[Update May 16, 11:45am ET: The petition has soared above the 400,000 signature mark]
“Game of Thrones” backlash has hit a fever pitch with an online petition that has gone viral, amassing over 20,000 signatures and counting. The petition urges series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to remake the final six episodes, many of which have divided “Thrones” fans around the world. The series’ penultimate episode, “The Bells,” proved to be one of its most divisive for a twist in which Daenerys Targaryen went full Mad Queen and burned King’s Landing to the ground.
“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,” the petition states. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
The petition’s over 20,000 signatures proves just how polarizing the final “Thrones” season has been. The twist regarding Daenerys received widespread backlash after “The Bells” aired May 12, with many fans and critics saying the show moved to quickly from a narrative standpoint to successfully pull off Dany’s transition from hero to villain. One person who was especially critical of “Thrones” was Annapurna founder Megan Ellison.
“David Benioff and D.B. Weiss just ruined 30 years of George R.R. Martin’s work in 90 minutes,” Ellison wrote on Twitter after the episode aired. “They are obviously sexist fucks and obviously NOTHING without George R.R. Martin. There was no motivation for Daenerys to lay Kings Landing low after a lifetime of her saving innocents.”
Ellison admitted her real-time reaction to the episode was “a touch emotional and harsh,” but she stood by her criticism that the writers “poorly set up” Daenerys’ transformation into the Mad Queen. IndieWire’s Liz Shannon Miller was also critical of the episode’s treatment of Daenerys and took issue with the creative decision not to show actress Emilia Clarke at all once Dany started burning down King’s Landing.
“Just one shot of Daenerys’ face, inserted into the rampage, would have done wonders to let the character’s choice feel even vaguely realized,” Miller argued. “Instead, the sequence is just a character-free orgy of destruction, with a way-overpowered dragon raining down death from above.”
The final episode of “Game of Thrones” airs Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO.