Warning: Contains Spoilers
It’s been four days since the Battle of Winterfell and to be honest with you, I’m still not over it.
From Lyanna Mormont’s badass exit (erm hello, she literally ran full force at a wight giant, sacrificing herself to bring it down) to the Night King’s incredible demise (spoiler alert), The Long Night was in no way short of drama.
The one criticism fans had was how dark the episode was. No, not dark as in tragic – although it definitely was that – dark as in you literally couldn’t see what was happening on the screen.
I mean, take a look at the episode teaser if you don’t believe me:
The episode was so dark, in fact, that most people had to turn their brightness on their screens all the way up to be able to see what was going on.
Even so, it’s likely we still missed some important details – as fans of the show have proved by brightening parts of the episode and posting them online for all to watch. And boy did we miss stuff.
Take, for example, the dragon scene. So you know how we all thought Jon Snow was just pissing about playing hide and seek on a dragon all night? Well, he still was, but it turns out he was actually moments away from death at the same time.
Take a look at the brightened scene below:
Woah, I genuinely had no idea most of that stuff was even going on. Who knew Viserion was clawing at Rhaegal to that extent?! And who even noticed Jon’s cape get ripped off?!
Fans haven’t stopped with that scene though, and have actually made a comparison video of perhaps the darkest scene – when the army of the dead began their attack.
I don’t know about you lot, but I was squinting so much throughout that scene I genuinely got lost trying to follow what on earth was happening. And I clearly wasn’t alone.
Take a look at the difference:
The brightness (or the lack thereof) was actually intentional though, with the show’s director of photography Robert McLachlan telling Insider the show is so dark in order to make it look as authentic as possible. Because of winter, obvs.
The cinematographer said:
If you watch season one again, there’s a lot of unmotivated backlight. Even day exteriors, you can tell that they’ve been lit.
The cinematographers who’ve been doing it since then, I think we’re all very much on the same page where we’re trying to be as naturalistic as possible.
[We wanted] to make these sets and locations feel as if they’re absolutely not lit by us, but only by Mother Nature or some candles, so that it feels more naturalistic, albeit enhanced in some cases.
As authentic as it might be, I still think I’d prefer the brightness to be turned up just a teensy bit more – if only to prevent the inevitable headache I’ll get from squinting at my screen constantly.
Ah well, for now I guess we’ll just have to keep trawling through YouTube to see the scenes in all their visually enhanced glory.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).