‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably Be Spoiled For You, But It Doesn’t Really Matter
When is it OK to spoil?
There are only six more episodes of Game of Thrones left, EVER. And if you think you’re going to get through those without them being spoiled, you’re the biggest fool I’ve ever met. You goddamn idiot.
The final season of arguably the world’s most talked about show is ridiculously anticipated — we had a whole year gap between seasons, and it signals an ending for a beloved story franchise that crosses from book to television.
It’s reported that the seventh season regularly drew in a cool 10 million legal viewers for each episode on HBO alone, with uncounted pirates joining in on the fun (literally the entire population of Australia is probably counted in this activity tbh).
That’s a lot of spicy meatballs!
According to Twitter, there’s been more than 200 million Tweets specifically hash-tagging Game of Thrones, with Season 7 being the most Tweeted about season with more than 23 million Tweets. Already in 2019, there have already been more than 15 million Tweets about the show, and it HASN’T EVEN STARTED. People enjoy taking to various social medias to talk about this show.
No Game of Thrones spoilers please. I'm 8 seasons behind
— Ron (@ronstradamus1) April 11, 2019
You can guarantee that every publication in the world will be writing, recapping and discussing each episode, in competition to drop the quickest article. Junkee itself will be publishing two regular recaps.
You can guarantee your colleague Jan will be yakking it up at the watercoolers first thing on Tuesday morning.
In an interview with EW, showrunner David Benioff said: “If the NSA and CIA can’t protect all of their information, what hope do we have? Stuff is going to leak no matter what, so you try your best to limit it. There’s always going to be a certain level of douchery, of people trying to spoil things. But luckily most people out there don’t want the story to be spoiled.”
So, what I’m saying is that for six, huge episodes, everyone will be talking about Game of Thrones. Spoilers are inevitable.
But also, maybe that’s OK?
Kit Harington is 𝐍𝐎𝐓 revealing any Game of Thrones spoilers.
— Jon Snow (@LordSnow) April 8, 2019
The Last TV Event In History
Narrative appointment television seems to be withering away.
The rise of binge watching has replaced the now quaint notion of gathering around the chunky idiot box and absorbing some ads for local businesses, as well as 23 minutes of weekly narrative content. Now, appointment viewing seems to be purely in the reality TV world, especially in Australia, which only produces various incarnations of The Bachelor.
Game of Thrones is not only one of the last examples of this kind of television currently in the world, it’s also probably the biggest example of the phenomenon. Even if (and most likely, when) something else comes along that we go gaga for weekly, it’s going to take a while to build up to the same heights as GoT. It’s going to take eight seasons to get to this feverish level of intensity.
So, we might as well go wholeheartedly IN one last time for Game of Thrones. It’s our last chance for a while to watch something this epic as a community. It’s our last chance to shout excitedly about it online/ on the bus/ to whoever will goddamn listen.
We should take advantage of this opportunity! We should get excited! Spoilers might just have to be considered an annoying side-effect of this huge event.
me the minute I see a game of thrones spoiler pic.twitter.com/vUKRDsVjnG
— Jon Snow (@yungnesp) April 11, 2019
When Is It OK To Spoil?
That said, there’s clearly a right and wrong time to spoil — the problem is that nobody can agree when it is.
It’s monstrous to spoil on the same day as the episode. I think anyone live-blogging or live-tweeting it without necessary warning should be shot. I think articles published on that day should clearly signpost spoilers. Anyone talking loudly about specific details on the train should be bisected by the very same locomotion into separate, gory parts.
I also think that most people would agree with this non-controversial angle.
But what about on the next day? People have watched it live by then. By that point all the critics and reviewers are releasing their articles, and if something big has happened, you’re going to know that *something* is occurring. There will be coded headlines like ‘You’ll Never Believe Who Just Died On This Episode Of Thronies’.
Last year, on the eve of Avengers Infinity War, I proposed some rules for spoilers on social media. Can't force you to play along (YET), but as Endgame & Game of Thrones take over our lives, please don't spoil (without warning) for…
TV episode = 24 HOURS
Film = ONE WEEK https://t.co/KvYHy2yATP
— Erik Voss (@eavoss) April 11, 2019
I would say that it’s good practice to keep things that vague. However, from a gruelling intimacy with Junkee’s comment section, a startling amount of people believe that literally ANY reference to a TV event — no matter how broad — constitutes a spoiler. Heck, I have been attacked this year for spoiling plot points from season 7, which famously occurred in 2017.
There’s just not a consensus.
And then I think, realistically, no matter how unfair it may be, by day two it’s open season on spoilers. By that point we might as well just scream the twist out loud to whichever startled bystander we meet.
It’s gonna suck if you can’t watch the episode before then — I understand, not everyone can do that for literally all the reasons in the world — but it might just be a shitty reality to live with, rather than getting super mad online about it.
Game of Thrones spoilers are out! pic.twitter.com/TYIq1iNkVl
— Rosé (@illostrator) April 4, 2019
A Total Eclipse Of The Social Media
If you do decide to try and avoid spoilers, but you realise the futility of trying to change the potential behaviour of millions of people who may spoil you, I guess you have to make some changes.
One, you could simply leave social media for the next month and a half. I think for a lot of people, that’s doable. Perhaps even restful, idyllic. I’ve personally had to use social media for work for over six years, so I can’t imagine how peaceful that might be.
If you’re like me, and you’re chained to the yoke of Twitter, there are measures you can take: blocking keywords, muting accounts, throwing your phone into the raging ocean. Twitter has even released a handy guide to help you do this.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 23, 2017
You’ve got even less power on Facebook, which also famously has much more cursed boomer energy, and the potential to be accidentally spoiled by the deranged ranting of Aunt Murble. Just delete it, I reckon.
But that’s just the socials. How do you block out your real life? How do you censure your colleagues, your loving but psychopathic partner, your awful teenage son who loves to test the boundaries? You cannot.
In fact, there’s even a particularly malicious service which allows you to pay to text someone — an enemy, an ex — a specific spoiler after the episode has aired. There’s no way to win!
Me whenever I see an ad or potential spoilers for Game of Thrones pic.twitter.com/1J55qEbweO
— Ernie Mason (@ErnieMason) April 10, 2019
Can We Truly Be At Peace With Spoilers?
Spoiling is still bad.
But maybe with Game of Thrones we have to consider them a necessary evil. We have to be as the willow, and bend as the spoilers pass over us. We must just get on board how over-excited everyone is and let the conversation pass by us, even if it outpaces. We must take responsibility ourselves for keeping up to date with the discourse.
We must watch the big expensive sexy dragon show and try to remain keen and excited and not angry.
Honestly, that’s my plea here — get excited, but don’t be a goddang psychopath about TV! Thanks!
Like our Game of Thrones coverage? You can get it sent directly to you via Facebook Messenger. Just click the button below.
Patrick Lenton is the Entertainment Editor at Junkee. He promises this is not an elaborate spoiler apologism article.