HBO exec responds to ‘Game of Thrones’ fan backlash, petition for Season 8 remake

Since the premiere of the first episode of Game of Thrones‘ final season last April, many critics and fans have been openly harsh with their opinions and criticism of the HBO fantasy show.

Despite its overall viewership, success and recently announced 32 nominations for the 2019 Emmy Awards, many viewers were so disappointed by the eighth season — and the finale in particular — that millions backed a petition demanding the crew remake the entire season.

The petition, launched back in May — only midway through the final season — spiked dramatically following the finale and is still collecting signatures. It targeted showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff specifically, calling them “woefully incompetent writers.”

As of this writing, it has accumulated more than 1.69 million backers.

After the petition quickly went viral, a number of Game of Thrones stars responded to the backlash. Most of them defended the show, however they also admitted they thought the final episode might divide fans.

It wasn’t until Wednesday, however, that HBO’s head of programming, Casey Bloys, chimed in to protect the show’s reputation during a recent press tour with the Television Critics Association.

“There are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show,” he said, according to TVLine. “But one I can think of is when you try to end it. Many people have big opinions on how these characters’ stories should come to an end.”

When asked if HBO will concede to the hugely popular fan petition and pursue a reshoot, Bloys said it was “not something [they] seriously considered,” adding that he “can’t imagine any other network would,” via CNN.

Bloys continued to point out the success of the show by highlighting the number of Emmy nods the Game of Thrones cast and crew received the week prior.

“Thirty-two Emmy nominations is certainly nice validation,” he said.

Now that Game of Thrones is complete, both Weiss and Benioff have a number of other plans in the works, including some upcoming Star Wars films.

In February, the pair were enlisted by Disney and Lucasfilm to write and produce a series separate from the much-loved Skywalker saga and the additional forthcoming trilogy directed by Rian Johnson.

From L-R: Sansa Stark, Bran Stark, Arya Stark from ‘Game of Thrones.’

The Star Wars project currently has no set release date, however many fans of the massively popular sci-fi franchise don’t seem too happy about the showrunners’ involvement in that project, either.

Another petition, started only a few weeks after the previous one, hopes to scare both Weiss and Benioff away from working on the films.

Neither director will be working on any of the three upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series.

With 32 nominations, it’s possible Game of Thrones could take home at least one Emmy Award this year, though some of the stars, directors and editors have been pitted against each other in specific award categories, including Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Their record-breaking numbers beat the likes of many other massively popular TV shows nominated at the Emmy Awards, including The Big Bang TheoryChernobyl and Veep, among many others.

Here are all 32 Game of Thrones nominations for the upcoming 2019 Emmy Awards

**Actors, actresses and episodes are bolded **

Drama Series
Writing, Drama
Lead Actress, Drama — Emilia Clarke
Lead Actor, Drama — Kit Harington
Supporting Actor, Drama — Alfie AllenNikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage
Supporting Actress, Drama — Gwendoline ChristieLena HeadeySophie Turner and Maisie Williams
Guest Actress, Drama — Carice van Houten
Production Design, Narrative Period or Fantasy Program
Casting, Drama
Main Title Design
Stunt Co-ordination, Drama
Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes
Special Visual Effects
Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program
Cinematography, Single-Camera Series
Directing, Drama — The Iron ThroneThe Last of the Starks and The Long Night
Single-Camera Picture Editing, Drama — The Iron ThroneThe Long Night and Winterfell
Hairstyling, Single-Camera Series
Makeup, Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)
Prosthetic Makeup
Music Composition (Original Dramatic Score)
Sound Editing, Comedy/Drama
Sound Mixing, Comedy/Drama

The complete list of major 2019 Emmy Award nominees is available here.

The 71st Emmy Awards will be telecast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. No host has been announced.

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