WARNING: The following contains spoilers for season 8 of Game of Thrones.
The ending to HBO’s Game of Thrones continues to divide fans.
In the days since the finale aired Sunday, viewers have loudly expressed their disappointment with the conclusion to the epic saga, even launching a petition calling for the final season to be remade with different writers — and that’s not the only way they’re getting their message out there.
On Wednesday, Michael Crowe, a reporter for King 5 News in Seattle, snapped several photos of a banner being flown across the city’s skies.
“Someone rewrite Game of Thrones season 8 plz,” reads the sign.
The petition, launched on change.org, has already racked up 1.5 million (and counting!) signatures, but the show’s stars aren’t having it.
“People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish, and so when it doesn’t go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel,” Sophie Turner, 23, told The New York Times.
“All of these petitions and things like that — I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season,” continued the actress, who played Sansa Stark. “Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful.”
Isaac Hempstead Wright, whose character Bran Stark ultimately prevailed as King, called the petition “absurd.”
“I can’t even fathom it. It’s just ridiculous,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s ridiculous that people think they can just demand a different ending because they don’t like it. I have stupidly taken it quite personally, which obviously I shouldn’t. In my opinion, it’s a great ending.”
And while some fans complained that Daenerys Targareyn’s (Emilia Clarke) downfall unfolded far too rapidly and without enough foreshadowing, Hempstead Wright defended the course of action.
“Time upon time, she’s demonstrated a capacity to be quite brutal,” he said. “She’s waited years and years to get over to Westeros and take what is hers. She’s been delayed. She’s had to fight an army of literal dead people. She nearly died. She’s lost Jorah (Iain Glen), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and now the person she’s deeply in love with isn’t comfortable with her and he threatens the claim she’s had for years. She’s sick of it. She’s pissed off and she’s lost her mind. I don’t think it’s some plot twist to be shocking for the sake of shocking. I think it’s a genuine character development.”
Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow, has also been outspoken in his 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,” the actor told Esquire last month.
Harington, 32, also pointed out how hard the cast and crew worked over the past decade.
“I know how much work was put into this. I know how much people cared about this,” he said. “I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show. Because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down.”
“Now if people feel let down by it, I don’t give a f—,” he added. “That’s how I feel.”
But despite the widespread criticism on social media, a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consultant poll indicated more than half of viewers actually had positive feelings about the finale, which raked in over 13.6 million viewers live, and 19.3 million total.
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