season becoming darker alongside grim themes. “The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode,” Wagner said. “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.”

Wagner did explain that much of the darkness could be due to the episode’s night-time shoots compared to lighter scenes that were shot on-set. Even so, he stands by his choices. “Everything we wanted people to see is there,” he said.

“Game of Thrones” isn’t the only show that’s faced criticism for its lighting choices. Other series surrounding darker themes, such as “The Walking Dead,” “Teen Wolf,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” have all gotten backlash for scenes that are hard to make out.

RELATED:

More TV

  • Tony Hall BBC Director General

    BBC Boss Tony Hall Lands at U.K.'s National Gallery

    BBC director general Tony Hall has been appointed chair of the board of trustees of the National Gallery. The executive, who has served on the Gallery’s board since November, takes over as chair from Sir John Kingman, who has been interim chair since Hannah Rothschild stood down from the role in September. Hall said: “The [...]

  • Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave'

    Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave' From Will Packer, Debmar-Mercury

    Fox Television Stations has ordered the weekly entertainment news magazine “Central Ave,” which hails from prolific film and TV producer Will Packer and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. Debmar-Mercury and Will Packer Media will produce two half-hour shows per week of “Central Ave,” which tackles pop culture and other topics from a “socially conscious and diverse lens,” per [...]

  • Tony Hall, Director General of the

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

  • Gustavo Mello and Ran Tellem

    Boutique Filmes, The Mediapro Studio Team for ‘To Kill a Queen’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — Gustavo and Tiago Mello’s São Paulo-based Boutique Filmes, producers of early Netflix Original overseas breakout “3%,” is teaming with high-end drama powerhouse The Mediapro Studio (“The New Pope,” “The Head”) to produce “To Kill a Queen.” International sales rights on the series will be handled by The Mediapro Studio Distribution. From an original [...]

  • Donald Trump Hollywood Racism

    Impeachment Trial Adds to TV's Breaking-News Juggle

    As if TV news needed more headlines… The usual suspects are gearing up to cover the U.S. Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the latest swirl in what seems to be a never-ending news cycle centered on the White House. But the impeachment proceedings, which kick off in earnest Tuesday, take place as many [...]

  • Blood Oath

    MBC Studios to Launch Arabic TV Series 'Blood Oath,' Written by Britain's Tony Jordan

    MBC Studios, the Saudi-owned production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group is set to launch “Blood Oath,” an Arabic crime series written by Britain’s Tony Jordan (“EastEnders,” “Life on Mars”). The announcement comes as Dubai-based MBC Studios, set up in 2018 and headed by former president of NBCUniversal International Peter Smith, is [...]

  • Tony Hall BBC Director General

    BBC Director-General Tony Hall to Step Down

    Tony Hall will step down as director general of the BBC this summer. “Tony Hall is an inspirational creative leader, within the UK and around the globe, and the BBC has been lucky to have him as our Director-General for the last seven years,” BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said in a statement. “Tony has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content