The View From Here – Game of Thrones ends with “viral fan petition”

Tom Henihan

I have never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, but that has not saved me from being inundated with talk and media coverage of the immensely popularity TV series.

Apart from having no interest in fantasy in any form be it literature, movies or TV shows, I distrust any production with a formula calculated to hit the soft spot of millions of viewers.

When a book, show or movie becomes popular, we hope it is due to it having some genuine merit. But it is marketing and manipulation not merit that are at play when a popular culture confection achieves the ultimate goal of mass-hysteria.

When a book, movie or show incites mass-hysteria I lose all curiosity about the work and try to remove myself from the fervor and the fury surrounding that prevailing phenomenon.

I figure the less I know about the current craze the less likely it is as a topic of conversation. Nevertheless, we can never be completely buffered from the current and oncoming waves of popular culture.

Not having watched Game of Thrones, I can’t pronounce on the merits or shortcomings of the show.

Still, judging from the behavior of millions of the show’s fans, watching the show appears to have been an unhealthy experience for many.

It is infantile for people to become so immersed in a fantasy TV show that when the outcome to that fantasy fails to meet their expectations, they express outrage in the real world and demand that the conclusion to the fantasy be rewritten.

Game of Thrones final episode drew an estimated 19.3 million viewers and so far, just over one million viewers has signed the viral fan petition demanding a rewrite of season eight.

I would like to know if those who signed the petition demanding a rewrite agree as to how the show should end, because if they don’t agree it is inevitable that a lot of fans will experience disappointment and outrage for a second time, if the show were rewritten.

So, the scenario goes from fantasy to farce and under any other circumstance, having over a million people behaving irrationally would be cause for alarm.

Those demanding a rewrite to the show should be admonished for behaving like small children, throwing tantrums and refusing to distinguish between the real and the imaginary.

It is unsettling to witness adults behaving like children en masse and instead of feeling ashamed of their behavior, they are proud of their affiliation with the current pop culture craze.

There is nothing new in fans naming their children after characters in TV shows, books and movies, but Game of Thrones’ fans who named their children after characters in the show were also upset when some of those characters ultimately revealed a different or darker side to their persona.

In the context of popular culture, movies and books are commodities created with the consumer in mind. The consumers of Game of Thrones, aware that they were offered a carefully packaged bill of goods and after buying in for eight seasons they feel that they deserve a more plausible ending to the series than character aberrations, storyline anomalies and complete disappointment.

It is ironic, while the producers of Game of Thrones created an 8-season TV show with unprecedented mass appeal, they could only create an ending to the series that outraged millions and disappointed millions more.

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