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Game of groans as Game of Thrones nears 'anticlimactic' finale
The final episode of Game of Thrones airs Sunday night, and buzz is at fever pitch for a ratings juggernaut that has demolished records. But the latest episodes have failed to set diehard "Throners" on fire – with many calling for a complete remake of the final season.
The scriptwriters have brutalised women, killed children, depicted graphic sex and had their characters hacked, stabbed, flayed, poisoned, decapitated, burned alive, eye-gouged and eviscerated – all in glorious high definition close-up. And audiences have loved it.
Well, most of them.
An online petition calling for a complete remake of Game of Thrones season 8 with "competent" writers had collected more than one million signatures on the morning of the grand finale.
One of the most visually stunning yet darkest and controversial primetime series ever made, Game of Thrones has been the target of criticism over the years for senseless violence and its repeated use of rape as a dramatic device.
The adult themes have not deterred the majority of fans, however, nor the industry itself, which has made GOT the most decorated series in history, with 47 Emmy Awards.
Airing in 170 countries, the show is also the most expensive ever, with a budget of $15 million per episode in its final run.
The season seven finale set an all-time US record for premium cable TV with 16.5 million people watching live or streaming on the day of transmission and 15 million more tuning in later.
The final episode goes to air Sunday night in the US on HBO (0100 Universal Time, Monday 20 May).