Game of Thrones is over. The final episode of the final season aired Sunday night with “The Iron Throne.” And it was controversial. People created a petition asking for a remake with new writers. Now, HBO’s top programming boss, Casey Bloys, has responded to the feedback from the series finale.
He told Deadline that he was not surprised by the reaction. He said there was no way for creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to craft an ending that everyone enjoyed, given how passionate the show’s fanbase is. “I think based on online reaction, which you do have to take with a grain of salt, it does seem split and I think that’s about right–some people are going to love it, some people are going to hate it. But the point is, everybody is feeling really passionate about it,” he said.
Bloys said Game of Thrones fans had their own hopes and wishes for how each character’s story would wrap up. However, Weiss and Benioff had a plan for a long time, and “they did it the way they thought fit as creators,” Bloys said, adding that he thought the pair did a “spectacular job.”
“They landed a big plane, which was not easy. You are never going to keep everybody happy, but I don’t think that’s what they were trying to do,” he said.
In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bloys said Benioff and Weiss never intended to try to make everyone happy with their Game of Thrones ending.
“You just have to accept that not everybody is going to agree with the choices,” he said. “For a show this big and this epic and this sprawling, [Benioff and Weiss] have to make choices. What’s great about the show is it made people feel a lot of things–positive and negative. A lot of people had invested in characters and hoped for certain things and wanted to see certain twists. There’s probably a little bit of mourning going on that the show is over. I get it, I understand it: It’s a big show and people really invested a lot in it–and that says a lot about what the show did. People really cared about it.”
Fans and critics have commented that the final season (or two) sped along too quickly, and in turn, some of the key moments lacked weight or significance. Bloys said Weiss and Benioff had a plan for how they wanted to end the story “for a long, long time.” Bloys admitted that he would have liked Weiss and Benioff to make five more seasons, but Weiss and Benioff had a different vision.
“They’ve had a plan that they wanted to do and this made sense to them,” he said. “They made this decision a long time ago and they’re doing it exactly how they planned to do it. They made that decision a long time ago. But no, I’m not aware of any conversations that anybody thought it was crammed or anything like that.”
While not everyone might have loved the Game of Thrones finale, it was a ratings juggernaut. More than 19 million people tuned in, which set new records for the series and HBO overall. For more on the episode, check out GameSpot’s video recap in the embed above.