Hell hath no fury like a Game of Thrones fan scorned - or Daenerys Targaryen, evidently - and now a quarter of a million of them are demanding the entire eighth season of the epic TV series be remade.
A change.org petition by fan Dylan D calls on cable network HBO to "Remake Game of Thrones season eight with competent writers". At the time of writing, it had been signed by more than 280,000 people.
In the petition's description, Dylan specifically criticises showrunners, creators and writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the way they've developed the story beyond what was written in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, which spawned the series.
"David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on," Dylan writes. "This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!"
Though it was created a week ago, the petition picked up steam after Monday's penultimate episode, titled The Bells. The fifth instalment of the show's final season, it drew much ire from devoted fans for its slapdash storytelling, which one critic described as "absolutely illogical", and garnered the show its first-ever approval rating under 50 per cent on reviewer site Rotten Tomatoes.
Many people who signed the petition have aired their grievances on the page's comments section, with most focusing on the rushed feel that the new episodes have delivered.
"The story fell apart, the characters became caricatures of themselves - and some worse: unrecognisable - and the world lost the cohesiveness and believe-ability it had maintained previously," wrote one.
"The cast and crew are amazing, my only issue is the rushed and lazy writing of this season," said another. "It goes against the entire show's spirit."
With just one episode left of the show, Benioff and Weiss have the unenviable pressure of restoring viewer satisfaction with around 60 measly minutes worth of television - but this close to the big finale, it looks like at least 280,000 of the show's fans think it's too late.
On the bright side for Benioff and Weiss, the criticism doesn't seem to have had too negative an impact on their standing in Hollywood. According to industry site Deadline, the pair are currently in negotiations with six major studios, all of whom are vying for global rights to their future collaborations.
As for Thrones, the story doesn't quite end here - after the finale this coming Monday, fans will a week later be treated to a behind-the-scenes documentary that explores how the nearly billion-dollar show came to life. A Game of Thrones prequel is also in the works, with Australian actress Naomi Watts attached to the project.
Game of Thrones' final episode will air on Foxtel and Foxtel Now on Monday, May 20, from 11am.
- SMH/The Age