House Of The Dragon Is Unwatchable For Some Viewers For One Reason

A lot of House of the Dragon fans are complaining about the lighting being far too dark in the most recent episode.

By Michileen Martin | Published

The most recent House of the Dragon episode, “Driftmark,” dropped on HBO Sunday night and a lot of fans are complaining it was way too dark. To be clear; we’re not saying fans thought it was too dark in tone, but that the lighting was literally too dark. Social media filled up with fans claiming they couldn’t make out what was happening on the screen because of the lighting.

The complaints got to be so much that they got an official response. The HBO Max Help Twitter account responded to a fan, assuring them that dark scenes in House of the Dragon were “an intentional creative decision” as opposed to some kind of technical issue. Of course, regardless of the reason for it, fans still don’t seem happy with it.

“Driftmark” was directed by the Emmy-winning Miguel Sapochnik, who has been a regular in the world of Westeros since Season 5 of Game of Thrones. Long before House of the Dragon, Sapochnik was criticized by fans for similar dimmed-lighting choices in “The Long Night” which featured the climactic final battle between the forces at Winterfell and those of the Night King. The director defended his choices back then while speaking to IndieWire (via Variety).

“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… 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.” The director has yet to publicly respond to the outcry about the current House of the Dragon episode.

This isn’t the first complaint fans have voiced about the prequel series based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood. As early as the premiere episode of House of the Dragon, fans complained of being made physically ill by the scene in which Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) is forced to deliver her baby via Caesarean section. Then there were the fans who make the rest of us physically ill, who complained about the character Lord Corlys Velaryon being played by Steven Toussaint because he’s a Black man.

house of the dragon
Steve Toussaint in House of the Dragon

But none of the controversy seem to dented House of the Dragon‘s bottom line. The prequel series remains an unquestionable hit for HBO, and it was renewed for a second season fairly early. Unsurprisingly, if anything the controversy only seems to be helping the show.

There are only three more episodes to go of House of the Dragon‘s inaugural season, with the eighth episode set to drop on Sunday, October 9. The series finale will debut before the end of the month, leaving you plenty of time between now and then to make sure your TV is as bright as it possibly can be. The show is likely going to give Miguel Sapochnik a call to direct another episode eventually and, for or better or worse, the guy likes to save on the lighting bill.