Aidan Gillen Has Some Unpopular Opinions About Game Of Thrones' Final Season

"What is dead may never die," as one particularly rambunctious family in "Game of Thrones" memorably put it. Though not their official house words, the Greyjoy characters could oft be heard reciting this pledge throughout the series as a reference to their seafaring culture's religious beliefs. (Spoiler: It involves intentionally drowning each other in the ocean and resuscitating themselves, coming back "harder and stronger.") However, even the most diehard fans of the epic fantasy series couldn't have anticipated how much that phrase would apply to "Game of Thrones" itself.

The supremely divisive series finale may have seemed as if it would kill off the live-action property forever, forcing HBO to shy away from any potential follow-ups they may have wanted to pursue, but the reality couldn't have been more different. With the blessing and creative involvement of original author George R.R. Martin, several spin-off projects have been ushered into various stages of production (along with one Jon Snow-centric sequel series that's currently in the works). First up, "House of the Dragon" will attempt to expand the story of its parent series and hopefully put any lingering memories of a disappointing conclusion behind it.

But that's easier said than done, especially when the actors involved have had strong feelings about what went down in the years since. One example of that is Aidan Gillen, who played Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish on the series – though his response may be considered somewhat unpopular (yet quite difficult to argue with, if you ask me).

'I was really taken aback'

The cast and crew of "Game of Thrones" tried their best to ride the wave of backlash as best as they could during the immediate aftermath of the series finale back in May of 2019, but over time, many have weighed in on how the acclaimed series came to a close. Actor Aidan Gillen was one of them, speaking up in support of the final season only a few months after airing and even going so far as to reprimand the more vocal fans who took their jilted feelings way too far. Honestly, the man made some pretty compelling points!

In a Q&A appearance at the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (via Winter is Coming), Gillen expressed his frustration with how fiercely and suddenly the fanbase turned against their favorite show.

"I was astounded ... the mentality that there is nowadays. People get on Twitter and all of these things and just slag the f*** out of everything; I really hate it ... it's this really nasty strain of behavior ... For people to turn on the writers of something that people had adored for seven seasons in such a nasty fashion, as they did, I was just taken aback. I really was."

Boy, for someone who isn't actually on Twitter, Gillen rather succinctly encapsulates the predominantly negative tone of the social media platform — especially when it comes to discussing movies and shows. Admittedly, I disliked the final episodes as much as the next fella, but it's easy to tell that Gillen is specifically calling out the most extreme, vitriolic responses. There's a place for reasoned and levelheaded criticism, of course, but significantly less room for just pure nastiness.

'They ended it the only way that they could end it'

Gillen doesn't stop there, however. As the conniving character of Littlefinger, the actor was able to bring a brilliant air of duplicitousness and scheming to the fraught politics of "Game of Thrones." As a fan of the show himself, Gillen offered up a refreshingly positive and honest assessment of the final season overall. He went on to say: 

"I thought that some of the best scenes, the best sequences, of 'Game of Thrones' were in the last season. I don't have any doubt about that. They ended it the only way that they could end it, which was strangely reminiscent of how it began: There's people sitting in a land which seems to have some kind of stability, but there's also uncertainty and threat, which is, I suppose, that's kind of what the world is like all the time."

For all the most highly-debated decisions the creative team made in that final stretch of episodes, many fans would have to admit that sequences such as The Long Night and the final battle in King's Landing were some of the most spectacular feats of filmmaking in the entire series. That's not to say that Gillen himself is entirely without some (light) criticisms, however.

"There was a part of me that wanted it to end about 20 minutes before it did. It's just that it was an image that was so fantastic: A dragon flying away, carrying Daenerys Targaryen -– that was stunning."

Given that Littlefinger meets his untimely end in the penultimate season of "Game of Thrones," it says a lot that the actor was so appreciative of the only season without his presence. Still, something tells us the debates will continue to rage for years to come.