“Game of Thrones” Season 8 bagged several accolades during the recent Emmy Awards. Fans were completely surprised when it received awards for “The Long Night,” which was the most criticised episode in the final season.
At Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmys, “The Long Night” won three awards not based on cinematography but on sound. It walked away with the Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score).
The Emmys singled out “The Long Night” mostly for its sound mixing, music composition, and score. This is understandable, given that the episode lacked brightness and made it hard for viewers to watch the scenes unfold before their eyes. It was hard to follow the action in “The Battle of Winterfell” because it was poorly lit.
Suffice to say that the “Game of Thrones” Season 8 episode was so dark that fans even had to adjust their TV screen’s brightness just so they can properly see locations and identify people’s faces better. Days after the episode aired on HBO, some fans were gracious enough to share scenes with better light quality. On a story standpoint though, this makes sense since the battle takes place at night so light was used sparingly to achieve this effect.
Re-recording mixer Matthew Waters, whose team won for sound mixing, said “The Long Night” was a challenge because of its sheer length. It was a 90-minute battle scene involving the Night King and his army of White Walkers against the people in Winterfell. The lack of light drove home the terror, the fear, and the confusion that the characters experienced during the battle. Waters said “the entire episode was a scene” so it was tough maintaining the energy.
“A whole storyline, and we had to keep the energy of it up…it was really a lot of tricks in our craft…It was very different and super fun, but that was the hardest to keep that energy up for an hour and-a-half,” Waters said backstage.
Despite the darkness of “The Long Night,” the “Game of Thrones” Season 8 episode bagged five Emmy awards. Apart from the awards related to the scoring, it also took home two other wins, including Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic).