Why One Seattle Man Demanded a Rewrite of the 'Game of Thrones' Final Season Via Plane Banner

Ryan Geddes, who created a GoFundMe petition to fly the banner on May 16, describes himself as a "casual" fan of the HBO fantasy series.
Courtesy of Ryan Geddes

[The following story contains spoilers for the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones.]

Fans have been registering their dissatisfaction with the writing on Game of Thrones' final season in creative ways over the course of the last month, from a well-supported petition for a season eight remake to an actual fan-fic rewrite of the end to the HBO fantasy saga. But the latest act of final-season protest may be the most ambitious yet.

On Wednesday afternoon, a plane flew over Seattle's downtown for 30 minutes emblazoned with the message, "SOMEONE REWRITE GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8 PLZ. The act was widely tweeted and picked up on local media outlets and by Reddit. The author of the gag was Ryan Geddes, a Seattle man with a background in marine insurance (he is not disclosing his occupation for privacy reasons) who created a GoFundMe petition to fly the banner on May 16, originally as a joke between friends.

"I made this just to send to a couple friends as a joke, not really thinking it would go anywhere, and then we hit our limit [for funding]," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. Geddes describes himself as a "casual" fan of the HBO show: He only started watching in January of this year, after which he binge-watched the entire series before the new season.

To realize the petition, Geddes had Googled "Seattle sky banner," clicked on the first site he found and got a quote for 15 minutes of flight time: $698, which he raised on GoFundMe in six days. The average donation, he says, was $40, and 17 people donated before the goal amount was reached.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, when the airplane carrying the banner took flight, Geddes says the effect was "a thousand times funnier than I thought it would be." He and his coworkers rushed to their office window to watch its progress, and his phone began pinging with texts from friends. 

The original petition promised to fly one banner if necessary funds were raised, with any additional money received going toward other messages, including, "WHY DID YOU PUT THE TREBUCHETS IN FRONT OF WINTERFELL," "IF BRAN NO LONGER HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE NIGHTS WATCH WHY IS SANSA ENFORCING JON'S BANISHMENT," "DID THEY COSTUME EURON GREYJOY IN THE ZARA CLEARANCE AISLE?", "WHY DID SCORPIONS GO FROM OVERPOWERED TO USELESS IN ONE EPISODE," "WHAT IS STOPPING DORNE AND THE IRON ISLANDS FROM SECEDING NOW THAT THE UNSULLIED AND DOTHRAKI HAVE LEFT?", "NONE OF THE CHARACTERS DECISIONS MAKE SENSE ANY MORE MAKE IT STOP PLEASE" and "I STILL DON'T KNOW WHO THE NIGHT KING IS AND I'M STRUGGLING TO FIND AN APPROPRIATE MEDIUM TO EXPRESS MY FRUSTRATION AND DESPAIR." However, Geddes says that if he received any more money at this point, he would donate it to charity.

"As disappointing as the lazy writing and rushed conclusions of the last season of Game of Thrones have been, even more disappointing is the lack of resources for survivors of strokes and brain injuries," he sayd. "So I would encourage any aggrieved fans who want to send a message to HBO to go and donate money to Emilia Clarke's charity at sameyou.org. If I can use my 15 minutes of stupid internet fame for good, I'd like to do that."

The Game of Thrones finale, though widely mocked on social media, was liked by the majority of viewers, a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey found (63 percent of viewers reported appreciating the finale, while 34 percent didn't). The finale also set an all-time ratings record for HBO, drawing 13.6 million viewers in real time and an additional 19.3 million viewers in replays and early streaming.