While dissatisfied Game of Thrones fans were the loudest on social media after the finale aired Sunday, a new poll found the majority of viewers liked it "some" or "a lot."
On Wednesday, Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter published the results of a May 20-22 poll of 2,201 adults, including 314 people who watched the Game of Thrones finale. Thirty-seven percent of those who watched the finale liked it the finale "some," while 26 percent "liked it a lot."
On the negative side, 24 percent "didn't really like" the finale, while only 10 percent "didn't like it at all."
Those who watched the finale were also asked to rate the show from 1 to 10, with 10 being "very good." The average was a 6.43 rating.
The poll also shows why HBO should be concerned about Game of Thrones fans keeping their subscriptions. Eight percent of those polled said they have already canceled, while 19 percent say they have plans to. Fifty-five percent said they do have plans to keep their HBO subscriptions, but 17 percent were still not sure.
Notably, this poll is only a small sample of the total viewership of the finale. HBO said the finale drew 17.4 million viewers across multiple airings and streaming, making it the most-watched scripted episode of 2019. It also beat the Season 7 finale, which drew 16.9 million viewers in 2017, and the Season 7 premiere, which had 16.1 million viewers.
The backlash to the final six episodes of Game of Thrones was swift, with a Change.org petition seeking a whole new season without showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to be made by HBO. Since the finale aired, the petition has been signed by more than 1.5 million people.
Meanwhile, the actors have said they were not completely surprised by the final episodes, which was criticized for the seemingly sudden personality change in Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow, even predicted fans would be divided before the finale aired.
"I think it's going to divide. But if you track her story all the way back, she does some terrible things. She crucifies people. She burns people alive. This has been building," Harington told Entertainment Weekly. "So, we have to say to the audience: 'You're in denial about this woman as well. You knew something was wrong. You're culpable, you cheered her on.'"
Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark, told The New York Times she was not surprised, but found the petition disrespectful.
"Honestly, I'm not surprised," Turner told The Times. "People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish, and so when it doesn't go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel."
She later continued, "All of these petitions and things like that — I think it's disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season. Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it's not what they want to see is just disrespectful."
While Game of Thrones has ended, HBO is developing a prequel series set thousands of years before the series.
Photo credit: HBO