Game of Thrones star calls backlash “ungrateful” one year after final episode aired

Carice van Houten, who played Melisandre in fantasy series, said a fan petition to remake the show's final season was "extremism".

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Game of Thrones actress Carice van Houten has said that fans’ criticism of the show’s finale “feels a bit ungrateful”.

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Speaking to Insider ahead of the finale’s one-year anniversary, the Dutch actress, who portrayed sorceress Melisandre, said that some viewers were only disappointed with the show’s ending “because everything before that was so good”.

“So it just feels a bit ungrateful. You’ve had such great times and then yeah, you’re going to be disappointed because it’s not going to go exactly how you anticipated,” she added.

She continued: “Of course, you’re going to have all sorts of criticisms and I just thought it was a sign of how good the show was.”

Today (Tuesday 19th May) marks one year since the conclusion of Game of Thrones‘ controversial final season, which sparked a fan petition calling for the replacement of showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

van Houten as Game of Thrones' Melisandre (Credit: HBO)
van Houten as Game of Thrones’ Melisandre (Credit: HBO)

The Change.org petition, ‘Remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers’, was signed by over 1.8 million fans.

Speaking of the petition, van Houten said: “That’s beyond fandom. That’s extremism. That’s scary.”

“Knowing the writers and knowing how f***ing great they are, they don’t deserve that,” she added.

The 43-year-old said that she “loved” the show’s ending. “I loved the randomness and clumsiness of picking some guy, which is very representative of the world right now, as crazy people are ruling the world.”

“That’s why I loved the first season, the guy who actually was king, didn’t want to be king, so we already got a lesson in the beginning.”

At the beginning of the series, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) was king of the Seven Kingdoms before a boar attack led to his death at the end of season one.

Game of Thrones ran for eight seasons from 2011 until 2019, winning 12 Emmys and eight Golden Globes throughout its time on HBO (and Sky Atlantic in the UK).

Outside of Game of Thrones, 43-year-old van Houten is best known for her roles in Valkyrie, The Fifth Estate and a host of Dutch films. She recently starred in Sky One drama Temple.

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