Game of Thrones has had a rockier year than initially anticipated. From the outside, Season 8 has looked like a roaring success. The ratings grew week-to-week, with the finale bringing in on the order of 21 million viewers, setting a nearly untouchable record at HBO. The Emmy nominations rewarded the series from every angle, landing the show an unheard-of 32 nominations. And yet, fans have been hyper-critical of small errors, like the coffee cup left on set during Episode 4. Unsurprisingly, the Game Of Thrones cast trolled everyone at SDCC when they arrived, by having coffee cups at their stations instead of the traditional water bottles.
It was the best they could do, considering the situation. The crowds at San Diego Comic-Con are the most supportive ones in the business. The sheer amount of fan-love and air of positivity that permeates the event is one of the significant reasons SDCC has become such a mecca for Hollywood studios with genre fare to market. And yet, the showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, pulled out of the event just 48 hours before the panel was scheduled.
It could very well be that a last-minute scheduling conflict came up. The two of them are rolling into the long process of developing the next Star Wars trilogy. But from the point of view of a certain segment of the fandom, this was just proof the two of them feared the judgment of the show's faithful.
Those left in the wake of their departure at least had some fun with it. The panel consisted of a bunch of fan favorites, including Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Jacob Anderson (Greyworm), Liam Cunningham (Davos), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister). Naturally, the subject of the show's ending came up. A subset of the fandom had reacted to so badly to it, there were petitions demanding the show should somehow go back and remake it.
Hill, for instance, when asked about his response to his character's passing responded, "Well, I don't regret starting the petition..." before continuing more seriously. "[F]or the record I loved all my 10 years on Game of Thrones."
Coster-Waldau blamed sites who breathlessly reported on the petition for making the problem seem more significant than it was.
You look at the amount of people who are here, and we're here to thank you for watching us for all those years ... I think this is the reality [of how much people enjoyed the show].
But the actors admitted that if asked to come back for a spinoff, they'd do it all again in a heartbeat. All, that is, except for Maisie Williams, who has at least one caveat before she agreed to return to do another HBO series set in Westeros.
If they invent zips and not have leather costumes that are laced up, that would be cool.
Would she also like a Starbucks to open in Westeros? Considering the stories the baristas could tell, perhaps that would be the best show HBO could troll fans with next.