‘Game of Thrones’: Everybody’s Complaining That ‘The Long Night’ Is Way Too Dark

Season 8 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” is an incredibly dark episode. Yes, it’s dark in that a little girl gets squished to death by a giant member of the Army of the Dead right before our very eyes, but it’s also just regular dark–like, hard-to-watch-on-TV dark. Much of the episode takes place on the battlefield in the dead of night.

The crew filmed the episode over a span of 55 straight nights in a row, filming from about 6:00 pm to 5:00 am every day. Conditions were harsh. Temperatures got to negative 14, wind speeds were ferocious, the rain was heavy and created a soppy, muddy ground to work on top of, and the night was pitch black.

'Game Of Thrones': The Touring Exhibition | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
‘Game Of Thrones’: The Touring Exhibition | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

“By week three people looked slightly haunted. The cast, stunts, background, crew, everybody just looked like ‘this is getting into us. This is getting into our spirits,’” Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) said in an interview featured on Game of Thrones: Behind The Scenes.

The director, Miguel Sapochnik, never wants to do anything like filming “The Long Night” in his career ever again.

“I never, ever want to do that again,” he said. “I don’t think anybody who did that ever wants to do it again. That was tough, and I don’t think anybody realized just how hard it was gonna be.”

Fan criticism

Despite the crew’s sacrifice, Game of Thrones fans are complaining that the episode is hard to watch.

“I’m not saying Game Of Thrones was dark this week but I think Bran saw more than I did,” said Matt Lucas on Twitter.

“Dear people making TV shows,

THE VIEWERS AT HOME WOULD PREFER IF THEY COULD SEE WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON SCREEN STOP MAKING EVERYTHING SO DARK.

Sincerely,

Everyone watching tonight’s #GameOfThrones,” writes another fan.

The cinematographer’s response

Fabian Wagner, the cinematographer for the episode, says the issue may be a viewer technical problem.

“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly … 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 told Wired.

He also mentioned that the episode is intentionally dark.

“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,” he said.

But, mostly, Wagner says that because GOT is cinematic in nature, the viewer should aim to watch the episodes as if they’re watching them in a movie theater.

“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.”