It doesn’t matter whether you love books or prefer the movie, or even the television series. You might be an avid reader, a film buff, a blogger or a reviewer, but at some point you probably have to deal with the issue of spoilers.
With the new series of Game of Thrones back on our screens, we have the perfect example of spoiler culture.
After each episode airs, my blog and Twitter feeds are full of articles providing opinions and reviews. Sure I can bypass them until I’ve had chance to watch the show, but what happens when a headline or a featured image reveals a massive plot twist? You can’t avoid that, it’s in your face as soon as you open your browser. That’s what spoiled the Red Wedding for me. Sob.
Admittedly, now that I’ve read the original books, the series spoilers aren’t such an issue, but there are plenty of people who only follow the story on television.
The problem with watching a massively popular, cult show like Game of Thrones, or recently True Detective, is that everyone wants to talk about it and thanks to social media they often do that even as the show is on screen. For the online media, it’s a guaranteed way to gain those all-important page views.
So unless you watch the latest episode as it airs, you’re forced to avoid spoilers. It’s not enough to resist the urge to look up the show’s hashtag on Twitter, or read your favourite blogger’s review, you need to avoid the internet altogether. You also have to be careful who you speak to at work, as my hubby found out at the expense of this week’s big plot twist.
It’s even more frustrating to live in the UK, where even the most popular shows usually air at least a day or two behind America. The launch of the new series of Game of Thrones was big enough to merit a simulcast, so we Brits could watch the show as it was screened in the US, if we wanted to stay up until 2am to do so.
As a blogger, I sometimes review books and it can be hard to give an overview of the plot without giving away all the twists. Recently I’ve read a few books that have highlighted this issue, where I’ve been desperate to discuss the shock moments in a story, but have had to settle for doing so obliquely online. Even then I worry about giving too much away.
When a book is hugely popular, especially if it’s part of a series, people can’t wait to talk about it. The recent release of Allegiant was a good example of a book that received a lot of spoilers online because the ending so polarised opinion.
It can be hard to find a balance when it comes to reviewing something and sharing our thoughts, without giving away the ending. We want to express our enjoyment, discuss our ideas and pick over that twist no one saw coming, but we don’t always have someone else to do that with.
Perhaps we need a universal system for spoiler etiquette?
What moments have been ruined for you thanks to spoilers? Or are you guilty of leaking a major plot point?