Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Addressed How Online Hate Impacted The Game Of Thrones Cast

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The final season of Game of Thrones was a rough one for many die-hard fans of the series. So rough, in fact, that many viewers turned to Twitter after the finale to bash the season’s fast pace and surprise ending, among other things. At one point, the criticism got so aggressive that some fans created a Change.org petition calling for the showrunners to redo the entirety of Season 8. But what those fans may not have considered, however, is that their negativity online would severely impact those who worked hard on set every day—something Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, spoke about at this weekend’s Con of Thrones fan event (July 12-14) in Nashville, Tennessee.

During one panel, Coster-Waldau spoke about the intensity of the reactions to Season 8, and how some people’s hateful words really upset members of the cast. “Every season has been intense in terms of the attention and discussion, but it was extraordinarily intense for a final season,” he said, according to HuffPost. “And we have this WhatsApp group, the actors, and I saw some people getting a little upset because some of the stuff is vicious, and if you make the mistake of start reading all that shit, because if you guys get really angry about something—I’m sure you did, some of you―so you write to each other and go, ‘Fucking assholes. This is so not what would happen! They ruined, they butchered George’s world!’ It’s just fun for you, but of course some got a little upset.”

And if they weren’t feeling particularly upset over the onslaught of negative reactions from the GoT fanbase, they were feeling confused. After all, the third episode of the season, “The Long Night,” took a whopping 55 nights to film. And after putting in that much dedication, it was disappointing for the actors to see that so many fans had an issue with the way everything turned out. “There was that kind of weird feeling of, ‘What the hell? We worked so hard,'” the actor said. “I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry, by the way. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying how it was to get through that whole thing.”

But as hard as it was for the actors, it was probably even harder for David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the show’s creators. Why? Because many fans on social media felt as though they lost interest in the show and didn’t put much thought into how they were going to wrap everything up. However, Coster-Waldau shut down this theory at another panel, saying, “For anyone to imagine or to think that the two creators of the show are not the most passionate, the greatest, the most invested of all, and to for a second think that they didn’t spend the last 10 years thinking about how they were going to end it is kind of silly. … And also know that they too read the comments. And it is, even though you sit on your own and go, ‘Fucking stupid writers. Assholes.’ They really—like everyone on Game of Thrones, every single person and there are thousands—we worked our asses off to make the best show we could for the ending.”

Fortunately, there were many fans at the convention who really liked how the series ended—an opinion that was sadly overshadowed by critics on social media. And when one fan expressed to Coster-Waldau just how much the show meant to them over the years, he responded by explaining how badly he wished Benioff and Weiss were there to hear it—especially since they’ve been on the receiving end of so much hate since the season aired. “I just wish Dan and David could be here to hear this,” he said. “To understand that people really love the show, that suddenly they’re not the most hated people in the world. I mean, because that’s how they might―I know how they feel.”