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Game Of Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner defends the Battle of Winterfell’s dark scenes

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"The Long Night" breaks all previous viewership records for Game of Thrones

Contrary to the divided opinion of fans about the strategy used in the most anticipated battle in Game of Thrones, there was one issue that almost all the fans were united about – the low lighting of the episode. Hilarious memes have been circulated with Melisandre being thanked for the fire she set up on Dothraki blades, to dragons being applauded for helping with brightness whenever they could. However, cinematographer Fabian Wagner who worked on the episode thinks otherwise.

Game Of Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner defends the Battle of Winterfell's dark scenes

Wagner, in an interview with Wired, blamed HBO for compressing the episode in a manner that had a direct impact on the clarity, resulting in pixalation and muddy patches surrounded by dark light. The cinematographer who has worked on epic episodes like Battle of the Bastards and Hardhome, said that most of the viewers watch episodes on smaller screens, thereby affecting the viewing experience. The intention of the lighting was supposed to show the war as intense, claustrophobic and disorienting.

Wagner asserts that the episode was not meant to be confusing and hence for the perfect viewing experience it should’ve be watched in darker rooms and bigger screens.

A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly,” he said. “A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.

What are your thoughts about Wagner’s statements? Let us know in the comments section.


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Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

Watched it on a 65″ OLED TV in pitch darkness. The scenes were pure black at times with no detail, so there is either a compression or a source issue.

Linda
Linda
1 year ago

The lack of light in the battle scenes completely ruined what would otherwise have been epic. I actually had to google to find out who died and who survived and that was after viewing it twice!

John E. Jones
John E. Jones
1 year ago

The dark, foggy effect, played havoc with my nerves, made me feel frustrated and added to my confusion. Just like it would be in battle. Job done! Brilliant!

L Valentine
L Valentine
1 year ago

No issues. Enjoyed the feeling the darkness gave but could still easily see what was going on. 10 year old 40 inch Samsung TV via Hulu over WiFi.

Amy
Amy
1 year ago

Watched on a large screen one year old tv and still had to get up and walk up to the screen multiple times to try and determine what was going on. As for turning up brightness, the lighting should have been adjusted for a normal tv viewing not us adjusting our sets. Loved the episode, but had to rewatch large portions to try and see who was fighting.

Dude
Dude
1 year ago

I’ve never been in any kind of an actual battle, but I imagine that if one is in battle, especially at night, it is difficult to see, difficult to distinguish friend from foe, difficult to see where the enemy fire (or friendly fire) is coming from or going to, and insanely tense. I felt like the darkness of the scenes accomplished that and really added to the tension, and was a positive aspect of this episode.

Addam
Addam
1 year ago

Hey asshole. Buy me a bigger TV and I will gladly watch it again.

Bert
Bert
1 year ago

Even on a 4K changing the settings several times(I had to watch it more than once as it was dark) and still is hard to see.

Lawrence Weber
Lawrence Weber
1 year ago

I don’t think that blaming the viewers helps any. Yes, night battles are claustrophobic and hard to see, I have been there in real life, but, isn’t it just worth the courtesy of giving fans a better experience? We pay for it when all is said and done. Please don’t blame someone else.

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Game of Thrones cast and crew spill the beans on the absolutely bonkers original pilot

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Got crew

The first attempt at making something new doesn’t always succeed. When it comes to crafting a world as mystical as Game of Thrones, you can expect a few mistakes. The truth about the scrapped pilot episode of the famed series was revealed in a book by Entertainment Weekly editor, and the legend behind some of the best Game of Thrones coverage, James Hibberd.

An excerpt from Hibberd’s upcoming book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, which delves into the making of the show, contains some interesting bits and pieces from the cast and crew. The way they describe the pilot episode is almost unbelievable. The crew filmed the original pilot in 2009. However, the show finally took after 4 years of hard work by the production team perfecting the rocky vision of showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

It was a frightening time because it was our first time running a production of any scale,” Weiss recalls. “And there are many, many moving parts, human and otherwise, that go into any production, especially one of this size.”

The shooting took place in Northern Ireland and Morocco. There was a feeling of uneasiness among the cast and the crew. According to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), no one had any idea what they were doing. He said, “During King Robert’s arrival I remember finding the whole thing ridiculous.”

He added, “It’s a very fine balance between being serious and believing it and just being cosplayers. There was certainly not a sense that this was going to be some game-changer for anyone. But we had a lot of fun

Mark Addy, who played King Robert Baratheon, describes, “We were trying to establish the rules and order of this new world. In the Winterfell courtyard scene, nobody kneeled when the king arrived in the first pilot. You can’t play being the king. You can’t display “look at how powerful I am.” People have to give you that by showing subservience. It has to be afforded to you by others. In the reshoot, everybody kneeled. It made a huge difference in terms of establishing who’s in charge.”

Game of Thrones pilot Robert Baratheon

Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) shared, “I looked like a Vegas showgirl in the [original] pilot — furs and massive hair, like a medieval Dolly Parton. Not that I’m complaining, I loved it. My hair devolved.

Bryan Cogman (then Benioff’s assistant; later a co-executive producer) recalled, “When we first shot the scene where the Starks find the direwolves — this was the version you never saw — the wonder of what a direwolf was wasn’t coming across. It didn’t seem important enough to the characters. And I’m little assistant Bryan running around the set yelling to anyone who would listen: “These are direwolves! No one has seen these in a million years! This is like seeing dinosaurs! It’s not like finding puppies!” And everyone’s sort of chuckling.”

Christopher Newman (producer): “Joffrey had a different haircut. In the original pilot, it was more pageboy cut, slightly pudding bowl-ish, like Henry V. It wasn’t that it didn’t suit him being a little shit, but it softened the edge. The modern cut in the version that aired gave him more spitefulness.”

David Benioff (showrunner): “At first it seemed to us like it was going well, but that was because we didn’t know any better.”

Dan Weiss (showrunner): “As we went on, the cracks turned into bigger cracks, which turned into fissures. You started to feel the wheels coming off by the time we got to Morocco.”

It seems like the pair was clueless about what they were doing from the first day, the previous reveal of which has angered the fans.

George R.R. Martin definitely had fun on the set. He said, “I went to Morocco for Dany’s wedding in the first pilot. I played a Pentoshi nobleman with beard extensions and an enormous hat. I looked like an idiot, but it was fun.” You might remember this picture of GRRM’s Game of Thrones cameo:

George R. R. Martin Game of Thrones cameo

Harry Llyod (Viserys Targaryen): “I had a different wig. It was titanium and silver, and it was shorter and a bob. Looking back, it was a mistake. There were consultations: “I’m not like Draco Malfoy, I’m not like Legolas … how do we do this?”

Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont): “It was a bit ragged and, in some ways, ill conceived, and no one had great conviction. Since the wedding was shot at night, quite a lot of money had been spent on seeing absolutely f—k-all.”

Bryan Cogman: “Is it fantasy with dramatic trappings? Is it a drama with fantasy trappings? There was a nervousness about the pilot leaning into the fantasy too much — ultimately to a fault. Key exposition was cut to make the dialogue sound more “real,” and as a result, the pilot didn’t make much sense. The impulse to not be over-the-top Shakespearian and Tolkien-esque was right — you’re trying to make it as grounded as possible — but this is still an epic fantasy, and if you ignore that, it’s to the detriment of your story.”

Originally, Tamzin Merchant played the role of Daenerys. Jason Momoa, who played the fierce Khal Drogo, recalls, “[Merchant] was great. I’m not sure why everything was done. But when Emilia got there that’s when everything clicked for me. I wasn’t really “there” until she arrived. ”

Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones pilot

Bryan Cogman: “Everybody involved in making the original pilot scored such a bull’s‑eye with so many of our actors. I thought Tamzin did a really good job. It’s hard to say why things didn’t work out. Ultimately, it’s obvious Emilia Clarke was born to play that part.”

Cogman also noted that HBO somehow gave Game of Thrones a second chance, something which is rare in the industry. The pilot episode was a $10 million disaster for HBO. It is a relief for the fans that they didn’t cancel the show altogether. James Hibberd’s Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, which is bound to have a lot more behind-the-scenes bits from Game of Thrones, comes out Oct. 6 and is now available to pre-order.

What do you feel about these revelations? Let us know in the comments below.


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Maisie Williams reveals original plans for Jon Snow in fight against Night King

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The Starks

Game of Thrones amassed one of the highest viewership numbers any show has seen in the past decade. The final season of the series was one of the most awaited programs of 2019. The episode ‘The Long Night’ in which Arya Stark slays the Night King had a viewership of 17.8 million!

It was a shocking turn of events when Arya stabs the Night King, ending his reign of terror forever. However, many of the fans desired for a different way of killing the Night King. A death by the hands of the show’s other protagonist Jon Snow.

Jon and Arya

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Maisie Williams, who played the role of Arya Stark, revealed the original plans for the death of Night King. Everyone, including Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow, believed he would be the one killing the villain. It turns out, the showrunners always had Arya Stark in their mind.

[Kit Harington] expected it to go [Jon Snow’s] way, too, and he even said, ‘It was going to go that way. Someone told me in season three that I was going to kill The Night King,’” Williams shares. “And then, he read the script, and it was Arya the whole time. Yeah, I think it would’ve been too obvious. I’m glad that it was Arya, honestly. I think I had the best storyline of the final season.”

The death of the Night King in the third episode of season 8 was indeed satisfying. Most of the fans hoped it would be Jon Snow because he had the best experience fighting against the White Walkers (someone else was killed by Jon Snow). Arya landing the killing blow was surprising for all the fans worldwide.

What do you think about Maisie’s reveal? Tell us in the comments below.


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Maisie Williams felt pressure “not to say anything stupid” on social media during height of Game Of Thrones fame

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Arya Stark

Social media has been a part of our lives ever since we’ve had access to Internet. It is a great way of building public image, expressing your thoughts and let others know what you’re doing. Maintaining a positive image is no joke. Especially when you’re as famous as Game of Thrones’ actress Maisie Williams.

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Maisie revealed the problems she had to face on her rise to fame as Arya Stark. Game of Thrones was a turning point in her life. It brought her fame and fortune one can only dream of. When you’re that famous, you’re constantly being judged, whether you are on or off screen.

Maisie Williams

I was always curious but I didn’t know how to represent myself.” She said, “I was very fearful of being judged and I was too scared to express myself. I have learnt to embrace who I am and have my own opinions and style myself the way that makes me feel good and proud.”

Williams went on to explain about her struggles with experimenting on her style as she grew up. Another creative outlet she is still figuring out is social media. She said, “When I was a teenager, social media was exciting and new and you could invent yourself online. I wanted to share everything like my friends did. Then obviously I got a much larger following, so there was pressure to not say anything stupid.”

Maisie has been coping with online noise from both fans and critics alike, since the tender age of 14. She prefers to learn and be a better person, rather than talk about it on social media. She also debuted on stage with the play I and You.

Do you agree with Maisie? Tell us in the comments below.


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