While barely any of the moving parts on Game of Thrones are comparable to those that comprised Lost, the two TV series share more than a few similarities related to fan reactions and respective legacies. That goes double when it comes to how people felt about the series finales, and Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof took to social media recently to hilariously remind George R.R. Martin of the Thrones author's opinions about how the timeline-jumping ABC drama ended its six-season run.
In particular, Damon Lindelof had an amusingly pointed response to George R.R. Martin's recent assertion that fan culture is "toxic," which was in itself a response to fan-fury over Game of Thrones' ending. With Martin's past potshots at Lost clearly on his mind, Lindelof posted the following:
There's a certain kind of poetic grace involved when someone uses the word "turd" when flinging mud, even in a mostly sarcastic scenario such as this.
Damon Lindelof doesn't even provide a direct reference to the source of his ire, but his "#TheNorthRemembers" tag is a clue that it's something that's been festering for quite a while now. In fact, it goes all the way back to a New Yorker article from 2011, in which George R.R. Martin is gearing up for Game of Thrones making its auspicious debut on HBO.
That interview came out just a couple of months before George R.R. Martin published A Dance with Dragons, the fifth novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series. (Which he has yet to follow up on.) When talking about the apprehension tied to releasing a long-awaited title for fans, he made the following remarks:
We watched it every week trying to figure it out, and as it got deeper and deeper I kept saying, ‘They better have something good in mind for the end. This end better pay off here.’ And then I felt so cheated when we got to the conclusion. . . . I have all of these readers who are waiting on the book. I want to give them something terrific. [Pause.] What if I fuck it up at the end? What if I do a Lost? Then they’ll come after me with pitchforks and torches.
Understandably, Damon Lindelof didn't immediately let it roll off his back that George R.R. Martin thought Lindelof and co-showrunner Carlton Cuse had fucked up the Lost ending. Granted, a sizable amount of people shared in that opinion around the time of Lost's finale and for years afterward, but Lindelof couldn't be expected to remember what everyone said, right? But in 2011, those were strong words coming from a big-named author in the days before internet fandoms had gotten quite so riotous.
Though Damon Lindelof could have posted some randomly timed rebuttals against George R.R. Martin in all these years, nothing major went down, probably because of Lindelof's self-professed fandom for the author's works. However, the creator of the upcoming Watchmen HBO series couldn't bite his tongue hard enough after seeing Martin criticizing hardcore online fandoms for their "toxic" opinions.
George R.R. Martin's comments came in reaction to the surprisingly widespread about-face that Game of Thrones fans took throughout the course of Season 8, largely based on a foundation of incredulousness over showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss allowing setting up just six episodes to wrap the epic drama's multitude of storylines. The core criticisms had started long before, but Season 8 was the final straw for many viewers.
Fans have definitely been exceedingly hyperbolic in response to Game of Thrones' final season, from petitioning to get the entire season re-filmed to pledges to shame the showrunners at Comic-Con. It's at the point where G.o.T.'s finale is now being viewed as worse than Dexter's highly maligned ending and How I Met Your Mother's finale...oh, yes, and Lost's polarizing "The End."
Does that give Damon Lindelof the last laugh in this situation? Or maybe just the last "turd" hashtag?
Fans of both shows can now spend time waiting to see if ABC decides to reboot Lost while HBO works on its Game of Thrones prequel project(s).