Photo: Jeff Kravitz (Getty Images)

A wise(-ish) man once claimed that there was nothing more important or powerful than stories—but, then, he’d never encountered the raw fury of a pissed off internet fan-base. (Also, he thought “Pushed out a window, lived in a hole, creeped the shit out of everybody” was a more compelling narrative than “redeemed magical super-assassin who literally stopped the apocalypse,” but hey, we digress.) And while most of us have (mostly) moved on from our ongoing, low-level anger at the way showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss wrapped up the final season of their immensely popular HBO blockbuster Game Of Thrones, the knock-on effects of that largely online rage are still being felt out in the wider world.

No, we’re not talking about the petition—although it’s still out there, collecting signatures every day, and currently sitting at a cool 1.6 million calls for season 8 to be reshot with “competent writers”. No, this is about the true levers of power that control the universe: Google itself.

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Specifically—and as noted by GoT fan-site Winter Is Coming—the fruition of a successful campaign to manipulate the tech giant’s search results such that a search for “bad writers” online will now immediately bring up a big ol’ picture of Benioff and Weiss. Said effort (which originally showed up online two months ago, back when the dragon was well and truly awoken), is just one of several expressions of ire from popular subreddit r/thefreefolk, which also infamously flirted with breaking ranks and switching itself entirely over to being a Lord Of The Rings fan-site while GoT’s eighth season was on the air.

Of course, because of how the internet works, now the Winter Is Coming post is actually the top result; such are the vagaries of algorithm manipulation. Still, Benioff and Weiss could have it much worse; the first result could be the Wikipedia page for their much-derided hypothetical follow-up series Confederate, instead.

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