Game of Thrones' Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry on the popular HBO fantasy epic, says he knew that season 8 would be a controversial one.
Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie says he knew season 8 would receive backlash. HBO's iconic fantasy series quickly shot to critical acclaim after its debut, winning over 45 Emmy Awards throughout its eight-season run. The show centered around the various warring Houses of Westeros fighting for control over the Iron Throne. However, despite the high expectations and incredible build-up, Game of Thrones' season 8 turned out to be one of the show's most controversial.
There are two shocking reveals in Game of Thrones' season 8 that stand above the rest. The first is Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) descent into madness. Despite Daenerys' determination to help others throughout the last seven seasons of the show, the Mother of Dragons ends up setting King's Landing on fire in Game of Thrones' penultimate episode. Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) witnesses her become the "Mad Queen" and kills her in the series finale. Another unexpected twist is Bran "The Broken" Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) being chosen by the new council as the next king. This decision was made after a rousing speech by Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who convinces the council that Bran has the most incredible story of them all.
Game of Thrones' Dempsie, who played Gendry the blacksmith, says in an interview with Digital Spy that he expected the season 8 blowback. He explains that everyone had a different idea of how Game of Thrones would end while expecting to be surprised. To that end, Dempsie says that there was bound to be some criticism about the ending regardless of what happened. You can catch Dempsie's full comment about Game of Thrones season 8 below:
"One of the major components of Game of Thrones' success was that it was a show that lends itself so well to almost endless theorising about how it's going to end, so they had to find a way to do that that hadn't already been widely suggested on the internet. I guess almost every eventuality probably had been suggested on the internet already, and audiences want to be surprised. Even if your prediction was exactly how the show ended up finishing, you would have had about 10 minutes of smugness before you felt really pissed off that it hadn't surprised you in the way you were hoping, so I think it was inevitable there was going to be a backlash and the ending wasn't going to please everyone."
It seems Dempsie is one of the few who are defending how Game of Thrones ended. Above all, however, many fans feel one of the underlying issues of season 8 wasn't that Daenerys went mad or Bran took the throne; the problem is that Game of Thrones' final season attempted to pack several seasons worth of episodes into one. As a result, the rushed, frantic pacing led to odd plot decisions, character choices that came out of nowhere, and several storylines that were left unresolved.
While Game of Thrones came to a controversial end, there are still plenty of opportunities for fans to return to Essos. More specifically, Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has already started casting its main characters and is on track for a 2022 release date. In the meantime, though, it seems that viewers will have to wait a while longer to jump back into the greater Game of Thrones universe; until then, many die-hard fans will continue to mourn the season that could've been.