Skip to main content

That Game of Thrones re-do petition is more embarrassing than any coffee cup

There was a time when the idea of blurring the line between content creators and distributors and their audience seemed like a good thing. Fan petitions have saved more than a few great television shows and given them a new life in one way or another, and the power of audience feedback often seems greater than it has ever been before.

And then a petition to redo the final season of Game of Thrones comes along with just one episode left to remind us all that great power doesn’t always come with great responsibility — or at the very least, an ounce of sense.

At the risk of being the raven who carries bad news for the 835,377 people who have signed the Change.org petition (at last count), you should probably know that Hodor will sit on the Iron Throne before HBO remakes the final season of Game of Thrones, folks.

Macall B. Polay/HBO

Is the season disappointing for many fans? Clearly.

Could the conclusion to the eight-season saga have been better served by a more fleshed-out script that didn’t sacrifice character development for expediency? Possibly.

Will the network rewrite and refilm one of the most expensive seasons of any series to date, spending hundreds of millions of dollars while simultaneously endeavoring to find time in the busy schedules of cast members who have booked the next few years solid with other projects, all to produce a fan-approved final season that appeals to a wider audience that can’t even agree on who should win the titular “game” (you win or you die!) at the heart of the series? Not a chance.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand the sentiment.

Fans of Game of Thrones have invested eight years in the adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy saga, watching one favorite character after another get killed off — quickly if they’re lucky, but for many, in excruciatingly drawn-out ways that verge on torture porn. You’ve done irreparable damage to your moral compass and questioned whether being a fan of the series qualifies as masochism, all while arguing with friends, co-workers, and strangers on the internet about who would be the last person standing when the series reached its end.

The Battle of the Bastards has nothing on the eight-year struggle you’ve endured as a Game of Thrones fan, and now it all seems poised to end in fire, blood, and questionable (at best) character arcs.

But here’s the thing: Game of Thrones doesn’t owe you a satisfying ending.

Helen Sloan/HBO

The only contract that exists between audience and content is an unspoken agreement. You promise to keep watching as long as the show holds your interest — nothing more. HBO is under no obligation to give you the ending you want, or bring characters’ sagas to a fitting conclusion. Heck, the network isn’t even obligated to give you an ending to the show.

That’s why a petition to have HBO go back and remake the last season of Game of Thrones is so ridiculous. It assumes a balance in the relationship between audience and content that simply isn’t there. HBO holds all of the cards, and fans have, well … as much leverage as Jon Snow has things he knows. (It’s true. Seasons later, and he still knows nothing.)

On the financial side, the network would take a massive loss if it tried to remake the final season. Television networks aren’t in the business of losing money, and even if HBO did consider the notion, there’s no chance of bringing the primary cast together again for that long of a shoot anytime soon. The popularity of Game of Thrones propelled most of its cast to in-demand status in Hollywood, and they’ve likely had to pass on more than a few passion projects due to the demands of the show’s filming schedule.

If you think they’d put off their big-screen careers to provide a mea culpa on season 8 of Game of Thrones, I have some bad news for you about the machinations of the television industry.

Arya and the Hound in Game of Thrones
Image used with permission by copyright holder

But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom, Game of Thrones fans. You might not be getting a redo on season 8, but you can take solace in the fact that you’re getting a conclusion to the show you love — even if it doesn’t turn out to be the ending you hoped for. Not every fan can say the same. (Try complaining about not getting the ending you wanted to fans of Pushing Daisies or Firefly. Be prepared for tears.)

On top of that, the conclusion to Game of Thrones is coming while the show’s creators are still involved (albeit possibly distracted by projects looming on the horizon), without any major behind-the-scenes drama (outside of Coffeegate, that is), and within the series’ original run. Consider that it’s taken HBO 13 years to give Deadwood fans an ending to a series widely regarded as one of the greatest television dramas ever made, and take solace in the fact that you’ll see who ends up on the Iron Throne before fans of a show that ended in 2006 get any closure for their obsession.

So sign the petition if it makes you feel better, but don’t think for a minute that HBO will ever give season 8 another pass.

And if all else fails, just have faith in this one, absolute truth about the impending conclusion of Game of Thrones: It can’t be worse than the end of Lost.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Can House of the Dragon save the Game of Thrones franchise?
Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in House of the Dragon.

Game of Thrones was a revolution. The show once not-so-eloquently described as "tits and dragons" proved to be so much more, introducing a seemingly never-ending parade of compelling characters likely to die from one episode to the next. High production values and genuinely impressive CGI further contributed to the show skyrocketing into the apex of pop culture, but Thrones' secret weapon was always the writing.

Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens; Thrones knew that. Its action episodes were thrilling and massive -- from Stannis' invasion of King's Landing to the infamous Battle of the Bastards. However, most of the show's most iconic clashes were verbal; think of Littlefinger and Varys' snarky remarks to each other or Cersei and Tyrion's surprisingly honest conversations. Guided by George R. R. Martin's sprawling source material, Game of Thrones was a writer's dream. Enhanced by the delicious readings of a cast of icons at their prime, the dialogue in Westeros was a writer's dream come true. Thrones was the perfect combination of cleverness and wit mixed with political intrigue, high stakes, ambitious world-building, nonstop violence, and yes, "tits and dragons."

Read more
Game of Thrones: How George R. R. Martin’s world can expand in animation
Young Princess Rhaenyra with her dragon Syrax looming behind her.

The recent Warner Bros. Discovery merger seems to have added a layer of tense unpredictability regarding the state of WB's IPs, but it seems that writer George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones world will stay the course with the upcoming House of the Dragon around the corner.

It would be bizarre if it didn't, as it is HBO's most historic TV series and proved to be a cultural phenomenon in the process. And with reports of many spinoffs in the works, the network should look to animation as another worthy avenue to explore. Per those reports, there are at least some such projects already in development, and taking advantage of animation's newfound appreciation could prove to be something more than worth doubling down on.
Exploring uncharted territory
House of the Dragon | Official Trailer | HBO Max

Read more
Game of Thrones: Best Daenerys Targaryen episodes to prep for House of the Dragon
Daenerys Targaryen with Drogon behind her in Game of Thrones.

The three-plus-year drought of Game of Thrones-related content is finally coming to a close, as HBO's prequel series House of the Dragon is set to premiere toward the end of August. It will chronicle the beginning of the end of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, leading both the family and the dragons they brought to become endangered.

Emilia Clarke's portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones undoubtedly made her and her character a fantasy icon alongside the likes of Jon Snow and, despite a controversial close to the show, had one of the most engrossing character arcs. From the birth of her three draconic sons to her explosive arrival in Westeros, these are some of the best Daenerys-themed episodes worth revisiting before House of the Dragon's premiere.
Winter is Coming (season 1, episode 1)

Read more