Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appeared at a “Game of Thrones” fan event this weekend (via Huffington Post) and stood up for his blockbuster HBO series in the face of persistent backlash over the final season. Despite earning record ratings for the network (the “Thrones” series finale is the most-watched HBO broadcast in history), the six-episode Season 8 drew widespread criticism for its storytelling decisions. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were routinely slammed on social media, with one petition urging HBO to remake the final season going viral with over 1.5 million signatures.
“For anyone to imagine or to think that the two creators of the show are not the most passionate, the greatest, the most invested of all, and to for a second think that they didn’t spend the last 10 years thinking about how they were going to end it is kind of silly,” Coster-Waldau said. “And also know that they too read the comments. And it is, even though you sit on your own and go, ‘Fucking stupid writers. Assholes.’ They really ― like everyone on ‘Game of Thrones,’ every single person and there are thousands ― we worked our asses off to make the best show we could for the ending.”
When a fan in attendance spoke up and told Coster-Waldau how much the series has meant to him over the last several years, the actor responded, “I just wish Dan and David could be here to hear this, to understand that people really love the show, that suddenly they’re not the most hated people in the world. I mean, because that’s how they might ― I know how they feel.”
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Coster-Waldau said that some of his cast-members were “a little upset” with how vicious the backlash got during the final season. “We worked so hard,” he added. “I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry, by the way. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying how it was to get through that whole thing.”
Some of Coster-Waldau’s “Thrones” co-stars have already spoken out against the backlash. Sophie Turner called the viral fan petition “disrespectful” and also stressed how hard it was for the cast and crew to pull off the events seen in Season 8. “So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful,” Turner said.
The “Thrones” cast is set to reunite at Comic-Con Friday June 19. The entire series is now streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.