It’s been said that it costs HBO upwards of $10 million to make a single episode of Game of Thrones. Considering they paid Lena Headey alone a reported $1.2 million per episode for what amount to 24 minutes of standing on a balcony drinking wine in the eighth and final season, it’s safe to say the network likely dished out even more for these last six episodes.
But now fans want them to dig deeper into their coffers and try again by demanding HBO remake the entirety of season eight. Some disgruntled watchers have launched a Change.org petition calling for another stab at ending GoT properly.
To say the smash show’s final episodes have been divisive is an understatement. With some of the entries receiving the series’ lowest Rotten Tomatoes ratings ever, there have been complaints that the Battle of Winterfell was too dark, the threat of the Night King too meek, the character turns too quick, and the set design too sloppy. Even some of the actors have spoken out about being disappointed in not just this current season, but all those that came without George R.R. Martin’s source material to guide them.
(Read: The Case for the White Walkers Winning the Game of Thrones)
Which is why it shouldn’t be too surprising that, as of this writing, the petition has received 402,504 signatures, with more adding their name every second. “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,” reads the petition’s text. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
Now, there are a few ways to consider this. One is fan entitlement, where audiences have taken such ownership of an entertainment entity that they believe they deserve certain things. To them, Ned Stark might say, “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword;” see how it easy it is to create an end that satisfies the needs of plot, character, and pop culture.
(Read: 50 TV Shows You’d Be Crazy to Miss in 2019)
You could also look at it in terms of that very impossibility; having to pay fan service because of the success you’ve had in character development and engaging storytelling can lead to less than perfect conclusions. Or, you can assume that Benioff and Weiss got in over their heads, had ideas of where they wanted their characters to end, and didn’t take their time to carefully plot out and earn each one of those individual finales.
Maybe the team behind Lost can offer then some counseling. Or, perhaps they just have to listen to the wise words of Tyrion Lannister: “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”
The final episode of Game of Thrones will air on HBO this Sunday, May 19th at 9:00 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, Benioff and Weiss are getting ready to helm the new Star Wars trilogy.