Disappointment with the final season of Game of Thrones reached such a level that a Change.org fan petition — one calling for HBO to literally remake the final season of the series with different writers — has earned nearly 1.5 million signatures in just over a week.
The petition is extremely unlikely to achieve its desired effect, as its author acknowledged in an update earlier this week. It’s also been trashed by various pop culture writers, who see the petition as a symptom of entitled fan culture run amok. And now that view has been echoed by one of the show’s actors.
Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark on all eight seasons of the show, lashed out at the petition in an interview with The New York Times following the airing of the finale.
“All of these petitions and things like that — I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season,” Turner said in the interview, which was conducted while she was promoting her new X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, in Germany. “Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful.”
Turner’s comments echo remarks made by Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow on the show, earlier in the season.
Sophie Turner just posted this incredible set photo of the Stark siblings from the finale.
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) May 21, 2019
“I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season — and I don’t mean to sound mean about critics here — but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgement [sic] on it, in my head they can go f*** themselves,” Harington said after the season’s first episode, per The Inquisitr.
Harington’s comments came at a time when the fan backlash to the final season had not yet formed in any serious way. In fact, it wasn’t until the third episode, “The Long Night,” that great numbers of fans of Game of Thrones began to seriously turn against the direction of the show’s final season.
The comments by both actors raise some interesting questions about fan culture in the current age. There’s nothing unusual, however, about praising the effort and amount of artistry that goes into something as ambitious as Game of Thrones, while also having complaints about how well the show has done in achieving its various objectives.