The final season of Game of Thrones was met with a lot of backlash from fans; this week proves that backlash is still very real. When the series concluded in May, many people were left dissatisfied with Game of Thrones' ending. Like many beloved shows, it proved nigh-impossible to meet every narrative expectation. Because of that, and because the season was already shortened from what was planned, creators and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss received a hefty amount of backlash from fans.
Before the show ended, as well as in the months after, numerous fan petitions were launch to either remake Game of Thrones season 8 or for the ending to be fixed. Beyond that, Benioff and Weiss ultimately saw their one-time devoted fans turn against them. And so, they chose to cancel their appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 and, shortly thereafter, HBO opted to officially cancel their Confederate series that was in development. As if that wasn't enough, they've now seen even more setbacks - despite obtaining a nine-figure deal with Netflix for future projects.
Benioff and Weiss appeared at the Austin Film Festival last week to discuss their experience making Game of Thrones. Instead of alleviating fans' anger, they only reinforced it. The duo touched upon their initial meeting with GRRM, the disastrous Game of Thrones pilot episode (that never aired) and their lack of experience writing for television. The entire Q&A revealed deplorable comments like Weiss calling the show’s production “an expensive film school,” the pair’s admission of writing episodes that were too short (and attempting to write it all themselves), a lack of understanding of the characters, a lack of interest in the fandom, and a complete disinterest in fantasy elements.
In the days that followed those comments, it has been announced that Benioff and Weiss’ Star Wars trilogy and HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series have both been cancelled. The referenced Star Wars trilogy took a lot of heat for potentially being one of the reasons Benioff and Weiss rushed the final Game of Thrones season. Fans have spoken out against the trilogy because of this and gone as far as demanding its cancellation by Lucasfilm. Benioff and Weiss have cited their deal with Netflix as being the main reason for backing out of Star Wars; however, it is more likely that the duo’s plummeting popularity would be bad for the franchise (and them). Not much is known about HBO’s decision not to move forward with The Long Night other than perhaps post-production problems; but it won't be a stretch to assume all of these things are related.
It would appear that the original series’ success is more in thanks to a talented cast and crew than Benioff and Weiss' approach to showrunning. Perhaps the rest of Hollywood is realizing that, or maybe fan backlash is just that real. Regardless, the past week has proven that the Game of Thrones backlash has been real - not only are people still angry about the show's final season but Benioff and Weiss' Game of Thrones legacy as well as their future as Star Wars filmmakers have gone up in flames.