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Game of Thrones petition is latest in a change the end trend

In our grim and grimmer world, the dragon has awoken. 

Bad news has flapped its way to the front lines of reality, and it just exhaled. The White House has embraced lawlessness; the Justice Department is enabling it. Five justices of the Supreme Court and several state legislatures are setting fire to decades of precedent and imposing a deeply regressive agenda. Ignorance is rampant. Millions will suffer. 

As this multi-headed draconian dragon arises, we mobilize. Practically overnight, more than 650,000  citizens of the internet rushed to petition site to demand … that HBO remake season 8 of Game of Thrones. 

Which, of course, still has one episode left to go.  

Signatories cited their disappointment over Daenerys’ (not-so-sudden) turn to the dark side, the Night King’s admittedly sudden defeat, “and Bran’s role has been a bit like, ‘all that journey to do what?'” as one angry British fan wrote. (That complaint at least may be a little premature, if the betting markets are correct.) 

It’s the biggest fan remake demand petition since the last big fan remake demand petition. Last year, you may recall, some 117,000 angry Star Wars fans banded together to sign a petition demanding Lucasfilm remake The Last Jedi, the eighth of nine episodes in the also-still-unfinished Skywalker saga. The petition maker later called it a “bad idea” that was concocted on “strong pain medication.” 

But he was not alone. A Twitter account called Remake The Last Jedi soon sprung up soliciting donations for its version of the $200 million movie. The account is still active, and has taken to posting cryptic photos alongside a change of hashtag — #remakingthelastjedi — archly suggesting the $73,000 pledged was enough to fund a full-on blockbuster remake.

Welcome to the Choose-Your-Own-Ending generation. Fueled by the interactivity of movie-like video games, sparked by all those Choose Your Own Adventure books they devoured as kids, freshly sparked by Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and its ilk, today’s entertainment-consuming adults are not primed for passive acceptance. Social media and especially YouTube provide the forum, the impetus, and an echo chamber sufficient to turn the angst of a minority into a deafening howl. 

If they perceive an insult to their heroes — their mental image of how Daenerys Targaryen or Luke Skywalker should act — they will denounce the screen version as a heretical mimic of the “real” thing. It’s common in Last Jedi hater circles to refer to the onscreen version as a doppelganger named “Jake Skywalker.” Can “Dabby Targaryen” be far off?

To quote Fred Savage, the storytime child in The Princess Bride, “Hold it, hold it! Grandpa, you read it wrong!” We are now apparently a nation of Fred Savages, angrily explaining to the Peter Falks of the world that the story doesn’t end like that, even before it’s ended

But how should the story go instead? There we rarely get more than a few minutes of vague plot wishes that quickly circle back to the more comfortable territory of what went very wrong

So urgent is the need of these fans that they have bypassed the once popular interactive means of finishing the story your way — writing your own version. 

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