‘Game of Thrones’ star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau defends show’s final season

For eight seasons, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau played Jaime Lannister in an episode of 'Game of Thrones.'. Macall B. Polay/HBO via AP

NOTE: Major spoilers ahead. Do not read if you haven’t seen the entirety of the final season of Game of Thrones.

On Tuesday morning, Game of Thrones slashed its way to an impressive 32 Emmy nominations for its eighth and final season, which concluded on May 19.

Earning nominations for three individual episodes in the Outstanding Writing for a Drama and Outstanding Directing for a Drama categories as well as nods for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Casting, there was no lack of recognition for HBO’s smash-hit fantasy series.

Game of Thrones’ record-breaking numbers beat the likes of many other massively popular TV shows nominated at the 2019 Emmy Awards, including The Big Bang Theory, Chernobyl and Veep, among many others.

However, the sheer number of nominations for Game of Thrones left many fans both surprised and angered.

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For the most part, the show’s final season was received negatively as a result of what some fans called “poor” writing and directing.

Longtime showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff have received a massive amount of online criticism as a result.

READ MORE: George R. R. Martin reveals new details about ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel

Among its extensive cast, 10 actors also received an Emmy nod, including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who was nominated for Oustanding Supporting Actor.

In light of the nomination announcement, Coster-Waldau spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about the negativity surrounding Game of Thrones’ final season and its highly controversial ending.

The 48-year-old suggested the Emmy recognition given to the show’s cast and crew accurately reflected the quality of the show — namely, the writing.

“This validates the writing on Game of Thrones, for sure,” he said.

WATCH: Petition to remake ‘Game of Thrones’ final season reaches 1 million signatures

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Petition to remake ‘Game of Thrones’ final season reaches 1 million signatures
There’s been a lot of talk about [the negative reception],” added Coster-Waldau. “I think it was a mix of many things.”
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“For one, it’s the basic idea of not wanting the show to end, and any ending would have been very upsetting,” he said. “But the only thing I can say is you don’t get this many actors nominated with bad writing. It just does not happen.”

Since the very first episode debuted in 2011, Coster-Waldau, 48, has portrayed one of Game of Thrones‘ most important characters, Jaime Lannister.

READ MORE: Petition wants to keep ‘Game of Thrones’ writers off of ‘Star Wars’

However, many fans seem to disagree with the actor.

Even two months after the Game of Thrones finale, a number of bitter fans took to social media to share their opinions regarding the Emmy nominations.

Here’s what some social media users had to say:

“David Benioff and D.B Weiss have been nominated for multiple Emmy awards for being the biggest hack fraud con men in history,” wrote one Twitter user. “Congrats D&D!”

On a more positive note, many other fans applauded the talent of the cast despite how they felt about Season 8.

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I believe the only ones who deserve an Emmy in Game of Thrones are those characters,” wrote another.

READ MORE: 2019 Emmy Awards nominations: ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Veep,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ lead the pack

With a hefty 32 nominations, it’s possible Game of Thrones could take home at least one Emmy Award this year, though some of the stars, directors and editors have been pitted against each other in specific award categories, including Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Here are all 32 Game of Thrones nominations for the upcoming 2019 Emmy Awards

**Actors, actresses and episodes are bolded **

Drama Series
Writing, Drama
Lead Actress, Drama — Emilia Clarke
Lead Actor, Drama — Kit Harington
Supporting Actor, Drama — Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage
Supporting Actress, Drama — Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams
Guest Actress, Drama — Carice van Houten
Production Design, Narrative Period or Fantasy Program
Casting, Drama
Main Title Design
Stunt Co-ordination, Drama
Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes
Special Visual Effects
Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program
Cinematography, Single-Camera Series
Directing, Drama — The Iron Throne, The Last of the Starks and The Long Night
Single-Camera Picture Editing, Drama — The Iron Throne, The Long Night and Winterfell
Hairstyling, Single-Camera Series
Makeup, Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)
Prosthetic Makeup
Music Composition (Original Dramatic Score)
Sound Editing, Comedy/Drama
Sound Mixing, Comedy/Drama

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The complete list of major 2019 Emmy Award nominees is available here.

The 71st Emmy Awards will be telecast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. No host has been announced.

With files from Chris Jancelewicz

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