(WARNING: The following contains a major potential plot SPOILER for HBO's Game of Thrones, albeit one that is almost certainly not true. All the same, proceed with whatever level of caution your friendly neighborhood three-eyed raven suggests to you is wise.)
Now, if there's one thing that's sure to deeply irritate a large group of people, it's making broad, sweeping generalizations about that same large group of people based on their #TV-watching taste. After all, we tend to slip into informal cultural "tribes" in order to protect ourselves from being randomly attacked for what we are, or what we love, so any attacks on those tribal groupings tend to provoke a whole lot of unrestrained ire. This, of course, is somehow doubly true when said shows are major hits on cable television, in the fashion of #GameOfThrones or The Walking Dead, making the following question all the more foolhardy to ask.
And yet, here goes:
Is Ian McShane Right That 'Game Of Thrones' Fans Should 'Get A Life'?
Or, more specifically, was #IanMcShane, now infamous for suggesting that Game of Thrones is just "tits and dragons," correct when he recently argued that fans of the show "need to get a f--ing life," because of their reaction to his complete inability to not spoil a key moment in the previous season of the show. As he put it in an interview with Empire magazine a few weeks back:
"Can you believe it? ‘Oh, you’re giving it away'... Firstly, you love it, and secondly, you’ll have forgotten by the time it comes out. And what am I giving away? A character beloved by everybody returns. Get a f—ing life. The show is huge but some fans seem to identify with it [too closely]. You want to say, ‘Have you thought about your lifestyle? Maybe you should get out a little more.'"
Or, in other words:
According To Ian McShane, We All Need To Chill Out About Spoilers
His argument, after all, is essentially that a) we all secretly love spoilers, and that b) they don't actually adversely effect our enjoyment of the show in question when it actually airs.
Which, despite McShane's gleefully provocative method for expressing it, is actually an interesting argument. Take, for instance, the recent apparent plot spoiler that #Arya Stark herself, #MaisieWilliams, dropped over at #SXSW's Game of Thrones panel, in which she suggested that...
...her on screen sister #Sansa, as played by #SophieTurner, would die in the upcoming seventh season of the show. More specifically, she suggested that Turner's appearance with blonde hair was because "she's dead." Which went down about as well as you'd imagine:
Now, here's the thing. If Sansa does now die in Season 7, a whole lot of us are going to be mad at Maisie Williams. If she doesn't, though, a whole lot of us are going to be mad at Sophie Turner, who suggested a few weeks back that Sansa is actually going to live to see Season 8. In other words? We've now collectively managed to treat both the apparent revelation that Sansa will live and the suggestion that she will die as major spoilers for the show's seventh season. Which is the sort of spoiler-related logic that only really works if you're Jon Snow.
This, of course, would seem to support McShane's assertion that we secretly love spoilers (otherwise why would we read past giant spoiler warnings like the one above, or click on headlines that seem to promise them), as well as suggesting that in many cases, the spoilers don't necessarily adversely impact our enjoyment of the show.
The only major problem with all that?
Spoilers Don't Exist In A Vacuum, No Matter How Much Ian McShane Might Like Them To
Y'see, were the world an entirely sterile and controlled environment, in which we could maintain absolute control over what we see and hear, McShane's point would be entirely valid. After all, in that world, we could simply choose whether or not to see or hear any spoilers for show's we care about, and everything would be perfectly fine.
We don't live in that world, however. We live in a world in which headlines, google searches and random people on the street are prone to giving away major plot spoilers, often intentionally. Heck, we even live in a world where certain folks take considerable pleasure in posting things like "Jon Snow dies" to comments sections for the several years it took Game of Thrones to catch up to its source novels. This is not, in other words, the best of all possible worlds, and the revelation of spoilers to a small interested minority can quickly spread to those for whom they genuinely do ruin things.
After all, when McShane says that we all love Game of Thrones spoilers, and that we forget them by the time the episode in question hits the screen, he's actually just referring to a small, vocal minority of fans who do feel exactly that way. For the rest of us, he's just a comments section troll, screaming "JON SNOW DIES" below a post about some entirely unrelated news. He just has a bigger platform to do his screaming from.
What do you think, though? Is McShane right to suggest that we all need "get a f--ing life" about Game of Thrones spoilers? Let us know below!