The final season of HBO's Game of Thrones may have drawn the ire of fans who were displeased with the way the fantasy epic played out, but that hasn't stopped the series from taking home a handful of Emmys. Game of Thrones has already snagged, at the time of this article's writing, a total of five Emmys, three of them being for one of the most controversial episodes of the final season, "The Long Night".
At the Creative Arts Emmys on Sunday, "The Long Night" was awarded Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series. These awards were on top of the overall awards the series won which include Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series and Outstanding Main Title Design.
The award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing may be met with a bit of surprise for fans of the HBO series. The episode was infamously very poorly lit, the darkness of the episode making it difficult for some viewers to see the events unfolding during the Battle of Winterfell. After the episode aired, (and, to be fair, during) fans were pretty vocal about the lightning situation with some going as far as to edit scenes to show how they would have looked had they been better lit. However, from a story and cinematography standpoint, the sparing use of light actually makes sense. The episode is about a battle at night, in the darkness. That's pretty much what the entire episode was, a 90-minute battle scene in which the forces of Winterfell faced off with the Night King. The lack of light drives home the terror of that fight as well as immerse audiences in the feelings of fear, disorientation, and more the characters were experiencing in battle.
It may have been a difficult approach for some viewers, but it was also one that was in keeping with something cinematographer Robert McLachlan said in 2017 about the use of natural light on the series.
"If you watch season one again, there's a lot of unmotivated backlight," he told INSIDER. "Even day exteriors, you can tell that they've been lit. The cinematographers who've been doing it since then, I think we're all very much on the same page where we're trying to be as naturalistic as possible... to make these sets and locations feel as they're absolutely not lit by us, but only by Mother Nature or some candles, so that it feels more naturalistic, albeit enhanced in some cases."
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