Not being able to see much in Game of Thrones was actually a stroke of genius

Game of Thrones Season 8 -- photo: Helen Sloan/HBO -- Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site
Game of Thrones Season 8 -- photo: Helen Sloan/HBO -- Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site /

There were many complaints that fans couldn’t see the events of the Battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones because things were too dark. The inability to see was actually a stroke of genius. There are absolutely no spoilers in this post!

We all wanted to see if our favorites were going to fall during the Battle of Winterfell. Many wanted to watch the battle against the dead in full color and brightness. Game of Thrones certainly didn’t offer that and the trailer made it clear that was never going to happen.

You likely heard plenty of jokes in the runup to the episode about turning your brightness on the TV up. Even if you did, there would have been some trouble. Was that Brienne? Did Sam get taken down by a wight? Who was that dead person chasing Arya through the castle’s halls?

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While many complained about the lack of clarity, it was actually a stroke of genius. We were put in the shoes of the living — after all, we were on the side of the living right? As we watched, we could experience everything Jon, Dany, Brienne, Jaime, Arya, and all the others felt during the battle.

They couldn’t see a thing between the smoke and the ice storm. It was impossible to tell who was fighting each other at some points. Sometimes it was difficult to tell which dragon was in the sky (Viserion’s big giveaway was the holes in the wings when he wasn’t firing the icy blue fire, by the way). And it was frustrating viewing, but that was the point and that was the beauty in the episode.

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It was a frustrating battle. The living were outnumbered and outmatched, yet they were putting their lives on the lines. And if the outnumbering wasn’t enough, the White Walkers had decided to use their powers to create a snow storm. They were putting everything they had up against the living.

Battle of Winterfell
Acquired via HBO press release. /

This is one that’s going to take a couple of viewings to really figure out what was going on. You’ll need to look carefully and turn that brightness up completely. But before you start complaining about the cinematography, think about the feel and experience Game of Thrones was giving you. You were put in the middle of that battle with the living. You’re not going to tell me the lack of clarity didn’t make you feel even more on edge than normal, are you?

And if you think I’m just making excuses, you just have to look at the scenes in the crypt, in the castle walls, and even in the Godswood. All those scenes were far clearer because they weren’t as affected by the snow storm. It still wasn’t perfect — but then, it was all done at night and actually reminded me a lot of “Watchers on the Wall” — but there was more clarity.

If you didn’t quite make out who died in the Battle of Winterfell, don’t worry! We’ve got your back.

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What did you think of the Battle of Winterfell? What was your favorite moment of the Game of Thrones episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Game of Thrones continues on Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.