Peter Dinklage has a flattering theory on why everyone hated the end of Game of Thrones

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Photo via HBO

Perhaps no show flamed out as spectacularly as Game of Thrones. It was a full-on cultural phenomenon from when it first aired in 2011 to, well, right before the last season.

The eighth season premiered in April of 2019, and it went from one of the most loved shows ever to one of the most hated. Seemingly overnight, fans threw all of the goodwill from the previous seasons out the window. In fact, it was so bad that some people say they’ll never return to the franchise no matter what.

Breakout star Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister on the show, has a theory about why people hated that final season so much. Dinklage spoke with The New York Times about his new movie, Cyrano, and he said part of the reason for the backlash was that viewers “didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore.”

I think the reason there was some backlash about the ending is because they were angry at us for breaking up with them. We were going off the air and they didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore. They wanted more, so they backlashed about that.

They wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together. By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on. [Laughs] No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it. Yeah, it was called Game of Thrones, but at the end, the whole dialogue when people would approach me on the street was, “Who’s going to be on the throne?” I don’t know why that was their takeaway because the show really was more than that.

That’s certainly one way to look at it. I think the general consensus for why people hated the season wasn’t so much “what do I watch on Sunday now?” as it was “this is terrible writing,” but hey, we all get opinions.

Despite the catastrophic handling of the finale, more stories from the fictional universe of the show are on the way. While a prequel was recently cancelled, there are animated shows and a spinoff called House of the Dragon reportedly on the horizon.

Another spinoff called Dunk & Egg recently found a showrunner. That show is based on three other George R.R. Martin novels, The Hedge Knight (1998), The Sworn Sword (2003), and The Mystery Knight (2010), featuring a knight named Dunk and future king Aegon V. Targaryen. It’s set about 90 years before the events in the original show.