Not even kinky feet stuff can distract House of the Dragon viewers from the show’s dark scenes. Immediately after episode seven of the Game of Thrones prequel aired, fans took to social media to express how difficult it was to watch. And now, two weeks later, John Oliver has delivered a blow to the series in Sunday’s (Oct. 16) episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
In the episode, Oliver breaks down transgender rights and common misconceptions. While many of the talking points are serious, he uses his satirical comedy style and quick quips to lighten up the conversation. In one segment, he shows a clip of young activist Kai Shapley – who was the subject in the 2022 independent documentary Mama Bears – talking about how she is unable to use the girl’s bathroom at school due to the presence of security guards. “That is brutal. It is so dark, it is genuinely hard to watch,” Oliver commented.
He continued, “Which would also, coincidentally, be a pretty accurate tagline for House of the Dragon.” As he delivers the joke, a doctored image pops up on the screen that shows an HBO-branded House of the Dragon poster with a tagline that reads, “It’s so dark that it’s genuinely hard to watch.”
Oliver added, “But the point is, given what’s at stake here, tonight, let’s talk about the latest round of attacks on trans rights.”
It was a quick dig, but man, it was brutal.
While House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones has a consistent aesthetic (the show is dark because it’s grim or realistic, or whatever) the prequel’s Oct. 2 episode pushed fans over the edge, which left HBO’s Twitter account working over time to make sure viewers knew it was intentional.
One of their Twitter responses read, “We appreciate you reaching out about a night scene in House of the Dragon: Episode 7 appearing dark on your screen. The dimmed lighting of this scene was an intentional creative decision. Thanks!”
Ironically enough, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver also streams on HBO Max. Perhaps, the streamer will respond in jest.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sundays at 11/10c on HBO and HBO Max.