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HBO’s chief content officer and George RR Martin brace for social media backlash ahead of series premiere

Three years after the series finale of “game of thronesisn’t long enough for some of the show’s old fans. Some people still hate the eighth and final season of HBO the most popular show, especially its latest episode. Daenerys may always be Jon Snow’s queen, but those last two episodes will also always live in infamy.

READ MORE: ‘House Of The Dragon’ Will Feature Multiple ‘Crown’ Time Jumps In Its First Season

And with a prequel to the series coming out next month, HBO has every right to be wary of further backlash from fans. “Dragon House“may take place thousands of years before Daenerys Targaryen went bad, but it’s still set in Westeros, and some viewers don’t want to go back there. But from the perspective of “Dragon,” HBO/HBO Max content manager Casey Bloys supports the ending of “Thrones” even if the fans don’t. “I think in many parts of our society we are reminded that Twitter is not real life,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. “We knew [the final season] was going to be divisive and of course you want all the fans to be happy, but that’s never going to happen. There weren’t many people walking around discouraged or upset. It’s a take that reads well but probably doesn’t entirely reflect the feelings of the viewer.

On the contrary, Mr. Bloys: To say people weren’t walking around upset after ‘Game Of Thrones’ ended is an understatement. Bloys may have glossed over the venomous backlash from three years ago for several reasons: to temper fan expectations of the new series; ensure a good audience for the premiere of the new series; to articulate that, yes, maybe Twitter enlarged the negative response at the end of “Thrones” a bit. But Bloys also wants to establish “Dragon” as a fresh start with something to say about the contemporary world. “I liked the idea of ​​focusing on one family, and obviously the Targaryens have a lot of drama to do,” Bloys continued. “I also liked the echo of how quickly empires can fall – those are the kinds of conversations we have in our own country, which I don’t think we would have thought we were talking about 20 years ago. year. ”

So, in other words, Bloys wants fans to give “House Of The Dragon” a chance, despite the social media backlash. Creator of “Game Of Thrones” George RR Martin’s taking the way fans turned on the original show isn’t quite as cordial. “The fucking toxic internet and these podcasts saying season eight left such a bad impression that people are like, ‘Oh, I’m never going to watch them again,'” Martin said. “I don’t trust them anymore. While Bloys claims the social media backlash exaggerated how people really felt about ‘Game Of Thrones’ ending, it seems Martin just doesn’t care that grudging old fans aren’t coming back. for “Dragon”.

And as far as Martin is concerned, if those people never watch “Dragon,” they’ll miss out because he compares the new show to a “Shakespearean tragedy” with a darker tone and message than the original series. “There’s no Arya – a character everyone will love. They’re all flawed,” Martin explained. “They’re all human. They do good things. They do bad things. They’re driven by lust for power, jealousy, old wounds, just like human beings. Just as I wrote them. While it’s true that Martin wrote some memorable, even classic, characters in his original books, he didn’t Nor does he have the most unbiased opinion of the world he created. And he hasn’t even finished the original book series yet, and many doubt he ever will. So, maybe be that he’s promoting “House Of The Dragon” because, unlike his book series, the upcoming show is a finished product?

Anyway, “House Of The Dragon” has already received backlash online even before its premiere. Steve Toussiant, who plays Corlys Velaryon on the new show, told The Hollywood Reporter that he dealt with racist messages from so-called fans after HBO announced his casting. “I didn’t realize [the casting] was a big deal until I was racially attacked on social media,” Toussaint said. “Yeah, that shit happened. I was just like, ‘Oh wow,’ and then I thought, ‘OK, so this means a lot to some people, but I can’t allow that to bother me.'” Every show has its toxic fans, like “Obi Wan Kenobi” star Moses Ingram will attest. Still, responses like this to simple casting choices are an alarming and chilling look at how seriously fans are taking their narrative-fiction series. Which is more dangerous, the dragon-ridden world of Westeros or the toxic vitriol of online communities?

“House Of The Dragon” premieres on HBO and HBO Max on August 21.