Frothing GoT fans’ game of moans
Game Of Thrones ends tomorrow in a storm of record viewing figures and unheralded hype - but amid all the positives, a vocal minority of fans is already demanding a different ending and for the entire season eight to be remade.
An online petition calling on HBO to commission a different season eight has more than 450,000 signatures and there must be about as many memes doing the rounds of the internet mocking the writers, the directors and the showrunners.
Most of the outrage centres around what happens to Cersei and Daenerys - addressed in detail below.
Obviously the ending of Game Of Thrones was never going to make every fan happy.
While 450,000 signatures is a large number, it is still dwarfed by the tens of millions who watch the show. And viewers have exploded over plot twists in previous seasons, without impacting the show's ever-booming popularity.
But it's not just the fans. Some critics are also howling. Aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes has season eight sitting at a 71 per cent approval rating. Every other season is well over 90 per cent. Fans are rating it at 42 per cent.
Episode five, The Bells, has a 47 per cent approval rating. That is unheard of for a show that has won awards for its writing. Only the first episode of season eight has a score over 90 per cent.
HBO and showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff have not addressed the petition but it is highly unlikely HBO would ever remake the final season, which was the most expensive season of television ever produced.
Meanwhile, Pilou Asbaek, who played Euron Greyjoy, has made an appeal to the fans in America's Insider, saying he hopes Weiss and Benioff are happy with the way the show finishes.
"I think they will be, because right now, people are very angry," he said.
"Some people are very angry and some people are very happy. I think, guys, just … please. Everyone has done the best work they could, under the circumstances they could, and I think it will stand the test of time. Honestly, I swear to God I think that."
Let's look at the spoiler-filled reasons why fans are upset.
At stake is the fate of two of the central characters, Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen.
For a show that was once nicknamed "Game Of Boobs" for its gratuitous female nudity, its central women have been strong, empathetic characters. Until now.
Firstly, fans were furious at the ending of Cersei. She was supposed to be choked to death by her twin brother and lover Jaime Lannister to fulfil the prophecy of the "valonqar".
Whether that was in a fury for her betrayals or as a mercy killing to stop her falling into the hands of a vengeful Daenerys, this was supposed to be a hugely dramatic scene - and one fans had been eagerly anticipating.
Instead they were both killed when the ceiling caved in. If that wasn't bad enough, Cersei went from powerful, dominating leader to a weeping weakling in this episode. The Cersei that fans knew and loved was supposed to go down fighting, not giving an inch, rather than acting like the main character from a Mills And Boon novel.
But Cersei's death was a feather against the lead weight of Daenerys turning into the Mad Queen, an echo of her father the Mad King, and burning down most of King's Landing and thousands of women and children.
For the past seven seasons, Dany had been carefully crafted to be the Good Queen, who showed mercy and love and wanted to end the bloodshed and tyranny. Then, the deaths of her friends Ser Jorah and Missandei apparently flipped a switch and she went berserk, killing innocents after the city had surrendered.
Some fans have argued that she has killed people by burning them in every other series, so this was a natural progression.
But it seems setting up Daenerys as the final baddie, who must be destroyed by Jon Snow for peace to finally arrive in Westeros, is a step too far for many.
The problem is the show has now outpaced the books and so fans believe another ending is possible.
This paper has previously written about the theory of Azor Ahai, the Prince That Was Promised to defeat the Night King. This was mentioned in the TV series but was much bigger in the books.
The speculation is that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai and, to fulfil the prophecy, would have been forced to kill his true love Daenerys to use her soul to create a sword powerful enough to stop the Night King.
That never happened in the show, which instead had Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) kill the Night King.
Perhaps the showrunners rejected this option because it would have meant Daenerys died in episode two. This allowed them to keep a popular character right to the end. But, faced with the problem of how to get rid of Daenerys, decided to turn her into a Mad Queen instead.
As mentioned above, previous controversial plot twists have done no lasting harm. When Ned Stark (Sean Bean) was killed in the first season, fans who had never read the books were furious. Likewise the Red Wedding and Sansa's rape by Ramsay Bolton also triggered online controversy - yet the show not only went on but grew in popularity.
And, amid the online noise - and we stress again, it is noise from a minority - there is still some hope.
Firstly, the finale might have a twist that will see Dany redeemed and fans appeased.
Secondly, George RR Martin will be taking notes at the reaction to the TV ending. He still has two books in the series to go, so he has plenty to time to fix the written ending.