To say that Game of Thrones season 8 divided fans would be an understatement. The final season to one of the greatest television series’ in history has been labeled a massive letdown, with criticisms directed at the condensed story and shorter runtime of the season, as well as numerous creative decisions made by the showrunners.
The reactions from fans can be described as both warranted and disrespectful. While some fans remained civil and criticized the show, others decided it would be smart to start petitions to remake the entire season with different writers. While many stars have remained fairly silent on the whole ordeal, one actor is speaking out against the sharp responses from fans.
On Saturday, actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau addressed the controversial season at two different panels during the “Game of Thrones” fan convention, Con of Thrones, in Nashville. At a small fan Q-and-A panel, the actor who played Jaime Lannister called the online criticism “intense,” saying it even crept into the show’s WhatsApp group.
“Every season has been intense in terms of the attention and discussion, but it was extraordinarily intense for a final season,” the actor said. “And we have this WhatsApp group, the actors, and I saw some people getting a little upset because some of the stuff is vicious, and if you make the mistake of start reading all that shit, because if you guys get really angry about something ― I’m sure you did, some of you ― so you write to each other and go, ‘Fucking assholes. This is so not what would happen! They ruined, they butchered George’s world!’ It’s just fun for you, but of course some got a little upset.”
Coster-Waldau maintained that he wasn’t looking for sympathy, but did mention that the reactions hit him pretty hard:
“There was that kind of weird feeling of, ‘What the hell? We worked so hard,’” he continued. “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.”
While the first two episodes of the season continued the series’ positive streak, it was episode three, “The Long Night,” where things took a downward turn. Coster-Waldau acknowledged that unless you were watching it in a movie theatre, it was difficult to always tell what was going on. Still, the man behind Jaime Lannister did not agree with all the fan critiques, especially when it came to the writers.
“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,” he 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.”
Later on in the Q and A, after one fan expressed how much the show had meant to them, Coster-Waldau said,
“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.”
You can watch one of the panels below: