It's no secret that not everyone was a fan of Game of Thrones' eighth final season — including one of the show's former stars.
In an interview with PopCulture.com, Charles Dance — a.k.a. Tywin Lannister — said he wasn't totally satisfied with the epic saga's conclusion, which aired last year to mixed reviews from fans, though it broke the record for most Emmy nominations in a single year.
The May 2019 series finale, in particular, faced some of the harshest backlash, prompting viewers to launch a petition calling for the final season to be remade with different writers. The petition, launched on change.org, has racked up over 1.8 million signatures.
Dance — whose character famously met his end in the season 4 finale, while he was on the toilet — said while he hadn't heard of the petition, he would support it by signing.
"I mean, I saw it. I continue[d] to watch the whole series even after I'd been killed off in the lavatory," Dance said with a laugh. "Because I just thought it's a fantastic television show, you know? I was very lucky to be part of it. I loved it; there were storylines [where] I wanted to know what was going to happen to these people! I know that the finale satisfied a lot of people. It also disappointed a lot of people, and I'm afraid I am in the latter camp."
Dance, 73, praised creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for their work on the earlier seasons of the hit HBO show, but said he felt the final installments lacked the drama needed to satisfy the story.
"I think David and Dan raised the bar when it came to television screenplay writing," he said. "They are phenomenal. And for the whole thing to end up as a committee, I just thought, 'Hmm, no.' I would say I was somewhat underwhelmed by."
Overall, the cast has been mostly outspoken in their defense of the show.
"I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season — and I don't mean to sound mean about critics here — but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their negative judgment on it, in my head they can go f— themselves," Kit Harington (Jon Snow) told Esquire last year.
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) reflected on the backlash earlier this year, telling The Sunday Times in March that she believes "the global temperature, how much horrific news there is consistently, goes a way to explain the enormity of the fans' outrage."
"Because people are going, finally, here's something I can actually see and understand and get some control back over," she said. "And then when that turns, and you don't like what they've done…"
That said, she agreed with the critique that the final season condensed too much in too little time, and that it could have used more dialogue.
"We could have spun it out for a little longer," she said. "It was all about the set pieces. I think the sensational nature of the show was, possibly, given a huge amount of airtime because that's what makes sense."
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