Analyst Justifies Why Game of Thrones’ Battle of Winterfell is Dark

Despite the accolades that followed Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3, many people complained about how they hard to squint at the screen for most part of the battle to see what was happening. That particular edition was so exceptional that it is still being discussed everywhere. In this interesting piece, one of the leading movies analysts in Hollywood, Euan Ferguson, in an article posted on The Guardian, explains why the scenes were dark and how that is actually a factor that expressed professionalism in the production of that episode. Fergusons says despite complaints about how difficult it was to see anything, the epic clash in Games of Thrones was magnificent. You will definitely agree with him after reading this expository piece.

Some people are never happy, never will be, and it’s probably up to those of us who, in the main, are to just let them skulk and glower, although it might be becoming harder in the age of antisocial media when those skulks and glowers are just so loud. True, the 82 minutes of the battle of Winterfell were dark, in every sense, and you had to squint at the screen for at least 40 of those minutes: but we were also being vouchsafed an incredible, wonderfully wrought hour’s banquet of television, more truthfully depicted than any battle scene that (after all) involves giants, dragons and the undead has any right to be.

OK, moaners, I too had to squint at Game of Thrones. And draw the drapes, and wipe some of the cumulative scurf off my corner screen, and become acquaintanced with the finer settings of the other, lost-behind-sofa, remote, which I’ll count as 2019’s spring clean. But, as the producers have said, in fact warned beforehand, the lighting – absence of, rather – was there for a reason: to emphasise the confusion of war, where you’re just never quite sure whose head you’re chopping off or whose axe you might happen to be parrying or fleeing, depending on whether you’re having a good hero day or being the quivering Samwell; and I thought this episode managed, with magnificence, to convey just that. Those stuttering start-stops between reeking flurries of panicked bloodlust and sudden fraught calm. Those silences, hot with heartbeat, straining one’s ears for a scrape of metal on stone; and the eyes, reflecting flamelight on the walls, pregnant with terror.

The pacing cleverly allowed for a few glorious set pieces, such as (obviously, but still – wowza) Melisandre’s lighting of the Dothraki swords, to be intercut with highly individual tales: Arya’s scuttlings in the candled labyrinths of Winterfell, Theon’s empty-handed scrabbling for the last arrow. Quite a diary day too for little Arya Stark, all growed up now.

All in all, this was a high-water mark in naturalistic, cinematic television: and perhaps the first international water-cooler moment. And enough are still standing to ensure the last three episodes will, rather than any kind of anti-climax, be an enthrallingly personal battle for the throne: the second episode, rich with compromise and reconciliation, has perhaps given us a signposting that all surprises need not be power-crazed or violent. Though there’s still Cersei. My one disappointment last week was the dragons. All that budget! Spent on things… flapping, in the dark. You had one job, dragon! Breathe fire. Light up my life.

Source: The Guardian UK

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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