Hard to pass up a good soapbox

This is a topic I’ve addressed before, but it’s timely once again. I’ll try to do it without spoilers, but it’s pretty rare air way up atop this box.

I may have addressed this on Story Empire, and it might have made a good topic over there. I don’t get a turn in the rotation for a while, so you get it here.

Regular readers will remember my post about fandoms who think they have the right to dictate the plots and character arcs in popular stories. At that time, it was all about Harry Potter. People crawled out of the woodwork to petition Rowling for what they wanted to see happen.

You might remember the campaigning, Harry + Hermione, Harry + Ron, how Voldemort would get his, Snape’s story arc, etc.

The Walking Dead got a bunch of this too.

Now we’re down to Game of Thrones. I’m irritated how everything went down, and I’m about to tell you why… without spoilers.

Readers/viewers are part of a compact. A story cannot be successful without them. An author can entertain himself to no end without any readers at all. However; when that story goes out for public consumption we strike a bargain with our readers.

We promise to deliver certain things, and a satisfactory ending is part of that. Some of the other things are genre specific, but can you imagine a murder mystery with no murder, with no mystery? A horror story without anything horrifying?

This doesn’t mean you have to have a “happily ever after” kind of ending either. There are plenty of super-famous tragedies out there.

Okay, now I’ve set the stage. While I’m pissed off over what they’re doing with Game of Thrones, I don’t believe I have any right to dictate or even suggest how the story will wrap up.

Right now there is a petition circulating to force HBO to rewrite, refilm, and air an alternate ending. This whole concept is absurd. Even if people get all the signatures they are seeking, HBO has no duty to honor the petition. This applies to the writers, directors, actors, etc.

This story belongs to the writers to screw up or wrap up as they see fit. My right is to like it or not. I have no right to dictate how it will wrap up, demand a happy ending, or a fan favorite hookup.

When people like my stories, some of them leave a positive review. On the rare occasion they are dissatisfied, they can leave a negative review. Viewers of GOT have the same rights. No more.

I’ll be there Sunday to see how it goes. I’ve invested eight years in this story, so I’m going to finish it. Then I’ll either like it… or not.

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “Hard to pass up a good soapbox

  1. I am one of the few who have never watched a Game of Thrones episode. I really don’t like television. I am reminded of the books in the eighties that had alternative endings depending on which course you took while reading. If you want to walk over the bridge, turn to page 28. If you want to jump into the water turn to page 52. They were aggravating to me because I wanted to know all of the possible outcomes. It was a real bitch when six different paths led to the same ends.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have not read or watched any GOTs books or episodes. Clearly though, the story has disappointed n some way as my son has been ranting about it all week.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. D.L. Finn, Author

    I saw that petition going around about GOT. I just shook my head. I will see how I feel about the last episode, but it is definitely my choice to watch it. It would be great if people put that much energy into more important issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been amazed at the uproar. It does feel like modern fandoms expect things to be tailored exactly to their whims too. If it isn’t then they can send it back to the chef? Just doesn’t work that way and it ignores that there are people who liked what happened. You do the rewrite and then they’ll make a petition to rewrite the rewrite. After that, a third group appears demanding a version where Gandalf shows up at the end. It goes right into silliness. Maybe this is a side effect of the distance between reader and audience being shrunken by social media. Creators seem easier to contact and more approachable, so these demands become easier to make.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with every point you made. Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m one of the few people on the planet who has never seen a single ep of GoT but the idea of a petition for an alternate ending? WTF! People need to get a life. I see petitioning for a show you like not to be cancelled, but the audience does not get to dictate the outcome of the story. A pox on that!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well said.

    Look at shows like American Idol. Viewers vote (at least, I know they used to; I’m not sure about now) and they STILL complain about the outcome sometimes—proof that even when the audience has a say, there is still a part of the population who is unsatisfied. That’s for a show that has viewer participation baked into it. Why on earth would anyone think they had the same right in fiction? Or that, even if they did, it would turn out how they preferred?

    I only watched the first season. (And the first episode of season two.) I always planned to have a marathon some week when I’m free (yep, I’m laughing, too), but after the uproar this season, I won’t bother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This has kind of turned toward thrones, but the bigger issue is fandoms in general. I suppose we’d all be lucky to have this kind of problem, but our stories are our property to crash and burn as we see fit.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I had no idea this was happening – it’s ridiculous. You know I’m still behind a season, but it’s been difficult to avoid spoilers, so I have a general idea about what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sheez! I could tell for a while now that a lot of people weren’t going to like where the story was going, so the writers, etc., had to expect that, too, but they chose to end the story the way they wanted to. And that’s their choice. I hate alternative endings, though! Way back, when the movie Clue–like the game–came out, we went to watch it, but when it came on TV to rent, it offered alternative endings–and I thought that was just plain stupid. A story should end the way the author WANTS it to end. And he has to know pretty much how the readers/watchers will react.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. tmauthor

    Mae Clair and I seem to share the distinction of being the only two people on the planet to have never seen one single episode of Game of Thrones. I’m not gonna dis the folks who are so into it. Just not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Third person who has never watched an episode. 😀 … the self-entitlement of these wankers is mind-boggling, all 700,000 of ’em.
    I think the few times that ‘fan-power’ has managed to effect a change to a show … there was that one that was cancelled and got picked up by Amazon or Netflix or whatever it was, and the kerfuffle of the ‘killing the lesbians’ trope … have given ‘fandom’ the incorrect and unfortunately obnoxious belief that if there’s ANYTHING they don’t approve of, then if they shout loud enough, things will be changed in their favour.
    Anyone who has been around children for more that a few hours knows that this is a tactic that will only work once, perhaps twice, after that their moment int the sun is long gone.
    It’s a shame they can’t find this kind of passion to effect change elsewhere in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My belief is no one has the right of censorship or rewrite unless they have the author’s permission. These people need to get a life.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. People do get so attached to a long-running story that they think of it as “theirs.” One more thing that authors have to account for in our careers. However, it must be a nice problem to have in many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am anxiously awaiting the final outcome tonight on GOT. Like you, I’ve invested eight years in the story and am determined to see it through. Who knows how it will go. The writers have surprised me more than once!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have many family members and friends who were not pleased with the GOT ending. That being said, I agree with you, the end is up to the writer. All we can do is post our dislike and imagine the ending we wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I agree about not altering things based on fans… unless, I suppose, they film something catastrophically stupid and lose everyone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I thought it was anti-climactic, but generally satisfying. The characters were left true to their initial intentions.
    Perhaps the people who want a re-write should discover fanfic.

    Liked by 1 person

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