Game of Thrones star hopes fans will re-evaluate divisive series finale

John Bradley, who played aspiring maester Sam on the hit fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, has said he hopes fans will re-evaluate the show's divisive finale

Samwell Tarly and Daenerys in Game of Thrones finale

Game of Thrones star John Bradley, who played aspiring maester on the hit fantasy TV series, has said he hopes fans will re-evaluate the show’s divisive ending. Speaking on Variety’s podcast Just For Variety, Bradley said he hopes old wounds will heal one day, admitting it would have been impossible to please all the Game of Thrones fans.

“It is highly unlikely that we were ever going to please everybody,” Bradley said. “Chances are we were going to please a fraction of people. We almost couldn’t win. It almost meant too much to people for them to really ever be satisfied. And who knows, when the wounds have healed a little bit in a few years’ time, maybe people will reevaluate it and be able to see it as a complete thing.”

During the same interview, Bradley also dismissed the notion that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss gave up or didn’t care about the final season. “If [Weiss and Benioff] didn’t care, they wouldn’t choose to be standing in a field in Belfast at 3 o’clock in the morning for months on end,” he explained. “They wanted to make it as good as possible, and it’s a shame if people didn’t like it because we did try our best to make something very special.”

The Game of Thrones eighth and final season was widely panned by fans and critics. The main complaints concerned the show’s pacing, the disappointing endings some of our favourite Game of Thrones characters got, and the decision to sacrifice story for spectacle.

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Still, the eighth season was the most viewed Game of Thrones season, and it managed to win twelve Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series. While Peter Dinklage took home the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award. That’s before mentioning upcoming prequel House of the Dragon.

If you’ve missed seeing Bradley onscreen, you can see him in the upcoming science fiction movie Moonfall from February 4.