George R.R. Martin has opened up about the backlash to Game of Thrones' divisive eighth season, saying that he 'doesn't trust' the 'toxic internet'.
The franchise's author made the comments ahead of the release of the upcoming prequel House of the Dragon, which is inspired by his 2018 book Fire and Blood.
Although its predecessor's final season finished back in 2019, GoT fans continue to condemn what they deemed to be a disappointing ending.
The backlash was so severe, a number of petitions were launched to have season eight remade, with one receiving more than 1.8 million signatures.
One fan even took matters into his own hands by rewriting the payoff himself.
But now, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Martin has offered up his opinion on the brutal response now that the debate has kicked off once more ahead of the House of the Dragon premiere.
"The f*****g toxic internet and these podcasts out there saying that season eight left such a bad impression that people say, 'Oh, I’m never going to watch them again,'" he said.
"I don’t trust them anymore."
Adding to the conversation, HBO and HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys explained: "It was a social media backlash.
"I think in multiple parts of our society, we are reminding ourselves that Twitter is not real life. We knew it was going to be divisive and, of course, you want all fans to be happy, but that’s never going to happen.
"There weren’t a lot of people walking around despondent or upset. It’s a take that reads well but probably doesn’t fully reflect viewer feelings."
This isn't the first time the best-selling author has clapped back at the fury, having made similar comments in an interview with The Independent in May.
"I don’t understand how people can come to hate so much something that they once loved," he said. "If you don’t like a show, don’t watch it. How has everything become so toxic?"
Well, hopefully the reaction to House of the Dragon will be just as positive as it was for the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones.
The fans certainly are excited, with many suggesting the upcoming 10-episode series – which tells the story of House Targaryen 200 years before the events of GoT – may make up for their season eight sadness.
In response to the first official trailer, which dropped earlier this week, one wrote: "From whatever trailers and few other snippets that have been released, House of the Dragon really looks promising!
"Game of Thrones fans seem to have finally come out of the season 8 shock."
Another said: "I wasn’t sure how excited I’d be for more #GameOfThrones after season 8 but man I can’t lie #HouseoftheDragon is looking and sounding so good!"
House of the Dragon will premiere on 21 August on HBO Max in the US and 22 August on Sky Atlantic and Now TV in the UK.
Featured Image Credit: HBO
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