‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8: Should HBO Make a Special Episode to Make Things Right?
Can nearly 1 million Game of Thrones fans be wrong if they want a do-over?
A petition on Change.org has more than 900,000 signatures and it’s climbing. Started by a user named Dylan D, the petition states “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. This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
The petition does not suggest a specific solution, but it has been suggested that a special episode could course-correct the series.
Why ‘Thrones’ fans are upset
Spoilers ahead if you haven’t caught up with the next-to-last episode yet.
In episode 5, Daenerys snapped, laying waste to Winterfell with a dragon attack. Cersei and Jaime Lannister died after the Red Keep collapsed on top of them. Arya Stark, who had intended to kill Cersei herself, was bruised and bloodied and seriously ticked off. Jon Snow looked on aghast as his aunt and onetime lover slaughtered thousands of innocents, even after the city signaled its surrender. Only today’s finale remained to wrap everything up.
And that’s just been one grievance. Fans complained about the battle for Winterfell being too darkly lit. They embarrassedly looked up Maisie Williams’ age (22) when Arya lost her virginity. And then there was the legendary coffee cup, which has been removed from the show but will live on in all myth and manner of screen captures and memes.
Fans have argued that the final two shortened seasons have forced the writers to cram too much into too little time. The petition itself suggests that since Benioff and Weiss have moved beyond the George RR Martin books, their own new material hasn’t developed convincingly.
One of the signers of the petition, Wendell Edwards, wrote, “Ending the show with heavy-handed morality tales about the corrupting quest for power are trite and cliched at best, completely out of place at worst. … I’m shocked not at how the story progressed, but at how much discontinuity there is between this season and previous ones.”
The case against a do-over
While many fans are upset, a number of them have stated that asking for a fix is simply asking too much. Writer Jessica Ellis tweeted, “There is basically no one more p—ed at Game Of Thrones than I am, but no. No no no no. You have to let storytellers tell the stories they tell. If the stories suck, yell that it sucks on twitter and then maybe don’t watch more of their work. You do not do this.”
And now the petitions are multiplying. Another fan, called Wolfman Monsterman, started his own Change.org petition this week urging fans to stop signing petitions. Similar petitions sprang up when The Last Jedi divided Star Wars fandom. And that’s ironic because Benioff and Weiss are taking on Star Wars next.
What happens after the petition and the finale?
But as the petition neared 1 million signatures, its originator walked it back somewhat. In an update, Dylan D said he started the petition after episode 4, “The Last of the Starks” and had no idea it would really take off.
“I haven’t heard from anyone HBO-related. I don’t think people can reasonably expect HBO to completely remake the season, or any part of this particular series (keep in mind the prequel spinoffs). It costs a fortune to shoot one episode, and I think most signers understand that. Will HBO lose gobs of money over this? Eh probably not. As Heath Ledger’s Joker once said, “It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message.” And I think this message is one of frustration and disappointment at its core.”
HBO has not responded, but Benioff and Weiss have already told Jimmy Kimmel that on the night of the finale, they’re turning all their phones and computers off, and not coming back online until it’s all over. They’ve got their prequel series next to inspire endless debate – and there may be as many as three of them.