Karen Belz
April 15, 2014 9:30 am

Something completely unexpected happened on Game of Thrones this week – and while I won’t spoil it for you (after all, I respect the fact that watching it live or through your friend’s HBO Go account might not be your highest priority at the moment), I will say that for some reason, Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” is circulating in my brain at an alarming speed. If you’ve watched at least one episode, you know that can mean almost anything.

When I say it was “completely unexpected,” let me clarify something: It wasn’t 100% unexpected. Those who have read George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire have known about the outcome for awhile, and if you’re an impatient jerk like me, you stumbled across the plot while wasting time on Wikipedia. George R.R. Martin’s first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, was written in 1991 and published in 1996. While he still has two more books to complete in his series (and George – you might want to get on that soon), fans who have kept up with the most current novel, 2011’s A Dance with Dragons, have a pretty good idea of where the direction of the show will go.

I have to give some credit to all of those who are engulfed within the fictional world of Westeros, as they seem to have a lot of respect for each other. Certain forums online are geared towards unspoiled speculation regarding the series, and even those who have read the books seem to enjoy the insights of those who don’t have a clue as to what might happen next. However, you will come across the occasional fan who believes that certain scenes won’t be so shocking if the viewers actually took the time to read George R.R. Martin’s words ahead of time. Besides pacing, the show seems to mimic the books perfectly (or, so says my husband). Thus, readers have a lot more power over viewers.

Let me clear something up here: Reading is awesome. Girls who read are awesome. And I continue to read almost daily, even without the temptation of a giant Book It! pin, and a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. However, not everyone has the time to catch up on books that are well over 600 pages, and others seem get more out of watching the story unfold through television. The acting and cinematography of the program are both so vivid, that even readers feel the shock and surprise by visually seeing how their favorite chapters were depicted on screen. Both projects related to the series are works of art in their own way, and they both deserve the massive amount of accolades they’re currently receiving.

So – fellow fans who enjoy the show through television alone, how can you actively avoid spoiling yourself on what happens next?

If you’re a user of Google Chrome, consider using their Silencer app. Silencer is an extension that blocks potential spoilers through keyword blocks, and it’ll hide all of the possibly night-ruining content from Facebook and Twitter. Just make sure you use creative keywords related to the show, and you’ll be spoiler-free.

If you have friends who think it’s funny to ruin the fun for you, consider getting new friends. Yeah, that sounds harsh – but seriously. Who wants to be friends with someone who kills your joy? Both the book and the television series are exciting forms of entertainment, and anyone who gets a thrill from taking that away from you deserves to be ignored for awhile. Find the forums mentioned earlier (I recommend Previously.tv and Television Without Pity, if you want to discuss the show before the forums officially close on May 31st) and chat freely with other like-minded viewers.

Also – if you have a friend who has read through the series, try to avoid asking them questions that might result in a spoiler, and trust them if they tell you that your need for clarification will be “explained later.” (Clarification is often needed, as this show has like, a billion characters.) Here’s a typical conversation in my household during Sunday nights:

And finally – if you need to know what happens, maybe try and pick up the books. I admit, there was a little bit of joy that was removed while I watched this last episode, since I had known about it for months. I saw the set up, and knew it was coming. Thus, I didn’t get the excitement from either reading or viewing. That was absolutely preventable, and I’m bummed that I took the easy way out.

How do you actively avoid spoiling your favorite shows?