If you’re a little behind on Game Of Thrones it’s incredibly hard to know nothing Jon Snow.
One of the biggest struggles I have in my life is avoiding spoilers for TV shows… more specifically Game of Thrones. I love me some Game Of Thrones but the exclusivity membership of Foxtel up until recently has hampered my efforts to stay current.
It wasn’t always this hard. When I was younger and pay TV wasn’t an option you would have a wonderful choice of five free to air television channels that would cover the good stuff and broadcast a healthy dose of crap.
Pre-internet age you only had commercials to go off with a face you recognised; that was enough to seal your fate for weekly viewings. Avoiding plots of story developments was once so simple – you just didn’t watch the show. If you were interested you would no doubt catch the rerun if something got in the way.
Assessing my current situation
Somewhere after the turn of the century when the term ‘golden age of television’ was revitalised, it became harder for everyone to keep a secret. Letting people know you’re watching a show, or watching it before someone else affirms one’s status.
Just what is the social media etiquette post viewing of an episode of TV? Social media blackout has become the norm. How many times have you heard a friend say “I can’t check Facebook because I haven’t watched the new Game Of Thrones yet.” Magnify that by a season and a half of storylines you haven’t reached yet.
The more I avoid the issue the more pieces fall through the cracks. Fingers in the ears won’t do. A stern “I am not up to date” won’t suffice. Even writing for this very site can be hard to navigate without being reminded about the current season. More recently, hackers stole episodes directly from HBO in an attempt to spoil the show even earlier.
The longer you wait the harder it gets.
Game Of Thrones sure is a popular show, and with that I also have to deal with hype. There is no reasonable way an expectation is going to be met. Some choice life quotes include “OH MY GOD!” “GAME OF THRONES!” “WOW!” “INCREDIBLE!” “JUST AMAZING!”. Even drip fed reactions like that set a tone of how I’m meant to feel.
A great example was an episode titled The Door. The lead up chatter indicated that emotions would overwhelm me once I finally got to it. However, when I eventually settled in to watch it I couldn’t help but feel little disappointed and underwhelmed. That’s it? Get outta town!
If Character X is still alive, wonderful – I don’t want to see that when I catch up on world news websites. Two prominent characters are now involved in a romance? Brilliant, I’ll get to it when I get to it. Somebody has a bare butt that looks like a peach? AMAZING, just don’t upload a photo for me to see just yet.
So what do I do?
This never happened during Mad Men. Nobody rushed to give me a Don Draper update. Nobody was gloating about viewing the season finale. Breaking Bad have polite fans. What Walter White was up to was strictly on a need to know basis.
Do I put signs up in my front yard? Do I quit my job? Drop friends? Cancel my Facebook? Perhaps I could act like Bran Stark and get the white eyes and just temporarily relocate to another place.
Brace yourselves, it will be another 18 months until new episodes return. This means I’ve bought myself some time to really catch up. In the meantime, spare a thought for the guy who doesn’t download TV shows in an illegal fashion or have Foxtel.
You can catch some great spoiler free fake spoilers from Twitter here.