House Of The Dragon Co-Creator On Why It's Difficult To Make The Show Bright Enough For Everyone

The team has to factor in tons of variables for home-viewing as opposed to filmmaking where people sit in a very dark theater, Ryan Condal says.


If you've been watching HBO's House of the Dragon and felt the need to close all your shades and turn off all your lights to see the action, you're not alone, and it's not your fault. The show is dark by design, this much the key creatives have discussed already. In a new interview with Variety, series co-creator Ryan Condal said the production team behind House of the Dragon had the challenge of creating a cinematic-quality TV show that would be seen in a home, as opposed to a dark theater--and this wasn't easy.

"The unique challenge of making television post-production is that you're making it in this highly calibrated facility with millions of dollars' worth of equipment and high-end professionals. At the end, if you're making a movie, you turn over those files to movie theaters, where you know that there's a reasonable sameness in quality in terms of the way the media is going to be exported and the equipment that it’s being seen on," he said. "When you're making television, you're turning it over to not only tens of millions of different television setups--rooms with curtains and no curtains, lighting and no lighting, speakers and no speakers--but you're also turning it over to these different distributors who are going to take the file and compress it or not compress, or show it and 1080P or 4K."

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In the end, Condal said it's "very hard" to account for all those variables at once. An effort was made, but it's an ongoing challenge, it seems.

"What I learned in the making the season is that you do have to take much more into account the fact that we are making the show for people's television sets versus in a perfectly calibrated movie theater environment," he said.

Episode 7, Driftmark, was among those criticized for being too dark from a visual perspective. Condal defended the episode's lighting, saying the production team are "geniuses" for using post-production elements and color-correcting to get it to a place they felt happy about.

House of the Dragon just wrapped up its 10-episode first season, and the finale ended on a big cliffhanger that fans will surely be discussing and debating until Season 2 arrives. Season 2 will begin filming in early 2023, Condal confirmed, but there is no word yet as to when the new season will debut.

In addition to the second season of House of the Dragon, HBO is developing a Jon Snow spin-off series with Kit Harington set to come back. Just because the show is being developed doesn't mean it will ever get made, however, so don't get too excited just yet.

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