Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson reflects on the Game of Thrones finale hate from fans. Based on the high fantasy series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones first premiered on HBO in April 2011 and ran for a total of eight seasons, with the series finale debuting in May 2019. Considered by many to be one of the greatest television series of all time, the show received a total of 59 Primetime Emmy Awards during its run. The massive success of Game of Thrones sparked a prequel series, House of the Dragon, which premiered in August to generally positive reviews. The series premiere of House of the Dragon was watched by over 10 million viewers on the day of its release, making it the biggest premiere in HBO history.
In an interview with PopSugar, Anderson reflected on his experience filming Game of Thrones‘ final season, and why the fan response was so disappointing. The Grey Worm actor says that fans tend to assume the cast hated the series finale as much as they did, but Anderson says this wasn’t the case, and admits that the negative fan response to the episode was “a little bit sad,” as the cast and crew of Game of Thrones worked so incredibly hard on it. Read Anderson’s comments below:
I didn’t have strong feelings about the finale. I think everybody assumes that we all hated it. That’s not the case at all. I remember when I first got the scripts for that final season, I was like, ‘There’s something kind of punk about this season. It feels risky. And I feel like it was kind of fun. I enjoyed it and it was fun to make. It was full on, but it was fun to make. We were filming for 11 months in the snow and there were thousands and thousands of people worked so hard on [the final season]. And then for it to just, when it came out for people to just straight up be like, ‘You need to remake this. This is terrible. This is the worst thing ever.’ It was a little bit sad. But to be honest, I expected people to not like it, even though I liked it. I thought people were going to be annoyed by things.
Why the Game of Thrones Finale Has Garnered So Much Hate
Despite being one of the most popular television series of all-time, the Game of Thrones series finale has gained an infamous reputation. Season 8 of the show received major backlash from fans for seeming rushed and for inconsistent plot points, but the final episode has gone down as one of the so-called worst finales in TV history. From Jon Snow’s ending, to Daenerys’ death, to Bran becoming King, fans found the finale to be a major let-down, especially after eight seasons of epic plot and character setups. Even Independence Day director Roland Emmerich hated the finale so much that he confronted showrunner David Benioff over his disappointment.
In the wake of the controversial finale, however, House of the Dragon rose to try and repair fans’ relationship with the Game of Thrones franchise. With the prequel series beginning anew, and allowing audiences to fall back in love with George R.R. Martin’s worldbuilding, many are praising House of the Dragon for reigniting their love of Game of Thrones after the finale left them so badly burned. While more fans tuned in to watch the Game of Thrones finale than the House of the Dragon premiere, the spinoff series is certainly well on its way to correcting the infamous finale’s work.
Despite fan reactions to the series finale, however, thousands and thousands of people worked on the show’s final season, and Anderson is right to give those cast and crew members their dues. Filming Game of Thrones involved many people filming in less-than-ideal weather conditions for several straight hours a day, and while the ending might not have been what fans were expecting, it’s important to put into perspective the amount of work that went into filming the finale. Whether fans loved the episode or hated it, the Game of Thrones finale has still undoubtedly become a television finale for the history books.