If you went back in time to March 2011 and asked the average person on the street, “Have you ever heard of Game of Thrones?” most people probably would have responded with, “Game of what?” Flash forward almost nine years and the program now holds the record for most Emmys (58), sports a rabid global fanbase, and is a staple of the pop culture lexicon. Sadly, after seventy-three episodes and eight seasons, the HBO television show finally came to an end this year. Now its watch is ended.
Although many thoroughly enjoyed the final season (myself included) there was also quite the vocal backlash among certain fans. Critics chastised season eight as being too rushed, poorly written, and sacrificing story in service of spectacle. Moreover, many felt Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) villain turn was too abrupt and unearned.
One Game of Thrones actor who’s seemed impervious to criticism over the years is Peter Dinklage (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST). The New Jersey native, who portrayed Tyrion Lannister on the program, won four Primetime Emmys over the course of the show. Tyrion was consistently voted a fan favorite and Dinklage’s image is splattered across a myriad of shirts, towels, and Funko Pops the world round. In a recent interview, Dinklage was asked to respond to the vehement fan backlash over the final season. The reason he believes fans were so angry was for a reason as old as entertainment:
“Well, everybody’s always going to have an opinion, and that means an ownership. It’s like breaking up with somebody. They get upset. I can’t speak for everybody, but my feeling is they didn’t want it to end, so a lot of people got angry. I feel like what [the showrunners] Dave [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] did was extraordinary.”
Dinklage also went on to comment about Dany’s dark turn, saying that while it may have been shocking it wasn’t unexpected:
“This happens. Monsters are created. And you don’t see it coming. “We vote them into office. You look the other way. So for everybody to get upset because they loved a character so much and they had so much faith in that person — there were signposts all along the way for that character.”
I have to say I agree with Dinklage on both points. Throughout the course of Game of Thrones Dany burned people alive, entombed them alive, crucified them, and watched her closest confidants either betray her or be killed. To quote Ramsay Bolton, if you think Dany’s ultimate fate made no sense, “you haven’t been paying attention.” As to Dinklage’s other point about ownership I think he’s on to something there. As fans of whatever piece of media, we tend to think we own that property, that the the creators some how “owe” us something. Nothing could be further from the truth. You’re entitled to have whatever opinion you want about the final season of Game of Thrones but you aren’t owed anything.
While Game of Thrones may be firmly in Peter Dinklage‘s rear view mirror, his career is full steam ahead. Next year he’ll lend his voice talents to THE CROODS 2 as Phil Betterman and he’s also got director J Blakeson‘s thriller I CARE A LOT alongside Rosamund Pike on the docket.