The Players: Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin; Damon Lindelof, executive producer of Lost.
Opening Serve: In a recent New Yorker profile of Martin, whose books have been turned into an HBO show, Laura Miller quotes the author's explanation of his sincere disappointment with the series finale of Lost. "We watched it every week trying to figure it out, and as it got deeper and deeper I kept saying, 'They better have something good in mind for the end. This better pay off here.' And then I felt so cheated when we got to the conclusion." Martin also cites the Lost ending as the type of mistake he fears making with his own show, saying, "I want to give them something terrific. What if I fuck it up at the end? What if I do a Lost? Then they'll come after me with pitchforks and torches."
Return Volley: Like many spatters before him, an offended Lindelof took to Twitter after reading Martin's harsh Lost comments. "George RR Martin is terrified of 'pulling a LOST' by ending Game of Thrones shittily. In related news, my therapist just hit the jackpot," he first joked, then provided followers with a link to the New Yorker profile. Several followers attempted to reassure Lindelof with comments such as, "Don't worry, you are the master...Martin sucks! You win!" And, "I'm a fan of George R.R. Martin but he's wrong. I am 100% happy with the LOST finale. I'm waiting on the Zombie 7th season." To this, Lindelof replied, "Thank you tweeps. In five minutes you have made me feel better. But George? You got yourself a feud, motherfucker." Followed by, "Winter IS coming, bitch" (a reference to Game of Thrones) and "Not to mention, he agreed to say nice things if I sent him Mr. Friendly's beard, which i did." And, most recently, "I've just been informed George is working on his feud response. I'll have it in FIVE YEARS!"
What They Say the Fight's About: It's no surprise that Lindelof was defensive of his creative decisions, explaining what he thinks the fight's about in the fifth tweet of his rant: "I don't take issue with his opinion, I take issue with the fact that he coined 'Pulling a LOST' as empirically 'fucking up the ending.'" Still, Martin's comments to Miller seem to be meant less as a direct attack on Lindelof's work than attempt to illustrate his biggest fear for his new project. As Twitter Eblack wrote today, "if Damon Lindelof is gonna crack on everyone who thought the end of Lost was wack, he's got a long line waiting."
What the Fight's Really About: Right now, it seems to be largely a matter of whom the fans will choose. Martin and Lindelof are both fan favorites and, as the blog Pop Culture Brain put it, "nerds everywhere feared a coming civil war" when the feud started. Telmo Couto appealed to both players on Twitter, writing, "Dear Damon Lindelof and George Martin, I love you both. Now just stop this nonsense," and members of the Star Trek fan blog "Trek BBS" have been discussing the feud since three o'clock this morning. One commenter, under the name DeafPoet, suggested that "Knowing Damon, the whole thing is probably pretty tongue-in-cheek," to which another named Admiral Young replied, "I dunno. He seemed pretty hostile towards Martin, while Martin was making a point in which most fans of 'Lost' have made themselves. If he was being tongue-in-cheek he didn't need to swear and insult Martin personally. It's not like Martin insulted Damon personally."
Who's Winning Now: Neither player stands out as a winner here. Though he received tons of feedback from supporters, Lindelof's Twitter reactions to Martin were a bit childish. As a tweeter by the name of Medievalweevil put it, "Wow, that's some ego Damon Lindelof lives with! Temper tantrums galore! My seven year old nephew takes criticism better than that dude." And Martin, while continuing to play it cool by not hitting back at Lindelof via Twitter or another social medium, has now put himself under even more pressure to make sure Game of Thrones ends epically and not at all like Lost.