HBO's Game of Thrones comes to an end on Sunday night and as the series has marched its way towards its finale over the course of the six-episode Season 8, there have been quite a few moments that have shocked and even confused fans of the fantasy epic. However, it's not just the events of the landmark series that has been confusing -- it's the "D&D" shorthand used to describe its showrunners that have some fans thinking about a different D&D -- the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons.
As The Daily Dot notes, it's not unusual for fans to come up with nicknames to refer to the showrunners of popular shows -- they give examples such as "Bryke" for Avatar the Last Airbender's Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino and "Darlton" for Lost's Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. With Game of Thrones, instead of a portmanteau, fans simply opted to stick with the first initials of David Benioff and Daniel Weiss' first names, thus "D&D", and fans have been using it for several seasons now without issue. However, with Season 8 drawing the ire of fans for everything from pacing to creative choices about lighting to the perceived turning of heroes into villains, the nickname has been showing up quite a bit more on social media and colliding with fans of the original D&D.
As gaming fans know, D&D has long been the shorthand term for Dungeons & Dragons, the fantasy tabletop role-playing game designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The game was first published in 1974 and is currently in its fifth edition. From pretty much its launch, the game has been affectionally referred to as D&D by fans, so now that Game of Thrones fans have started using the same term to express their upset about Benioff and Weiss, it's been a little jarring.
The confusion for some fans has been just enough that Dungeons & Dragons fans have themselves started taking to social media imploring that Game of Thrones fans find a different shorthand to refer to Benioff and Weiss, especially since the D&D abbreviation is pretty well known. More than that, however, there are some who are concerned with the negative connotation that the Game of Thrones version of the abbreviation has taken. Dungeons & Dragons has gone from being maligned at various points in its history – especially by some Christian groups alleging the game promotes devil worship -- to being an iconic and valued part of popular culture while the Game of Thrones usage of the abbreviation is largely negative -- invoked by fans just mad at how a beloved television series is ending its run.
"It's such a truly wonderful and creative way to tell stories and have fun with friends," professional Dungeons & Dragons player Kim Horcher told The Daily Dot. "I would hate for people to associate rushed, needlessly frenetic and self-undermining fantasy storytelling with Dungeons & Dragons."
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
What do you think about the potentially confusing use of "D&D" by irate Game of Thrones fans? Let us know in the comments below.