'House of the Dragon' Is Falling Into Some of Its Predecessors' Bad Habits

Jamie Lerner - Author

Oct. 3 2022, Published 8:53 a.m. ET

Matt Smith, Paddy Considine in 'House of the Dragon'
Source: HBO

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 7.

Every television show has its issues, but when the show has a budget of nearly $20 million per episode, we shouldn’t be able to see those issues at home. Nor should the issues hinder the quality of the episode to the point that it’s unwatchable. However, Episode 7 of House of the Dragon is very dark, and we don’t mean in plot (although the story is dark as well). We mean that it’s *literally* too dark to see what’s going on.

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Yes, in a $20 million episode, the lighting is so dark that it’s hard to discern which character is which, and it’s hard to see what exactly is happening. It’s as if the episode hadn’t passed through its final lighting edit, and sadly, now House of the Dragon is reminding fans of some of Game of Thrones pitfalls. So, why is this episode of House of the Dragon so dark?

Arty Froushan, John MacMillan in 'House of the Dragon'
Source: HBO
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‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 7 is much darker than other episodes in more ways than one.

Sure, House of the Dragon Episode 7 begins at a funeral, but that isn't the darkest part of the episode, per se. The episode goes on to show us how Aemond loses his eye in a brawl with his nephews after claiming Vhagar as his dragon, as well as Rhaenyra and Daemon fornicating and marrying on their spouses’ coffins (figuratively). Even still, the darkest part of the episode is the lighting.

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For some reason, there’s very little contrast on a very dark screen as we watch this episode. Perhaps it's the creators’ way of trying to differentiate Driftmark from the other cities and lands. It could have just been for the mood shift of the tragedy in the episode. Whatever the reason, the episode’s lighting is actually so dark and dim that fans aren't only noticing this transgression, but that it’s actively inhibiting their viewing experiences.

Fans tweeted about the darkness in ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 7.

Instead of tweeting about the crazy drama and plot development in House of the Dragon, fans are now concerned with the episode’s lighting, which we are sure isn't what the creators had in mind. One fan tweeted, “This episode of House of the Dragon is nearly unwatchable. They took the years of complaints about dark scenes in Game of Thrones and said, ‘hold my beer.’”

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It’s true that back in the time of Game of Thrones, certain episodes were so dark, such as “The Long Night,” that fans were forced to turn off all the lights and change the settings on their televisions to see what was going on. But many of us would have hoped that with new showrunners and a few years of technology, many of these intrinsic issues would have been solved.

Even still, it’s just disappointing for fans who want to see what’s going on. “The nighttime visuals in House of the Dragon are simply too dark,” another fan tweeted. “These scenes would be so epic if I could actually see what was happening.” Hopefully this time HBO actually listens to us and incorporates some better lighting for future episodes.

New episodes of House of the Dragon air every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

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