Food For Thought, or, Spoilers: The More You Know

Holy crap! Game of Thrones am I right?

That’s all I have to say. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe not specifically, but if you watch Game of Thrones then the above statement clicked with you and we can share the zeitgeist’s collective “holy crap” as peers. The connection has effectively been made, like a blatantly obvious handshake. But more importantly, if you don’t watch Game of Thrones, or you aren’t up to date yet, the above statement didn’t ruin anything for you, aside from the fact that a thing happened.

No spoilers.

Remember that time he was driving his truck on an icy road trying to get home in time for Christmas and then he got in an accident but came back as a snow man to look over his wife and son? Spoilers.

Remember that time Jon Snow was driving his truck on an icy road trying to get home in time for Christmas and then he got in an accident and died but came back as a snow man to look over his wife and son? Spoilers.

How easy it was to walk that fine line between sharing in the excitement of a crazy twist and not being a dick! And yet, on a healthy portion of Monday mornings after HBO’s hit family dramedy airs, my various social media feeds inevitably include remarks from people I met once at a party in college who’ve had massive plot points ruined for them by someone else’s status or tweet.

While I personally have never encountered spoilers on my own social media pages, we can’t all surround ourselves with the rag tag band of heroes that comprise the group of people I’ve conned into being my friends. (I’m the Chandler).

So it’s time we had a talk, gang.

Look, I get it. When I stumble across something awesome I want to scream it from on high like a valiant herald of the shape of things to come. Do you have any idea how many people had to hear me repeatedly exclaim “dude, True Detective” with both hands in the air? I bet you don’t. It was that many.

Remember that time these to rascals were on again off again for like eleven freaking years in that stupid bar? SPOILERS!

Remember that time Cole thought he and Woody were on a break and then he slept with someone else? SPOILERS!

I’m all for spreading the good word and turning people on to cool things so that we can all enjoy them. Expressing something’s quality is an offering. But delineating something’s specific plot points potentially robs someone of the experience of stumbling into it on their own.

Why do we watch stories unfold if not to experience, in some small way, that which we can never experience in real life? Spoilers deprive viewers of those experiences and by and large replace any organic emotion a scene might evoke with a bitter, frothing rage.

Remember the first season of Game of Thrones? Remember your reaction? Pretty crazy right? I couldn’t tell you, because I had it spoiled for me when I was halfway through the book.

Is specifically reiterating an exciting plot point and potentially ruining it for the folks who are dumb enough to follow you really worth the dozen likes you probably won’t get?

I’ve heard there are folks out there who enjoy spoilers. More power to you. But you can take a break from breeding hogs that eat live human beings in your barn maze and Google them for yourselves.

Remember that time Hurley turned out to be a goddamn witch? SPOILERZ!!!

Remember that time Hurley turned out to be a goddamn witch? SPOILERZ!!!

Luckily there’s already a device that exists to solve the tug of war between cultural discourse and spoilers.

Spoiler alert.

Two words. That’s all it takes to be free of blame, gang.

So next Sunday evening, take a second to think before you send off that all caps tweet about who Don Draper incested with at the Governor’s wedding.

End P.S.A.

Epilogue

This one time I intentionally spoiled M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village in my AIM buddy profile. It was hilarious. Alternatively, this other time someone spoiled the Season 6 premiere of 24 for me and I hooked them to a car battery and dragged them through the streets in reverse. Not as funny. But justice nonetheless.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. Should there be an agreed upon amount of time after which it should be considered safe to talk about specific plot points from spoiler-heavy television shows?

2. Do you care about spoilers, or can you enjoy something just as much knowing what is going to happen in advance like a sociopath?

3. If you find an old gypsy woman who has fallen victim to a hit-and-run and she tells you with her last breath when and how you’re going to die in excruciating detail is that a spoiler? Asking for a friend.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Food For Thought, or, Spoilers: The More You Know

  1. 1. Hard to say. 18 months from the series finale seems fine to me. Then again, why would you ever talk about a show with someone who has never seen it? Also, what sort of psychopaths just blurt our major plot points without first asking “have you seen ________?”. If the answer is no, move along.

    2. Of course I care. Next question.

    3. If she could really see the future she would have avoided the car. CHECKMATE.

  2. Spoilers are for lazy people who can’t think critically so they have no idea how to talk about something without just summarizing exactly what happened and then going “LIKE WHAT?”

    Or they’re just so selfish they can’t understand that, yeah, like you said, you’re literally robbing a person of a quality moment. You can never un-learn that spoiler and experience it fresh like the person who spoiled it for you did.

    Or you’re just a dick and you’re trying to be a dick and good job being a dick, dick. (Am I allowed to say “dick” on your blog?)

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