I didn’t know anything about A Song of Ice and Fire before HBO announced that it was producing a television series based upon George R. R. Martin’s fantasy epic. Before the first episode of Game of Thrones debuted, I think I read A Game of Thrones. So when Ned Stark was killed I wasn’t as shocked as the rest of the world.
I think I finished A Clash of Kings before the second season of Game of Thrones and then just kept reading all of the books. So when the third season started I knew what was coming in “The Rains of Castamere.” I knew about the Red Wedding and didn’t want to watch it. I wasn’t averse to the violence, but I figured that if I didn’t watch it then maybe that meant it didn’t really happen. In my mind Robb and Catelyn are still alive because I never saw them die.
So I never saw any episodes of Game of Thrones past the eighth episode in the third season. I spend a lot of time on the Internet so I know a lot about what has happened in the past two seasons, but I haven’t seen any of it for myself. I also know what has happened because up until last season, the show hadn’t passed the books. Now, though, everything that happens in the show could potentially spoil my experience with the books.
But that’s just the nature of the world in which we live.
We have immediate access to almost any information that we want. The downside of that kind of access is getting information that we were trying to avoid. Headlines to stories on the Internet contain the words “Spoilers” or “No Spoilers.” We castigate people who over share and don’t give us an opportunity to plug our ears and say “La la la! I’m not listening!”
I’m not immune to spoilers or the anger that comes from seeing them. Someone posted on Facebook about Thanos’s appearance at the end of the first Avengers. Since then I have been looking for opportunities to spoil something, anything for him. I’m trying to get past that, though, because getting angry over something so inconsequential seems unhealthy.
Now someone who comes out of a theater and spoils the ending of a movie to those waiting in line is a monster who should be placed in the stocks by the box office. But getting upset because someone tells you the ending of Breaking Bad is inexcusable. That show went off the air 2013. Now I have yet to finish it, so I’d appreciate if you don’t spoil it for me in the comments. But if I’m simply going through Twitter and you tweet Walter White’s fate, then I can’t get hostile.
So even though I know Jon Snow’s fate because the Internet couldn’t help itself, I can’t get that upset. I stopped watching the show knowing that it would pass Martin’s books at some point. So even if I know who wins the game of thrones before Martin finishes his opus, that shouldn’t keep me from enjoying his books. With spoilers, just like life, sometimes reaching the end isn’t as important as how we get there.
Unless we get to the end by reading Wikipedia and bypassing any sort of journey at all.
How do you respond to spoilers?