“In fandom, there are some people who express their love through hate”
“Daybreak”, Battlestar Galactica, NBCUniversal Television, 2009
One of the first pieces that came up when I searched for online reactions was a blog post calling Battlestar’s finale “the worst ending in the history of on-screen science fiction.” Which is almost a compliment.
We’re No. 1! Yeah, I don’t know what it is about genre. You could say that genre fandom is the biggest fandom, and maybe that’s the root of a lot of it. I’m not sure what the fandom is for Law and Order or NCIS. I’m sure there is one, but for genre it’s definitely something people care about so passionately, and it’s very personal. You go to conventions, or you go to fan gatherings, and people really love these characters from all these shows. And they take it very personally, they see themselves in it. They have their fantasies, their wish-fulfillments wrapped up in it, and when it goes sideways for them, and it goes to places that upset them, they take it very, very personally, and they get very passionate about it.
In fandom, there are some people who express their love through hate. When I was at Star Trek, I remember being online, in the early days, like AOL, and there was a fan who was writing a review of one of the episodes I had written. It started off by saying, “I’ve watched this episode three times, and it gets worse every time I watch it.” I’m like, OK! You are a fan, and you love this, but you express it through this angsty rage. And that too is part of being a fan—“I hate Star Wars and I’ve seen them all 12 times!” That’s just part of your particular psychology, and probably you’re expressing your devotion to this piece.
So have you followed the reactions to the Game of Thrones finale?
A little bit, yes. I watched and scanned through the media recaps and reactions. It was sort of predictable. I thought, going into it, people were going to hate it. They were just primed to freak out about it in various ways—and primed to enjoy the fact that they were angry about it. So none of it surprised me. Personally, I thought it was great. And you can quote me. I was very satisfied as a viewer. I thought it was the perfect ending to all those characters and I thought that it made sense in the arc of what they had been doing. When you’re doing a finale for a show, you’re thinking about it at least a year previous. At the minimum, the final season is dominated by the thought about what’s the endgame, how are we moving characters and story to get to this particular endpoint? Nothing that happened in the finale of Game of Thrones was not thought out, was not discussed, was not part of George Martin’s universe. It was all very carefully laid out, and it felt to me like it was all consistent with pretty much everything they had been doing.
There’s that moment in the first episode of Season 8 where Jon and Dany kiss and her dragon gives them this weird look, which people made fun of at the time. But having seen the finale, you realize that specific shot was there to sell the moment when Drogon sees Dany dead in Jon’s arms and decides not to burn him alive.
Those things were all definitely thought out. When they were in the editing room, they made sure to include that shot because they knew where the story was going later.