Before I begin this discussion, I want to let everyone know there will be spoilers for three things in this post, as I will be talking about three specific situations here. The three things are Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire book series), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I suspect that you may have already read and/or seen these things, however I wanted to give a forewarning just in case! So, in the event you are not caught up with all three, I would advise you to skip this post if you do not want to know spoilers.
Nothing frustrates me more in a book, movie, et cetera, than seeing or reading a spoiler. Even if the content is frustrating to me, spoilers just make it worse. I want to experience things without knowing how it ends, or about the big plot twist. I do not want to know! I want to feel how others felt when the moment blindsided them.
I think my opinion about spoilers has only strengthened since my major experiences with them. The first one I remember clearly is what happened with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I actually pre-ordered the final three books in the series, which meant that I would receive them a couple days after they were released. Sometimes I was lucky or it did not matter. With the final book, I was actually away at the time of its release, and it was waiting for me when I arrived home.
With The Half-Blood Prince, however, things were not like that. Now, I know the Internet is a dangerous place when it comes to spoilers, but my rule is always to diligently avoid all places related to the book or movie I want to read/see until I get to experience it myself. Thus, I did not look into anything related to Harry Potter when the sixth book came out. However, I do remember watching an unrelated YouTube video I think maybe a day before I got my copy of the book. I like to read a few comments on the videos I watch, and when I scrolled down, it was there: “Snape kills Dumbledore.”
The next thing I remember in regards to spoilers is how someone ruined The Red Wedding for me in Game of Thrones. I remember starting to read the books, because my brother told me about the television show and (as you know) I have the rule about reading the book first when possible. I did make a slight compromise here, though, and read one book and then watched the corresponding season. I actually found that particularly helpful to make sense of everything.
However, when they were airing season 3, I was in the midst of reading A Storm of Swords (the season is, if you were not aware, based on the first half of that book in the series). As the series reached the ninth episode, I was a few chapters away from reading the book’s version of The Red Wedding. I believe it was on Tumblr, but someone just blatantly revealed what happened in both the book and television series. As such, I knew the fates of Robb and his mother (the more significant losses) before I could experience the shock myself.
After each of these instances, I tried to learn from my mistakes. Each time something popular is released, whether that is a book, television show, or movie—I limit my exposure to the Internet until spoilers are no longer spoilers. However, sometimes I need to be on the Internet for something, casually glance at my social media, et cetera. The final big thing was with The Force Awakens, literally the night before I went to see the film with my family.
I was on Instagram at the time. I was just scrolling down looking at the pictures there. I do not remember the specific picture, but it was on one of Wil Wheaton’s pictures. I did not open the comments fully, but a few usually display as you scroll anyways. Similar to the spoiler for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I was devastated and shocked to see “Han Solo dies” written there. Part of me thought it could not possibly be true, but of course, we know it is indeed the truth.
Now I am more cautious than ever when it comes to spoilers, especially since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is playing in a theatre in England right now, and the script is due out in about a week. Yes, I will obviously be reading it. Luckily, I will be without Internet for a little while just after it is released, and I plan to purchase a copy on my way home before I have Internet access again. I do not plan on returning to the Internet before I finish reading it. No way. I cannot let another Harry Potter spoiler come my way, not when I know very little about the story as it is.
Of course, there is another spoiler threat hanging over my head as I write this. While it is not a book, Star Trek: Beyond was just released in theatres yesterday. I could see it now, obviously, but I want to wait to see it with my dad. Thus, I have to wait a little over a week (about a week and a half) until I can see it in the theatre. Hopefully everything will go well, since I still need to use the Internet for this blog and for my job. My fingers are crossed now, though by the time I post this I will have seen Star Trek: Beyond and have read The Cursed Child. I hope everything went well!