Things have not been going so well for HBO’s Game of Thrones after its penultimate episode, The Bells, aired last week. For starters, it has been facing a barrage of criticism both online and offline as fans are not happy with the fantasy drama’s narrative structure (read: sloppy writing) and the fate of some fan favourite characters.
One particularly disgruntled fan, Dylan D., has even taken the liberty to start a Change.org petition, launched after the penultimate episode was aired, demanding a complete do-over “with competent writers”. “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 argued. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
Season eight of Game of Thrones is based on George RR Martin’s unfinished books. Because Martin’s next book, The Winds of Winter, is still a work-in-progress, the TV series has a different ending. Those who signed the petition left brutally honest comments about the series finale, with most complaining that it “seems rushed” and threw eight years of character development “down the drain”.
“Without source material, they limped this over the line finish line while doing a great disservice to the character they had stewardship over. I honestly question if they have even read the books at this point!” one Michael Bullard wrote. “The season demolished everything that was built throughout the series, as a result of rushed storytelling, poor character development, and overall lack of care,” another signatory wrote.
However, HBO is unlikely to cave in to the petition’s demands given the reported cost of each episode (US15 million per episode). And ultimately, Game of Thrones showrunners have always said that the ending was likely to be contentious.
The final episode of the fantasy drama is due to air this Sunday in the US and on Monday morning in Asia.
Sources: CNN, BBC, Change.org