Spoilers are a controversial topic among fans, particularly when they’re as intense as fans of Game of Thrones. Last week, we asked you what role spoilers should play in the Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire fandom, or in general. You had quite a lot to say on the subject, but first, let’s look at the poll results.
An overwhelming majority of voters believe spoilers are acceptable as long as fans wishing to avoid them can. A sensible approach. Reader, who we assume is a Sansa fan, summed it up:
The only way to find spoilers is to purposely search for them on the Internet.
It’s simple, if you don’t want to know spoilers don’t look for them lol.
If you found them, chances are you were looking in the first place.
Ditto. So, so easy to avoid. It’s only during the actual screening season I find it difficult. For God’s sake people-use some simple self control and stop complaining! Certainly don’t agree that spoilers are shoved dowm my throat, that’s for sure.
But not everyone saw it that way
Last year, I found out that ‘The Door’ had leaked early when I opened Twitter and saw spoilers all over my timeline and even tweeted to me several hours before the episode aired, so unfortunately they’re not always easy to avoid.
if you are on social media you should be aware of possible spoilers coming out of nowhere.” Tweeter beware?
It’s true that those who want to completely avoid spoilers should probably avoid social media while episodes are airing, as many fans tend to not worry about spoilers when posting instant reactions. Salty breaks the problem down further.
For fan-sites (like WiC) as long as an article or post is identified as having “spoilers” then I think that is all the fan-site should be required to do. Because if you’re a fan and you’re visiting a fan site, and the site provides fair warning about spoiler information, then at that point it is totally up to the fan to decide what to do next.
As for the production companies (like HBO), while I can understand their frustrations with spoiler information being leaked, I think it is up to them to determine how much time, effort, or money they want to spend in order to protect their work.
The only place I draw the line is on bootleg/pirated episodes because in many cases the bootleg/pirated material is just a way for someone to make money off of other people’s work, and that’s not right.
The next biggest block of voters agreed with WiC writer Dan that spoilers aren’t as important as how the show executes the plot. Take it away,
Spoilers never ruined anything for me on GOT. Knowing what happens doesn’t stop countless people from watching historical dramas like the recent Victoria or The Crown. For me its all about the execution.
Personally, I think spoilers can even build anticipation, as we wait to see whether the show can pull off the plot twists we’ve heard about. We aren’t often disappointed in the show’s execution.
Buffy had a particularly interesting take, pointing out that, back when the show hadn’t run out of books to adapt, vast swaths of the viewing audience already knew what was coming, and no one seemed to mind.
For GOT, just reading the books was spoilers…………so what is the difference now? Nothing really. I think HBO worries about it too much because of the ratings, normally networks think their ratings will go down if there are spoilers. I say: if the show is great u have nothing to worry about!
Moving on, roughly 14% of our readers believe, as I do, that spoilers can inspire interesting conversations. Large portions of the season 7 plot have apparently leaked online, leading to endless speculation on our part. It’s sort of like an appetizer before the main course. Those southwest chicken egg rolls don’t ruin your steak, and they’re pretty tasty.
Surprisingly, only 8% of our readers were of the opinion that spoilers have no place in fan communities. Before the votes were tallied by our hard-working minions, I assumed it would be more evenly split. Sam succinctly articulated this stance.
Spoilers have no place here. They should be avoided all the time.
Here’s an interesting question: at what point do spoilers become plain plot details that can be discussed?
I chat with fellow football fans on a site and we talk about all sorts of things but one thing that I find very annoying is the idea that once a show is broadcast, you still can’t talk about it because some people are waiting for whenever to binge watch it and we can’t spoil them. I’ve respected this despite being ticked by it especially months after something has aired.
Our own David Harris has a rule for that:
I try to adhere to the 48 hour rule when dealing with popular tv shows. I’m in social media all the time and I get complaints when people don’t want to be spoiled and I accidentally say something about a show. My thing is, if you are trying not to be spoiled on a show, then stay from Twitter or FB for a couple of days. Not everyone agrees with me, but it’s what I do when I’m trying to avoid spoilers (which is rare) 😂
Razor’s rule: 48-hour plot moratorium after an episode airs.
One last comment, from DarkStark: is it possible that reactions to spoilers could change as the story goes on?
I have a love/hate relationship with spoilers. The books were spoilers for the first few seasons except where D&D made major changes. And I”ve read the leaks for S6 and 7. But for some reason I don’t want spoilers for S8 because it’s final. And in broad outline, that final outcome will theoretically apply to the books as well. I feel so invested in certain story lines and characters that at this stage I dread learning the final outcome until it happens. None of this would stop me from reading it after the show ends–the journey is everything. But as the ultimate DESTINATION looms into view I crave as much surprise and pleasure as can wrung from it.
However you feel about it, this topic likely won’t go away any time soon. For those wishing to find the spoilers, you may. For those wishing to avoid them, we wish good fortune in the wars to come.