Fan empowerment has been one of the greater movements in pop culture over the past decade. But a new petition aimed at HBO to get the final season of Game of Thrones rewritten and reshot goes far beyond mere empowerment and slides right into irrational entitlement.
More than 500,000 people have signed a change.org petition titled “Remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers.” The pitch reads, “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. This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
While you can’t swing a dead dragon without hitting an enraged GoT fan who’s foaming at the mouth at how rushed or nonsensical the show’s final season has been, the notion of remaking the entire thing to please a section of vocal die-hards is the height of delusional self-importance. A Twitter thread by journalist David Allen Green keenly breaks down the connection between the new language of fandom and this growing sense of entitlement.
The shock of many from #GoT 8:5 seemed to be so many disrupted senses of entitlement.
I invested in [x], but the provider did not earn that [y] outcome, and so the [z] pay-off failed.
Just fascinating, how the language of property fits so neatly.
(Lawsuits next, no doubt.)
— David Allen Green (@davidallengreen) May 15, 2019
Ad Age’s Anthony Crupi had perhaps the best head-patting response, with a nod to HBO’s new parent company AT&T.
HBO spent ~$90 million to produce the final season & a whole lot of additional cash to promote it, but by all means, send them this petition! Your satisfaction with a TV show that is no longer in production is of vital importance to the phone company that owns all of this shit. https://t.co/LMvjLQZMrd
— Anthony Crupi (@crupicrupicrupi) May 15, 2019
Fans have a basis to these feelings that they can get their way. Over the years, the fate of more than a few TV shows has been altered or saved thanks to fan intervention—Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Veronica Mars, Family Guy, and Chuck, among others. But there’s a huuuuge difference between prolonging a TV show’s life and just calling for a multimillion-dollar mulligan. There’s a difference between fan service and fan subjugation.
Let’s just leave it at the end of Green’s thread, “And imagine Charles Dickens (the Netflix by installments showrunner of his time) letting Little Nell die in the age of social media . . . “