Game of Thrones

Why Peter Dinklage’s Game Of Thrones Fan Criticisms Are Wrong

Peter Dinklage played Tyrion Lannister in all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones and has some choice words for those critical of the show’s infamous ending.

Peter Dinklage’s criticisms of Game of Thrones fans are not only wrong, but they are also disrespectful to the people that support him. The actor garnered much acclaim for his performance as Tyrion Lannister in all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones, earning three Emmys and eight total nominations for Best Supporting Actor, nearly double that of any other cast member. He is arguably the face most associated with the franchise thus far, which makes his comments about fans of the series feel all the more significant.

In a recent interview, Dinklage gave his thoughts on the criticisms the show received for its now-infamous final season. The actor initially shrugged off concerns, acknowledging that the ending “offended a lot of people” and adding “if you appeal to everyone you’re doing something wrong”, seemingly wearing the outrage as a badge of honor. Dinklage then went on to chastise critics of the series, suggesting that they just “wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together”, trivializing criticisms by adding “By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on.” Dinklage did take some time to express his love and gratitude for the series, and it is admittedly difficult to imagine the emotional toll the outrage surrounding Game of Thrones’ ending could take on a person. Nevertheless, Dinklage’s attitude toward his fans is arguably a bad look.

The assertion that fans were disappointed with the treatment of the “pretty white people” is absurd considering that the “pretty white people” were the only characters that got a happy ending. The forces of the Dothraki and the Unsullied are all but depleted, their homes left without a ruler, leaving those that remain to either return to Essos and suffer the ruling regime of the masters that is sure to return with force, or to abandon their homes and forge a new path all their own. Meanwhile, most of the remaining “pretty white people” are handed lands and titles, tearing down the monarchy just to replace it with a system that allows wealthy landowners to choose a future King of Westeros on a whim. To imply that the treatment of the “pretty white people” is the prevailing issue fans took with the series suggests a complete lack of understanding of the fanbase.

Perhaps Dinklage is specifically referencing the criticisms fans had regarding the fates of Jaime Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen, but his argument is reductive and misses the point entirely. It is not simply the fact that the characters met with a different end than fans expected, but rather the break-neck pace the show implemented to reach said endings that most viewers took issue with. Game of Thrones season 8 dealt in broad strokes, with little time dedicated to explaining the decisions that characters made or changes that they were experiencing, plainly presenting story elements as-is without the meticulous and intricate detail for which the show had become known. Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have made clear that their focus for the final season was dedicated to what would look the coolest rather than what would offer adequate closure to the story, and the fans took notice.

Ultimately, it would seem that Dinklage (much like the showrunners) has misjudged the desires of his fans. To suggest that it is foolish to care so deeply for fiction is disrespectful to fans of the series and misrepresents the role of a filmmaker. The job of an entertainer—be it a director, editor, or actor—is to bring an audience into the life of a character in order to elicit some sort of emotional response as the story unfolds. If it is somehow unreasonable to care about the quality of Game of Thrones, there’s a real question over whether there’s any point in watching at all.

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