If there are two things that nobody can shut up about right now, they are Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame.
In most ways, these two have nothing in common. One is a MOVIE assembling Earth’s mightiest heroes in a last ditch attempt to unfuck the universe. The other is a sprawling TV series with medieval/fantasy-centric political machinations, epic battles, and the troubles with power. What these two properties do share, however, is that they are MASSIVE cultural phenomenons. Avengers Endgame is nearing becoming the most popular movie of all time and GoT is most popular cable TV series, if not the most talked about. Spoiler Culture for both of these respective properties has been an interesting and, frankly, weird thing.
When Avengers Endgame premiered, there was a (mostly) unified effort from audiences to not SPOIL. The films directors themselves initiated an anti-spoiler campaign, copious articles were written on how to avoid spoilers, redditors down-voted spoilery posts/threads…basically, the whole nerdom wanted others who hadn’t seen the movie to go into it with the same wide-eyed innocence as they did. It was a very “not all heroes wear capes” movement.
Now, Game of Thrones on the other hand….not so much. Each Sunday night, fans are live-tweeting their reactions, a plethora of reviews and discussion-centric articles from pop culture sites seem to appear instantaneously, and Memes… oh, the Memes! It is an almost inescapable cavalcade of spoilers.
Some fans are NOT happy about that. The rage and aggression has reached critical mass.
me the minute I see a game of thrones spoiler pic.twitter.com/vUKRDsVjnG
— Jon Snow (@yungnesp) April 11, 2019
So what gives? Why is one experience guarded and protected like it’s The One Ring and the other (GoT) is equivalent to candy being tossed out at a parade? Well….
People don’t (and can’t) all see movies at the same time, especially ones like Avengers: Endgame that sell out opening weekend, so it is within reason to refrain from big spoilers. Games of Thrones on the other hand, is and should be considered EVENT television. It airs at a particular time and is exceedingly more accessible. Its the equivalent of not being able able to watch The Superbowl and getting mad at everyone for talking about it the next day.
It sucks having obligations or have a “thing” come up that prevents one from viewing Game of Thrones (or whatever other hyper-cultural television event) when it airs. But firing up social media during or after and not expecting to encounter spoilers is, frankly, foolish. It’s one thing to get an unsolicited direct text, message, or be tagged from someone… but demanding the whole of the Internet to change its behavior is exhausting and futile. The internet doesn’t work that way. At least as far as television is concerned.