Monday, June 13, 2011

A Game of Spoilers

Also from the New York Magazine blog!

Game of Thrones Recap: A Newbie and a Superfan Debate That Huge Thing That Happened.

Game of Thrones (which sounds better than the official title of the series, The Song of Ice and Fire) has been adapted to an HBO show. It's doing rather well, with most of it being pretty spot-on, summarizing what needs summarizing and adding things in order to cut out vast swaths of pages. And if it's confusing, that's okay: the books are confusing, too, and I swear you're getting a simplified version with the show.

The part where Game of Thrones gets good is A Huge Thing That Happens that turns the genre standard on its ear and lets you know you don't know how this particular story goes. It's Huge. Absolutely HUGE, and until last Saturday everyone who'd already read the books were squirming in their seats, waiting for the newbies to the series to finally see that Huge Thing which makes most followers of the books such devoted fans. And it's been awesome to sit back and watch people toss out their theories while knowing what's going to happen.

The best comparison I can come up with is the big reveal at the end of The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader revealed he was Luke's father. I didn't see the trilogy until I was about fourteen or fifteen - Lucas had just rereleased VHS tapes with the original movie. My brother had gotten them for Christmas, so that afternoon we were holed up in the basement, spellbound. He'd seen the movies way back in the day. I knew what was going to happen, but I still loved every second.

In the age of the internet, you can get spoiled for just about anything. There's simply too much to keep under wraps: casting calls, scripts, reviews, reports. Writers sometimes put out fake copies of scripts for big finales just to throw people off the trail. It's always out there, being tempting. Sometimes you get tempted and go looking, and other times a random comment on someone's blog or journal just surprises you and you find out who killed Lilly Kane before you can see the damn episode not that I'm bitter or anything. While it would've been better not to know, I think, it was still interesting to watch the last few episodes.

And that's why I reread books, really. Because the second time around you can catch lots of little details you didn't the first time, and if you're the type of person to get emotionally invested in a story, you still get hit hard. (I required Kleenex at the end of episode nine of Game of Thrones. I admit it.) Getting spoiled isn't super awesome, but it's not the end of the world. It makes me sad when people refuse to watch The Usual Suspects just because they know the twist. It's the journey to get there, people!

(Awesome shirt designed by Olly Moss from the Threadless site. I have this t-shirt and I love it.)


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