HBO’s “Game of Thrones” nabbed 32 Emmy nominations on Tuesday — the highest of any show in a single year. Despite its success, its showrunners have suffered an unprecedented level of criticism, with more than a million fans signing a petition to have new writers redo the eighth and final season.
The official “Game of Thrones” Twitter account shared the lineup change Wednesday. Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) and Conleth Hill (Lord Varys) are all scheduled to appear at the panel.
Benioff and Weiss were not mentioned in the tweet, signaling their departures from the lineup.
SDCC was expected to be the showrunners’ first public appearance since the show’s finale in May. While HBO confirmed to CBS News that they pulled out of the panel due to production and scheduling conflicts, fans on Twitter were quick to joke about the duo’s upcoming absence.
In May, outraged fans called for a remake of the whole season with “competent writers,” gathering more than 1 million petition signatures. Benioff and Weiss are also set to direct the upcoming “Star Wars” film. “I don’t want these two anywhere near Star Wars, either,” the top comment on the petition reads. “This was abysmal.”
Despite the criticism, the duo has been nominated for a writing Emmy for the last episode of the series, “The Iron Throne.”
Benioff and Weiss aren’t the only names no longer scheduled to attend — director Miguel Sapochnik, and actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath) are also missing from the updated lineup. An HBO spokesperson said the changes are also due to production and scheduling conflicts.
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