The eighth and final season of the award-winning HBO drama is dividing the realm
WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
The realm is divided.
Thousands of Game of Thrones fans are voicing their discontent with the eighth and final season of the wildly popular, award-winning HBO drama — and are calling out the show’s writing staff in the process.
A Change.org petition has surfaced, urging the premium cable network to “remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers.” And as of Wednesday evening, the petition officially met its 200,000 signature goal after being created just last week — and by Saturday, with just over 24 hours to go before the series finale, it was just several thousand signatures shy of 1,000,000.
“David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on,” the petition’s creator said on the site, referring to the drama’s showrunners. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
After Sunday’s penultimate episode, titled “The Bells,” fan reactions were divided after Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) let her fiery fury rain down on King’s Landing — even after the city surrendered.
But the events of episode 5 aren’t the first to draw criticism this season. Fans were disgruntled by the apparent darkness of episode 3, “The Long Night,” and much has been written about the show’s newfound fast pace.
However, there have also been outspoken critics of the petition, including Riverdale star Lili Reinhart.
In response to an article about the petition that was shared on Instagram, the 22-year-old actress wrote, “This is not how television works.”
“TV shows are not fan service. It’s ridiculous of people to think they can demand creative change from artists,” she continued, in a response highlighted by the Instagram account Comments by Celebs.
Reinhart went on to elaborate on her comments on Friday, posting a series of messages to her Instagram Story.
““It’s inappropriate as an audience member to demand change from an entire crew of writers, creators, performers, etc. just because it did not satisfy you. Fans, of course, are an incredibly large reason why shows are successful but it does not excuse certain destructive and disrespectful behavior towards people who have dedicated their entire lives to creating a show or film,” she wrote.
“Try to imagine this: A person walks into a painter’s gallery…a painter they have always been a fan of… and they tell the artist ‘I don’t like what you did there. You probably should’ve done it this way.’ That would be incredibly entitled no? So think about it that way. Bye,” she added.
Despite the looming end of the show, fans will be able to continue on in Westeros for at least a little longer after the finale this coming Sunday. HBO is releasing a documentary following the making of the eighth season, titled The Last Watch, set to air one week after the finale on May 26.
The doc “delves deep into the mud and blood to reveal the tears and triumphs involved in the challenge of bringing the fantasy world of Westeros to life in the very real studios, fields and car-parks of Northern Ireland,” HBO said. “Much more than a ‘making of’ documentary, this is a funny, heartbreaking story, told with wit and intimacy, about the bittersweet pleasures of what it means to create a world – and then have to say goodbye to it.”
Game of Thrones‘ series finale airs Sunday on HBO at 9 p.m.