'House of the Dragon' season 2 has fixed those 'too dark!' screen complaints

Olivia Cooke HBO House of the Dragon Season 2 - Episode 1
(Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

For "House of the Dragon" viewers, the problem with season 1 wasn't that the content of the show was too dark (though a drama that sees people getting eaten by dragons can unsurprisingly get a bit grim and gory). 

No, the real issue was that many scenes of the show were literally too dark to see, a complaint that also plagued the show's predecessor, "Game of Thrones." However, that onscreen snafu will reportedly be rectified for the upcoming "House of the Dragon" season 2, showrunner Ryan Condal recently assured fans. 

In a June 6 interview with The Hollwood Reporter, the "HOTD" creator revealed that, though he is "very proud of season 1," there are things he wished they had more time to work on in postproduction. One such thing was how the show was lit. In response to the social-media outrage about the lighting last season, HBO reps at the time said that the dimness was "an intentional creative decision," reported Variety. But Condal has now revealed that producers "went into season two very conscious of that feedback" from fans. 

"Season 2 is much more in line with my particular aesthetic and what I think the show should look like," Condal told THR about the upcoming episodes, which will kick off on Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max. "It’s not a massive difference, but I don’t anticipate getting the 'it’s too dark' note again."

That's extra good news for "HOTD" fans because this season is all around bigger than the previous one, despite having fewer episodes than the 10-episode first season. There are a whole host of new characters, new dragons and big battle scenes, not to mention the show's longest installment yet, so Westeros diehards will definitely be wanting to see every single moment crystal clear. 

Condal also acknowledged that the success of the show's first season hasn't entirely alleviated feelings of pressure going into season 2.

"I heard a This American Life interview where they talked to one of the comedy acts that followed The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. They bombed, because they were playing to an audience of 16-year-old girls who just wanted The Beatles to come back. I’m glad I didn’t hear that before our first season because I would’ve collapsed in on myself. We were following one of the most successful TV series of all time," he said. 

"I knew that we made a good show, so I was not surprised that there were good reviews. What surprised me was 29 million people showing up. But I’m not taking that for granted, thinking they’ll all come back."

If you do plan to come back for round two, Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all updates surrounding those "House of the Dragon" season 2 episodes. (Here's the full episode release schedule for the second season, BTW.) In the meantime, you can revisit the first season of "HOTD" with a Max subscription before the new season begins on Sunday, June 16. 

Christina Izzo
Writer

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.