House of the Dragon: Fans Upset by Being Unable to See Scenes that are Too Dark

Outraged Over Scenes Too Dark to See, HBO Defends Them as ‘Intentional Creative Decision’

house of the dragon
Ollie Upton / HBO
Fans watching the 7th episode of HBO’s prequel series House of the Dragon were outraged over several scenes that were too dark to see.

It ignited similar backlash during the final season of Game of Thrones, 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.

Many fans expressed 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.”

“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.”

Fans claimed the episode was “unwatchable” because the screen was simply too dark. The Ringer writer and podcaster Joanna Robinson warned 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 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.