HBO boss says ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 8 pacing was “well thought out”

"The guys have had a very, very specific plan in their head for a long time"

HBO’s programming president has defended the pacing of the final season of Game of Thrones after a backlash from fans.

Casey Bloys resisted criticism directed at showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss that Season 8 was helmed by “woefully incompetent” writers, as argued by fans behind a petition calling for it to be remade.

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‘Game Of Thrones’ showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff

“File this under you can’t please everybody,” Bloys told Variety. “The guys have had a very, very specific plan in their head for a long time. This was not something that was kind of slapdash, where at the end of last season we said, ‘Eh, we only feel like doing six’.

“They were very, very deliberate. This was well thought out,” he added.

The final series of Game of Thrones comprised six feature-length episodes instead of the usual 10 episode structure of previous seasons. NME’s Dan Stubbs wrote that the latest episodes felt like “we’re rushing hopelessly to the finish line,” adding,  “it’s starting to feel like the work of a primary school child growing bored of their creative writing homework and so everyone-went-home-and-had-their-tea-and-they-all-went-to-bed-THE-END.”

Also in the Variety interview, Bloys said: “I think the guys did a great job. It’s always sad when a show departs, but that’s part of the TV life cycle, and life moves on. But obviously we’re really proud of the show.”

Meanwhile, actress Sophie Turner, who portrays Sansa Stark in the hit fantasy epic, has labelled the petition calling for Season 8 to be remade “disrespectful”.

The Change.org page has been signed by 1.5 million fans who have taken issue with the show.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’

“All of these petitions and things like that – I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season.

“Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful.”