- "Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau says fans criticizing season eight's Battle of Winterfell episode for being "too dark" had a point.
- "It was really dark," he said during a panel interview at Con of Thrones in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday.
- "I knew [what happened on the episode] but even then I was like, 'Who is that? I can't see,'" Coster-Waldau said, making a squinting face.
- He explained how HBO had lowered the bandwidth for live-streaming on Sunday night to avoid crashing its servers.
- "When you do that, you lose quality of image, and blacks become grays and it all becomes muddy and you can't see it," the actor said. "But it shouldn't be like that, so it is a fair critique. I agree with that."
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also addressed other complaints fans had about the final season.
- Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories.
"Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau thinks some of the major critiques fans had of HBO's eighth and final season of the show are "fair."
"The critique of episode three being too dark … it was really dark," the Jaime Lannister actor said during a panel interview at Con of Thrones in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday.
The third episode of the final "Game of Thrones" season was titled "The Long Night," and centered entirely on the Battle of Winterfell. Many fans said they could barely tell what was happening during the nighttime fight scenes. Coster-Waldau had a similar issue when he tried to live-watch the episode on TV.
The "Game of Thrones" star said a group of HBO's cast and crew members got together the night the episode aired to watch it on a big screen at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. They were blown away by the episode, and had no issues comprehending any of the snowy action sequences.
But Coster-Waldau was out of the country at the time, and had a much different experience.
"I was in Canada watching it on a television monitor and I knew [what happened on the episode] but even then I was like, 'Who is that? I can't see,'" Coster-Waldau said while squinting his eyes.
"I actually spoke to [cocreator] Dan Weiss about this because it really pissed him off as well," Coster-Waldau said. "You gotta believe me — they did everything they could to make this the most exciting action-sequence ever made and put on film or TV or anything."
Alex Van Mecl/HBO
"So to wake up and see the Twitter or whatever talking about, 'I can't see it!' was really a surprise to everyone," he continued. "Because it was dark but it was made in a way that people should [have] been able to see it."
Coster-Waldau said the issue came down to streaming quality for the millions of HBO subscribers trying to watch "The Long Night" all at the same time on Sunday night.
"Apparently [...] HBO used to crash all the time with high traffic," Coster-Waldau said of the network's streaming services. "So they were like 'What's Netflix doing?' Well Netflix was just lowering the bandwidth. When you do that, you lose quality of image, and blacks become grays and it all becomes muddy and you can't see it. But it shouldn't be like that, so it is a fair critique. I agree with that."
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also addressed other complaints fans had about the final 'Game of Thrones' season
During his Con of Thrones panel interview with Vanity Fair contributor Joanna Robinson, Coster-Waldau went through a list of some of the issues people had about the last six episodes and why he agreed or disagreed with them.
"One critique was, 'It was too fast, there [were] only six episodes and we needed more time for this to happen,'" Coster-Waldau said. "Fair enough. I would have loved to have another season. But I think the crew would have died — it was so hard to shoot this last season."
The final criticism he addressed was how people had theorized and hoped Jaime would kill his twin/lover Cersei.
"So what else? 'Cersei wasn't killed by Jaime.' I mean, imagine if that had happened, the outcry!" Coster-Waldau said before dropping his voice into a deep American accent and pretending to be a fan. "'So obvious! God! We saw that coming years ago.'"
Fans had long-guessed that Jaime might kill Cersei thanks to a prophecy included in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" books about her death coming at the hands of a "little brother."
Others thought Arya might use her Faceless magic to kill Queen Cersei while wearing a disguise.
"Or the one [thing] that I thought would happen was like if Arya kills Jaime and then she's gonna be Jaime and kill Cersei," he said before miming pulling a face off and doing an evil laugh. "But she'd already done that so it would be a repeat of something we'd already seen."
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau emphasized the effort the showrunners put into the final season, and said 'they did a great job'
The "Game of Thrones" star said the core of his feelings on the final season were positive.
"I thought they did a great job with the way they ended it. Obviously I'm biased but I really did," Coster-Waldau said. "I also think that if you really, really love the show, [then] you don't want it to end. And just the mere fact that it's ending is pissing you off."
Earlier in the Con of Thrones weekend, Coster-Waldau sat on a panel alongside his costars Hannah Murray, Jerome Flynn, and Miltos Yerolemou. He again addressed the critics of the season and spoke in defense of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
"For anyone to imagine the two creators of the show are not the most passionate, the greatest, the most invested of all — and to think for a second they didn't spend the last 10 years thinking how they were gonna end it — is kinda silly," he said.
- Read more:
- 'Game of Thrones' director says he 'wanted to kill everyone' at the Battle of Winterfell, but the creators wouldn't let him
- The Battle of Winterfell almost had a giant fight between '50 direwolves' and an undead dragon
- 'Game of Thrones' star Jacob Anderson responds to morbid theory about Grey Worm and the killer butterflies of Naath