Despite its overall viewership, success and recently announced 32 nominations for the 2019 Emmy Awards, many viewers were so disappointed by the eighth season — and the finale in particular — that millions backed a petition demanding the crew remake the entire season.
The Change.org petition, launched back in May — only midway through the final season — spiked dramatically following the finale and is still collecting signatures. It targeted showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff specifically, calling them “woefully incompetent writers.”
As of this writing, it has accumulated more than 1.69 million backers.
After the petition quickly went viral, a number of Game of Thrones stars responded to the backlash. Most of them defended the show, however they also admitted they thought the final episode might divide fans.
It wasn’t until Wednesday, however, that HBO’s head of programming, Casey Bloys, chimed in to protect the show’s reputation during a recent press tour with the Television Critics Association.
“There are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show,” he said, according to TVLine. “But one I can think of is when you try to end it. Many people have big opinions on how these characters’ stories should come to an end.”
WATCH: Petition to remake ‘Game of Thrones’ final season reaches 1 million signatures
Bloys continued to point out the success of the show by highlighting the number of Emmy nods the Game of Thrones cast and crew received the week prior.
“Thirty-two Emmy nominations is certainly nice validation,” he said.
Now that Game of Thrones is complete, both Weiss and Benioff have a number of other plans in the works, including some upcoming Star Wars films.
The Star Wars project currently has no set release date, however many fans of the massively popular sci-fi franchise don’t seem too happy about the showrunners’ involvement in that project, either.
Another petition, started only a few weeks after the previous one, hopes to scare both Weiss and Benioff away from working on the films.
Neither director will be working on any of the three upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series.
With 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.
WATCH: Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams delivers cheeky tweet in response to fan reaction to finale
Here are all 32 Game of Thrones nominations for the upcoming 2019 Emmy Awards
**Actors, actresses and episodes are bolded **
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
Main Title Design
Stunt Co-ordination, Drama
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)
Music Composition (Original Dramatic Score)
Sound Editing, Comedy/Drama
Sound Mixing, Comedy/Drama
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.