Update, May 19, 2019: The petition has surpassed one million signatures.
Original post: It’s fair to say that last week’s Game of Thrones episode, “The Bells,” has been a bit, let’s say, controversial. The backlash has ranged from critics pointing out the lack of gender diversity in the writers room to fans bemoaning the episode’s rushed pace and shortchanging of multiple seasons-long character arcs. And while “The Bells” has blown past previous viewership records, it also holds the lowest critical ranking of the entire series. Among the episode’s many sins is the fact that it provided cultural critics the opportunity to use the phrase heel turn—and boy did they take advantage of that opportunity.
But now fans are advocating for a dramatic turn of their own, this time against showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
A Change.org petition started by disillusioned fan Dylan D. from Ft. Worth, Texas is calling for a remake of the entire eighth season of Game of Thrones, this time with “competent writers.” 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.”
The petition began with a goal of 15,000 signatures, which it surpassed on Wednesday. By Thursday, the revised goal of 300,000 had also been reached. Now Dylan is aiming for one million signatures, and at the time of writing, more than 610,000 people have signed in agreement. I can only expect that supporters for the petition will number in the millions after the finale airs on Sunday, at which time Benioff said he will be “very drunk.”
The backlash petition has inspired its own backlash—it’s backlash all the way down! Critics are calling petition supporters entitled, suggesting that they channel their frustration into fighting for abortion rights or writing fan fiction. Maybe a BDSM fanfic that will eventually be adapted into a movie where the characters’ names are changed just enough to avoid copyright infringement? Or a Harry Potter crossover?
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