WASHINGTON – Leaving a trail of broken hearts and social media on fire, “Game of Thrones” said goodbye on Sunday to its millions of fans after moving away from the literary saga that gave it life.
After almost a decade of epic battles, dragons and kings that conquered television screens around the globe, its eighth and last season spelled big disappointment for many.
The hashtags #TheFinalEpisode, #GameofThrones and #GOTFinale, among many others, took the internet by storm where memes sprouted like mushrooms and in which the youngest of the Stark house, Arya, was a favorite to be crowned Queen.
“Never have I ever felt so hopeless, helpless and devastated in my life. What on Earth was that episode?!” tweeted a fan with the handle @nukameeko.
User @PhanyPolar tweeted: “What is this? Not kidding. #GOTFinale.”
The discontent surrounding the massively popular television series grew over the final six episodes, which bore no reference to the George RR Martin novels that gave birth to the production.
After almost two years of waiting for the end of the story, excitement gave way to a flood of criticism about such things as the Starbucks coffee cup that appears in one of the scenes, and disappointment over the new direction that the character of Danaerys Targaryen took.
“I, in life, am like this Starbucks coffee in Game of Thrones, I do not fit,” joked the Twitter account Humor of Thrones.
On Reddit, a campaign was launched with more than a million fans signing a petition for HBO to remake the entire final season.
However, despite the criticism and disappointment, fans didn’t stop viewing the series and its penultimate episode, “The Bells,” was watched by 12.5 million people in the United States in the initial broadcast – the largest in the history of the series – and by 18.4 million HBO subscribers.
Although the figures of the finale episode are not yet known, it is anticipated that they will outstrip earlier statistics.
The production, launched in 2001 and shot in Spain, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Morocco, Malta and Iceland, also won a record 47 Emmy awards.
Treating it like elections in real life, media from around the world and two US firms launched polls to gauge public opinion on the favorite to take the coveted Iron Throne.
Twitter user @szymanskimf said: “When did this become the 2020 Democratic Primary? #GOTFinale #GOT” – an allusion to the numerous candidates vying for nomination in the 2020 US presidential elections.
To alleviate the pain of fans, it has already been announced that a spin-off series is in the works, with Naomi Watts starring in the prequel pilot.