HBO responds to House of the Dragon viewers complaining about hard-to-see scenes

House of the Dragon episode 7
(Image credit: HBO/Sky)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon episode 7 – turn back now if you haven't seen the latest episode.

The latest episode of House of the Dragon contained some pretty crucial scenes as the Targaryens mourned the death of Laena Velaryon. Set in the evening following her funeral, we got to watch Daemon and Rhaenyra’s reconciliation as well as Aemond claiming Vhagar as his own dragon. 

However, several viewers had the same issue with these scenes, calling them nearly "unwatchable" because of how dimly lit they were. "This episode of House of the Dragon is so dark it’s unwatchable," wrote one (opens in new tab). "Might as well just turn off my screen and listen to it at this point." While another added (opens in new tab): "The nighttime visuals in House of the Dragon are simply too dark. These scenes would be so epic if I could actually see what was happening."

Other viewers reached out to HBO to check whether it was an issue with their devices before the broadcaster confirmed it was a "creative choice". In response to someone asking for an apology over the "ridiculous" episode of "black screen", the official HBO Max Twitter (opens in new tab) account wrote: "We appreciate you reaching out about a night scene in House of the Dragon: Episode 7 appearing dark on your screen. The dimmed lighting of this scene was an intentional creative decision."

House of the Dragon episode 7

(Image credit: HBO/Sky)

The latest episode was also compared by several viewers to the season 8 episode of Game of Thrones, 'The Long Night' – which was also directed by Miguel Sapochnik. At the time, the director defended the choice to have dark, dimly lit scenes from a story standpoint.

"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 – which was to reach a surreal, chaotic climax – we needed an environment that was friendly to that," Sapochnik explained to IndieWire (opens in new tab). "So all the reasons for doing it were there, and nobody sat there and wondered if it was gonna be too dark."

House of the Dragon is airing weekly on HBO in the US and Sky and NOW TV in the UK. See our House of the Dragon release schedule to find out exactly when the next episode arrives in your time zone.

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.