While many Game of Thrones fans were raving about "The Long Night," some were less than pleased with the lighting, as some scenes during the Battle of Winterfell appeared a little too dark for viewing pleasure. Fabian Wagner, a cinematographer for the show, told TMZ that Episode 3 wasn't meant to appear so dark on screens. "I know it wasn't too dark because I shot it," he said.
Wagner, who has worked on episodes such as "Hardhome" and "Battle of the Bastards," said that Thrones "has always been very dark and a very cinematic show," and should be viewed in the darkest setting possible. The ideal viewing environment should be something akin to a movie theater, but since that's not possible in most homes, he encourages viewers to cut the lights and adjust screen settings, if necessary.
Wagner also attributed the darkness to HBO's compression of the digital film. The compression causes the quality of the video to diminish, so the already dark visuals for the episode appeared even darker than what was shot. In addition, poor internet connectivity and brightly-lit rooms also can affect visibility.
John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly on the show, spoke with USA Today, defending the lighting decisions. "I thought the darkness added to the chaos and disorientation of these characters, who are fighting in the dark and don't know what's coming next," he said. "It reflects how the characters are feeling a sense of confusion and fighting blind, literally stabbing in the dark."