As we enter the long-awaited fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, we may find it difficult to sidestep Internet spoilers. In my own case, I’ve reached the point where I will no longer read the comments sections accompanying articles about the show for fear of happening upon a little gift from A Game of Ice and Fire Interweb fairies.
But why? Why do these book readers feel the insufferable need to spoil the coming events for viewers of the show? Obviously, we are not alone in our affliction; fans from all avenues of fandom have asked this question for years.
One must wonder, is there some type of joy derived from upsetting people, similar to a child who desperately seeks any type of attention from his or her parents, even if negative?
Or is it a very low-level sort of gratification in educating others, much like the joys of teaching, except that it is unnecessary, uninvited, and unwelcome?
In either case, Ice and Fire readers, I have a message for you from the fans of Game of Thrones, the popular HBO series:
We don’t need your knowledge. We don’t care that you know what happens before we do. We don’t even care that you are a fellow fan of the series, nor that you consider yourselves in a caste of fandom above us.
For the love of Westeros, please stop spoiling the plot.
First thing’s first, it is not even confirmed that the show will precisely follow the path of the book, so in such cases, your knowledge occurs on a separate plane and in a separate universe, which means your statements are invalid.
Secondly, we are not impressed that you learned of the series earlier on, or that you have a greater devotion to the series than we. This is all relative, as fandom is not something that can be empirically ranked. This tournament of fandom is evidence of a childlike mentality at best and self-congratulatory arrogance at worst.
Finally, if you are successful in ruining an event for other fans, what exactly have you accomplished? Consider this: even if you, Jimmy John on the Huffington Post’s comments section announced who perishes in the Red Wedding two seasons ago, do you think years from now any person is going to remember that you were the commanding wielder of such Game of Thrones knowledge?
The answer is unequivocally ‘NO.’
Nobody is going to remember you years later. Actually, it is quite likely nobody will remember you days later, unless somebody is plotting your demise for ruining the most anticipated episode of season three.
So please, please, I beg of you, please, stop with the spoilers unless you are marking them beforehand. This is one type of trigger warning for which I advocate.
Oh, and if you’re planning on putting spoilers in the comments section here, I present to you a warning:
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills — skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you don’t post spoilers, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you; I will not pursue you. But if you do, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Thanks for playing.