Game of Thrones stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Conleth Hill have accused the media of whipping up a “hate campaign” against the show’s controversial final season.
After debuting in 2011, the HBO fantasy series earned rave reviews from journalists and fans, and its immense popularity over eight seasons made it the most talked about TV on the planet. However, this year’s final season divided viewers and sparked a huge wave of online criticism.
Speaking at a Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California, Conleth, who played manipulative courtier Varys in the programme, thanked the fans who had received the last episodes positively, saying it made a change from the negative media response.
“We’re very grateful for your fandom over the years and I think this is the reality rather than a media-led hate campaign,” he said in footage filmed by Variety, after joking that he had started a petition calling for the final season to be remade that gained more than 1.6 million signatures.
Nikolaj, meanwhile, called on fans to put things in perspective and not attack the show’s cast and writers online.
“It comes to an end it’s gonna p**s you off no matter what because it’s the end,” he said. “f you hated the ending, if you loved the ending, that’s great, just don’t call people names.”
The Danish actor also addressed the negative response to his character Jaime Lannister’s fate, discussing the nobleman’s controversial return to the side of his evil sister and one-time lover Cersei.
“I thought it was perfect for him to end in the arms of Cersei, it made sense to me, that’s just my opinion,” he said, as some fans in the audience expressed their disagreement.
The stars on the panel, including Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Liam Cunningham, also poked fun at the fact a coffee cup was left in one scene by drinking from similar receptacles during the chat.