Fans of House of the Dragon had a hard time enjoying the show’s action-packed seventh episode because it was so dimly lit. Since much of “Driftmark” took place at night, entire scenes of dialogue or dragon-stealing were left in the dark, with characters appearing as blurry blobs against a black background.
This isn’t the first time fans of the Game of Thrones franchise have taken issue with a show’s lighting. “The Long Night,” episode 3 of Season 8, was famously lambasted by fans for being too dark to watch. Cinematographer Fabian Wagner blamed HBO’s video compression, claiming it added pixelation and darkened colors.
After “Driftmark,” episode 7 of House of the Dragon, aired viewers once again flocked to social media to express their frustration.
Viewers complained so much about the episode’s darkness that the HBO Max Help Twitter had to reuse a response over and over, telling fans, “the dimmed lighting of this scene was an intentional creative decision.”
Not all fans experienced the same struggle with the darkness, as the episode looked much clearer on OLED TVs. However, if you don’t have access to an OLED TV, there are still some tricks you can use to make the image look better.
For example, you can employ the tried and true method of turning off all the surrounding lights and adjusting your TV’s brightness to make dark areas clearer. CNET also recommends changing other TV settings, like switching to Movie, Cinema, or Calibrated picture modes and turning off motion smoothing.
New House of the Dragon episodes are available every Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.(opens in a new tab)