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Spoilers.

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We have been afforded a full week to recover from a 12-year-old plot twist known as the “Red Wedding,” which aired during HBO’s latest episode of Game of Thrones. Over 5 million people tuned in.
Readers of the George R.R. Martin series (including my wife), privy to the coming fireworks, gleefully watched their unsuspecting friends and loved ones as the scene played out in full HD. Some even recorded reaction videos, which went viral with a frequency not seen since the horrors of “Two Girls One Cup.”
(Do. Not. Look. That. Up.)
Social media erupted. People were stricken with grief and devastation over the loss of fictional characters whom many had become emotionally invested.
Then a second wave struck. An onslaught of angry, “oh no you didn’t” washed over us as reaction to the episode rippled loudly across the internet, spoiling the spectacle for those who hadn’t watch yet. For every tweet that went out announcing: “THIS JUST HAPPENED,” another replied: “HOW DARE YOU TELL ME?”
I made what I thought was a rather mundane comment, posting that Quentin Tarantino and Shakespeare were probably a bad mix, especially if they included the set director from Evil Dead 2. By the spattering of emails, you’d think I had nominated Anthony Weiner for Pope.
The anti-spoilers rhetoric clogged the tubes all week and hit anyone lightly grazing the topic.
And I think it’s stupid. So let’s cut to it:
Leo DiCaprio drowns, Luke is her brother, Bruce Willis was dead the whole time, and Soylent Green is people. Also, everything Uwe Boll directs sucks, and anything worth watching on network television probably won’t get picked up for a second season.
End scene.
The inclination to reprimand someone posting a personal reaction online is a bit ridiculous. It’s diametrically at odds with the entire purpose of social media. Social media is where we go to react to things. That’s why it is there.
“Look, there’s a badly dressed person at Walmart! Look, there’s a misspelled street sign! I just checked in at Humpy’s. OH MY GOD A KITTEN!
When confronting arguably the most shocking (fictional) moment in television history, where do you think people are going to go to collectively lose their shit? Online. That’s where we do that now.
Facebook and Twitter are windows. We control whether or not the shades are drawn. We are in charge of limiting our own view. No one is hurdling toward us, uninvited, through the glass. Yet.
I understand the frustration. Plenty of nights, I return home to a freshly-recorded baseball game on my DVR. I also forget how chronology works sometimes. The game begins to play, and then I casually look down at my laptop to see the box score staring back at me from Tweetdeck. And my little dose of escapism is ripped from me.
But that’s my bad.
There’s an aspect of personal responsibility involved. Luckily, there’s an app for that. 17-year-old student Jennie Lammere has created a reward winning Google Chrome extension that allows you to block posts and tweets containing certain words, creating a way to filter out most spoilers.
Because grown adults having to rely on a teenager to teach ways around self restraint online bodes well for our future as a society.
Either way, tonight we return to Westeros for the season finale. While hopefully not as emotionally jarring as last week, tonight is the close of season 3. We can safely rely on a few cliffhangers and heads flung into the air. I’ll be watching much later than the 5pm air time because I live in Anchorage, Alaska. If you do too, look out your window. Anyone inside watching television in Anchorage this weekend has their own subset of issues. But until I get around to watching, I’ll keep calm, carry on, and stay offline.