Game Of Thrones Creator Says Internet Fan Culture’s Spiraled Into Madness


While there was a lot of criticism heaped onto The Sopranos‘ controversial finale, it was nothing compared to the vitriolic backlash that the last season of Game of Thrones received. The main difference between the two huge HBO hits was that the former existed in a time where social media wasn’t nearly as prominent as it is right now. Because of the rise of Twitter and Reddit, fans have become angrier and more emboldened. In fact, George R.R. Martin says that the way fans express themselves online can be downright “toxic.”

In a recent interview, the Game of Thrones author lamented the current state of affairs. He originally started out by writing fanzines in a time before the worldwide web and while he does feel that the Internet has connected fans from all over the globe, he also feels that the conversation too often divulges into “madness.”

“The Internet is toxic in a way that the old fanzine culture and fandoms — comics fans, science fiction fans in those days – was not,” Martin says. “There were disagreements. There were feuds, but nothing like the madness that you see on the Internet.”

There’s no better example of this type of behavior on the Internet than the public’s reaction to the disappointing final season of Game of Thrones. Fans were so displeased by the direction the show took that they started various campaigns and petitions to remake the last batch of episodes. Tiny mistakes like the misplaced coffee cup or the forgotten water bottle on set were fixated on for weeks and every minute detail became cause for uproar by those online.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just a passing trend. Social media and the rude fans that occupy it aren’t going away any time soon. Artists have no choice but to live with the toxicity that the web too often brings. On the bright side though, Game of Thrones still may get another Emmy out of the whole ordeal.