Peter Dinklage, who played Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, HBO’s live-action adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, recently claimed that some of the backlash to the show’s ending was because people “wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together.”
Dinklage’s comments came in a wide-ranging interview discussing his latest film Cyrano as well as Game of Thrones with The New York Times.
The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan brought up Game of Thrones asking Dinklage, “George R.R. Martin wanted “Game of Thrones” to go on for two more seasons. Do you think it should have, or was that the right time to end?”
The actor responded, “It was the right time. No less, no more. You don’t want to wear out your welcome, although I’m not sure that show could have.”
Dinklage then provided his opinion on why there was so much backlash to the show’s ending saying, ” But I think the reason there was some backlash about the ending is because they were angry at us for breaking up with them.”
“We were going off the air and they didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore. They wanted more, so they backlashed about that,” he opined.
Dinklage then asserted, “We had to end when we did, because what the show was really good at was breaking preconceived notions: Villains became heroes, and heroes became villains.”
“If you know your history, when you track the progress of tyrants, they don’t start off as tyrants. I’m talking about, spoiler alert, what happened at the end of “Game of Thrones” with that character change,” he continued.
The Game of Thrones elaborated, “It’s gradual, and I loved how power corrupted these people. What happens to your moral compass when you get a taste of power? Human beings are complicated characters, you know?”
Buchanan would then ask a follow-up, “I think some people really did want a happily-ever-after ending, even though “Game of Thrones” told us it was not that show from the very beginning.”
Dinklage answered, “They wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together. By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on. [Laughs] No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it.”
“Yeah, it was called ‘Game of Thrones,’ but at the end, the whole dialogue when people would approach me on the street was, ‘Who’s going to be on the throne?’ I don’t know why that was their takeaway because the show really was more than that,” he continued.
He then provided an example, “One of my favorite moments was when the dragon burned the throne because it sort of just killed that whole conversation, which is really irreverent and kind of brilliant on behalf of the show’s creators: “Shut up, it’s not about that.”
Finally, Dinklage concluded, “They constantly did that, where you thought one thing and they delivered another. Everybody had their own stories going on while watching that show, but nobody’s was as good as what the show delivered, I think.”
On Rotten Tomatoes, Game of Thrones has an overall average audience score of 85%.
However, Season 8 had an abysmal 30% audience score from 14,777 user ratings.
A petition was created following the series finale by Dylan D. on Change.org demanding the final season be remade.
The petition simply stated, “David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on.”
It concluded, “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
At the time of writing, the petition has received over 1.8 million signatures.
As far as Dinklage’s theory on why there was so much backlash to the season finale, YouTuber The Critical Drinker provided a much different perspective.
In his review of the finale episode, The Drinker states, “Now, it’s no secret that I’m a man of many words and you’ll struggle to find a more eloquent connoisseur of entertainment in all of YouTube, but it’s difficult even for me to properly express the sheer scale of the disappointment, the waste of so many years of build-up and careful development, the abject failure of even the most basic elements of storytelling that is the Iron Throne.”
Later in the video, the YouTuber says, “This entire episode smacks of well we had to give them something to do. World building, consequences, and character motivations have gone completely out of the window.”
He continues, “People say and do things they would never have contemplated two or three years ago. They accept decisions and suggestions that would have been laughed out of the room in earlier seasons.”
“The emotional tone of this episode is all over the place. One minute we are staring at the horrifying aftermath of the destruction of King’s Landing and dealing with the sudden death of one of the most important characters in the entire show,” he asserts.
He goes on, “The next we’re supposed to be laughing at a pompous idiot tripping over his sword, or the small council having some light-hearted banter like they haven’t just lived through the most apocalyptic conflict in history.”
As the video comes to an end, he states, “Ultimately, The Iron Throne is the final humiliating nail in the coffin of a season that simply run out of creative steam.”
“It destroys whatever is left of the show’s integrity. It cheapens and dumbs down every character it touches, and in a very real sense it tarnishes what should have been a glowing legacy as one of the greatest shows in TV history,” he concludes.
What do you make of Dinklage’s theory about the backlash to Game of Thrones?