Huge Numbers of Candles Are Used in “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon” to Set the Scene


Both House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones are set in fictitious worlds and eras. The shows don’t have modern conveniences like electricity, despite the fact that they feature fantastical creatures and magical beings. Both shows feature dark interiors that are only illuminated by torches and candles. However, using all that fire might make things on set a little uneasy.

Paddy Considine as King Viserys and Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon stand in front of the Sept lit with candles.

When do the events of “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon” occur?

Beginning in 298 AC, the fantasy worlds of Westeros and Essos serve as the setting for Game of Thrones. Although George R.R. Martin acknowledged in an interview with The Guardian that he drew inspiration from a variety of historical periods to write his fantasy books, with the War of the Roses in 15th-century England serving as the most likely comparison. The war was between the houses of Lancaster, symbolized by a red rose, and York, symbolized by a white rose.

About 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon takes place. The Targaryen dynasty is at its height when it happens. Showrunner Ryan Condal said in a featurette that this was a very decadent period in Westeros because “you get to see what the realm looks like before it descends into the detritus and post-decadence of war that you see in the original series.”

The fantasy shows had to use ‘source’ lighting

Naturally, the casts of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon couldn’t have lamps and light switches visible on screen given the time period. The shows instead employ “source” lighting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, each scene’s lighting aims to mimic natural lighting like sunlight, moonlight, or torchlight.

In total, 20,907 candles were used in the production of Game of Thrones over the course of its eight seasons, specifically “in Northern Ireland,” according to Forbes. Although we don’t know the exact figures for House of the Dragon’s candle usage, it appears that the prequel series might give GOT a run for its money.

House of the Dragon’s filming was oppressively hot due to candles and torches.

Rhaenyra joins Alicent in the Sept in episode 2, which is illuminated by numerous flickering candles. Rhaenyra is moved to tears when Alice advises her to light a candle for her mother. In House of the Dragon, Milly Alcock, who portrays 15-year-old Rhaenyra, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about a problem that all the fire on set causes.

She explained to the outlet that everything was lit by fire because there was no electricity in the world. The set would become extremely hot, and people would come around and set everything on fire for the lighting you see in the show. With two girls using hair dryers, I would stand like this and start to perspire a lot. Thus, everything was very glitzy.

HBO Max releases brand-new episodes of House of the Dragon every Sunday.

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Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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