By James Hibberd
July 24, 2019 at 07:18 PM EDT

Damon Lindelof arguably presided over the most hotly debated final season of a TV drama series — until two months ago.

So what does the showrunner of ABC’s Lost have to say about the fandom criticism of HBO’s Game of Thrones?

Lindelof was asked about the fantasy drama and a fan petition to remake season 8 at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. while promoting his own upcoming HBO genre series, the adaptation of Watchmen.

“You can only self identify as a fan and write this stuff for yourself to a degree and hope it connects with other people,” Lindelof said. “If your intention is for everybody to love it, you’re not going to be able to do this job … When the fans rise up, they have a high-mind approach. There is an empirical belief that, oh, ‘the Lost finale sucked,’ or, ‘We are putting together a petition to demand X, Y, and Z.’ That’s not all fans. That’s some fans. What they in proportion to the overall fandom is anyone’s guess. We are living in a culture where online [people] dictate what the zeitgeist is saying.”

Everett Collection; Helen Sloan/HBO

“On Lost, fans demand things they wanted, but they also wanted to be surprised and that felt like a bit of a contradiction,” Lindelof continued. “I don’t know how to thread that needle. I’m confused by fan service sometimes and if it’s a good thing. Whether fan service is a good or a bad thing, my job remains the same to make something that pleases me. If I woke up every morning needing to make creative decisions that make fans happy, I don’t think I can be successful in that endeavor.”

Earlier in the tour, HBO’s top programming executive was also asked about the fan reaction.

“There are very few downsides to having a hugely popular show,” Casey Bloys said. “One I can think of, when you try to end it, many people have opinions on how to end it. I think that comes with the territory. The petition shows a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the show, but it wasn’t something we seriously considered. I can’t imagine another network would.”

GoT final season nonetheless recently broke industry records for the most honored season of television of all time with 32 Emmy nominations and averaged more than 44 million U.S. viewers per episode.

Lynette Rice contributed to this story.

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