After eight years, eight seasons, and an endless amount of bloodshed, plotting, and backstabbing, Game of Thrones finally came to an end last night. As was to be expected given some of the fan reactions from the previous few episodes of season 8, the series finale was largely viewed as lackluster at best, and downright lazy, disappointing, and boring at worst. Driving the point home, fan-rankings on IMDB indicate that the final episode — which was called The Iron Throne — quickly became the least-liked episode in show history.
Truth be told, one would be hard-pressed to find an overwhelmingly positive review of the series finale. Personally — and as someone who genuinely enjoyed both season 7 and the bulk of season 8 — there’s no getting around the fact that the series finale felt hurried, jumbled, and even nonsensical at times.
In the wake of all the backlash directed at the series finale — with the bulk of it being aimed squarely at showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — Kit Harrington recently had some choice remarks for all of the Thrones haters out there. Speaking to Esquire, Harrington — who you might know as Jon Snow — said the following:
How I feel about the show right now is quite defiant. 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 judgment on it, in my head they can go f–k themselves. ‘Cause I know how much work was put into this…
Meanwhile, Harrington isn’t the only cast member to take umbrage with the avalanche of criticism directed at the show. In light of the petition to remake the final season — which is beyond asinine — Sophie Turner — who plays Sansa Stark — didn’t pull any punches.
“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 told The New York Times. “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.”
“People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish,” Turner added. “So when it doesn’t go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel.”
It’s certainly easy to see both sides here. On one hand, the actors involved in the production hate to see their years of hard work minimized with flippant, dismissive, and arguably cruel remarks. And on the other hand, the show was so good for so long that many fans naturally feel a strong connection to, and investment in, the characters and the storylines. If the worst thing one can say about Game of Thrones is that it was incredible up until the very last season, well, that’s not the worst thing in the world.