Fan entitlement and outrage culture continues to reach new heights of mania as some are taking the dissatisfaction and frustration with a creative choice they’ve disagreed with and are pumping it into an endeavour they hope will fix things.
That endeavour? A petition for a complete remake of the current eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” with all new ‘competent’ writers which has gone up on Change.org. Not unlike one that went up in early 2018 for a complete remake of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” this one demands the studio “make it happen” and currently has nearly 100,000 signatures as of writing.
The new episodes of ‘Thrones’ have proven surprisingly divisive with the fanbase reacting harshly to decisions made – from frustration over the story compression to squeeze things into the shorter run, to some of the creative choices made within each episode – especially the last two. With the finale this coming Sunday, it’s expected once again social media will turn into “Complain of Thrones” during and after the episode’s airing.
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are the ones being subjected to most of the criticism, including in the petition where the current top voted comment is: “I don’t want these two anywhere near Star Wars, either. This was abysmal.” The pair aren’t fussed and have reportedly recently been meeting with major media companies about potentially signing an overall global deal with them for film, TV and streaming projects according to Deadline.
In recent years, anything with a large enough viewership always comes under a massive spotlight of deep scrutiny, where a single wrong decision in the eyes of its viewers can invalidate much or even all that came before and few creative works can survive it unscathed. For those that do survive, there’s questions as to how much of it was done so via appeasement or even pandering to fan expectations as opposed to taking genuine creative risks and/or sticking true to an original narrative that is divisive by its very nature.
The issue has long been around (hello “Star Wars” prequels), but the past two years in particular – fuelled by online overanalysis & trivia-gathering, enabled & weaponised by social media, and meeting a perfect storm of an increasingly event-ised & eulogised corporate pop culture, entertainment is becoming a minefield for any creative type who works on a franchise with any kind of mass appeal.
Petitions like this however almost never work. Economics and completed contractual obligations are all against the petition, along with the simple fact being that new writers won’t necessarily solve any perceived problems in the eyes of this small but vocal part of the fandom. HBO also isn’t fussed, having been subjected to criticism over creative directions of its high-profile shows like “Westworld” and “True Detective” in the past.