x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Beware the fandom

Creating a best-selling pop-culture franchise, such as Harry Potter or the latest one, Game of Thrones, has its advantages. But fans can become stridently possessive, which isn't always as much fun.

It's the kind of behaviour that used to be the domain of Star Trek or Lord of The Rings fanatics. But if you haven't heard of Game of Thrones, the phenomenon that is causing this hysteria, you soon will.

Cast members of the hit HBO series, adapted from George RR Martin's series of books, appeared at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego at the weekend. As The National reports today, they were rapturously met with packed crowds and roars of approval.

Heroes beware. It was these same dedicated followers who had been up in arms at Martin's slow pace of writing the fifth book of the series.

"Don't hold your breath on this one unless you like passing out," read one acerbic comment on a fan website. "George RR Martin, you suck," another angry missive said. In the age of Twitter and blogs, fans' sense of entitlement knows no bounds. Of course, it all comes from love, but it's the kind of love that makes you want a restraining order.

George Lucas earned the wrath of fans with the second Star Wars trilogy. Can anyone say Jar Jar Binks? JK Rowling's fans, meanwhile, have set up petitions calling for an eighth Harry Potter book. Best of all, fans of the rock band Weezer hoped to raise $10 million to convince the band of one thing - retirement - after a string of disappointing albums.

Game of Thrones may be about to conquer the world. But George RR Martin, you have been warned.