Game of Thrones is no stranger to controversy, as its depictions of sex and violence, in addition to shocking plot twists, has made it one of the most talked about shows of the past decade, a trend which is continuing right up until the series finale. Following this past week's penultimate episode "The Bells," a group of internet trolls started a petition asking for the final season to get a remake with new writers, citing David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as being unable to deliver a satisfying ending. Riverdale star Lili Reinhart was quick to remind them that this wasn't how Hollywood, or the real world, operated.
"This is not how television works..." Reinhart commented on Variety's Instagram post about the petition. "TV shows are not fan service. It’s ridiculous of people to think they can demand creative change from artists."
For as long as there have been fans, there has been a toxicity found in countless franchises that displays entitlement and ownership over whatever it is they love. Despite there being a vast number of properties in a number of mediums, the internet has found a way to unite the darkest corners of fandom which empowers them to believe that their opinions are the objectively truthful ones. Reinhart isn't the only person to speak out against criticisms, with Game of Thrones star Kit Harington sharing strong words for critics earlier this year.
"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 [negative] judgement on it, in my head they can go fuck themselves," Harington shared with Esquire. "'Cause I know how much work was put into this. I know how much people cared about this. I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show. Because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down."
He added, "Now if people feel let down by it, I don’t give a fuck—because everyone tried their hardest. That’s how I feel. In the end, no one’s bigger fans of the show than we are, and we’re kind of doing it for ourselves. That’s all we could do, really. And I was just happy we got to the end."
Regardless of what inspired viewers to start the petition, even as a joke, the petition has amassed more than 500,000 signatures.
While these half a million entitled fans are doing nothing more than making a mockery of the notion of a petition, such tools have proven powerful in the past. Last year, FOX's Lucifer was canceled, likely due to low ratings. Fans banded together to show support for the series, amassing thousands of signatures to display a unified and passionate group of viewers who wanted to see the series get a proper sendoff. Netflix noted the support and picked up the series.
There's a major difference between uniting to express that you want a series to return as opposed to demanding a studio or network make creative changes to a piece of art just to make a group of fans happy. These fans might try to claim "the customer is always right," despite forgetting that movies, TV shows, and other works of art aren't a commodity to be purchased and are creations that can be observed, regardless of whether or not you like what you're seeing.2comments
The series finale of Game of Thrones airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
What do you think about Reinhart's comments? Let us know in the comments below!