It hasn’t been that rare an occasion in recent years for fans of a movie or TV series to express their displeasure with the direction of the show. With much fan grumbling about the final season of Game of Thrones, it was perhaps inevitable that such fans would go that route for the popular HBO fantasy show.
A petition posted to Change.org called for HBO to “Remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers.”
Authored by a petitioner named Dylan D., the petition states that “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, as of Wednesday afternoon, had received nearly 37,000 signatures, beating a goal of 35,000; the goal has since been raised to 50,000.
No matter the number of signatures, the petition would appear unlikely to succeed. Game of Thrones is Game of Thrones. The series has already wrapped up production, the contracts of the actors are all expired, and in series television, there are no do-overs. And besides, despite the widespread fan dissatisfaction, the series has drawn huge ratings this season.
The Game of Thrones Season 8 that exists and is airing currently is the only Game of Thrones Season 8 that will ever be, although perhaps the petitioner and signatories will be more satisfied by the conclusions of George R.R. Martin’s books, assuming they are one day finished.
Such pie-in-the-sky demands in fan petitions have happened before. A Change.org petition two years ago called for Disney and Lucasfilm to strike Star Wars: The Last Jedi from the official Star Wars canon because it “completely destroyed the legacy of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi,” and that petition received more than 100,000 signatures. It did not succeed in its goal, however.
In 2015, a petition by fans of the TV series Grey’s Anatomy requested the show reverse the death of Patrick Dempsey’s character, known as “Dr. McDreamy.” That one, which also drew over 100,000 signatures, had the added problem of disrespecting the wishes of Dempsey, who had chosen to leave the show.
And while such petitions rarely directly succeed, one last year suggested a result that ended up happening. After James Gunn was fired from his position as the director of the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie after a scandal involving old tweets, more than 500,000 people signed a petition at Change.org for Disney to restore him as director. It may not have been a direct result of the petition, but Gunn was indeed brought back to the franchise earlier this year.