A while back Connie and I decided that the best way to watch Game of Thrones was to wait a fortnight and watch two episodes back to back, as a single two-hour mini-movie type episode. The idea was sound; we had enjoyed binging the episodes and watching one after another week-in week-out hadn’t worked. We found following Season Four that way very difficult, so by the time the Red Wedding had rolled around we were batch watching. This works up to a point – you’re always a little behind. This leaves you open to spoilers.
Spoilers: a thing that didn’t exist when I was a kid. Not really, anyway. There was no way for people to read about the plots of movies without having had someone see them. No way for fans to spread the words of the plot to books and films before they were released or consumed. The first time I remember spoilers really being a thing in my life was for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, when a newspaper revealed a rumour about who would die in the book, one that was indeed actually true. Did they know it at the time? Not sure.
Spoilers have become part of the mythology around Game of Thrones because it’s an adaptation of a book series. If you go online the recaps and articles about the television series are split into show-watchers or book-readers. Having now passed the books and the television show rushing ahead, the line between the two is blurred. Plenty is happening in the series that has happened in the books, but plenty that hasn’t, as well as stuff that completely is invented for the show (for better or worse). I struggled to read the first book because it was a direct adaptation it seemed, and that put me off. The little differences made me a bit confused. I am not saying that I wouldn’t read them, but it is distracting mixing the two lores between the two mediums. I struggle as it is with following the books without muddying it any more.
This seasons however we’ve been watching an episode a week. It has worked out well – maybe this time we’re more into it, but also it means that the chances of being spoiled is limited. That being said, a few plot points have been spoiled. I avoid places I know that there will be chat about the series – Twitter and Instagram are normally safe, for reasons I’ll explain, but sites that have comment sessions have spoiled me before, especially in areas totally unrelated to the series. That is frustrating.
I’ve self-policed the social media that I do pay attention to to try and stop it. The people I follow are mostly good, and police themselves. I don’t post about the show any more for fear of spoiling the whole thing for someone. The really amazing thing is that there is one person who thinks that they are being really clever by posting obliquely about events, but they’re actually just outright spoiling the show for people. It’s insane. I don’t know why someone would take that chance to be honest, to be that person who spoils something for someone. One in particular (that I can’t talk about, of course) was so egregious that if I’d seen it and it had spoiled me I’d have been quite annoyed. Instead, I commented simply “Spoilers!” and walked away, dropping the mic.
Anyway, my advice is simple; don’t play the Game of Spoilers. You either win or you die.