Entertainment Weekly published a post today wherein David Benioff and Dan Weiss give their opinion on people who spoil Game of Thrones. That opinion can be summed up thusly.
“I just want to point out that guy’s an a–hole,” Benioff says of one of the paparazzi infiltrators. “You’re not cool for doing that, you’re an a–hole.”
There’s more than that inflammatory quote, however. The article delves into how HBO and Benioff & Weiss have been more and more vigilant about protecting their show from spies and spoiler hounds.
No more paper scripts (all electronic). The “circle of trust” was tightened among the cast and network executives with regard to story detail. Code names were used for certain characters and scenes. HBO’s international partners will get their copies of episodes much closer to each hour’s U.S. debut. And on the set itself, security was increased in an attempt to prevent fans from taking photos of the production.
“It’s like protecting your house,” reasons showrunner David Benioff. “You make it as hard as possible for burglars in hopes they look for some other house to burgle, but it’s impossible to ever completely secure your house.”
Yes, despite their best efforts, spoilers for the season have emerged. Set photos, casting news (can this really be called a spoiler though?), and more have all leaked from season 6. And what do David & Dan think of the people out there who actively seek out this information?
“It’s crazy enough to be the person crawling through the bushes in Northern Ireland with a telescopic lens taking pictures – there are crazy people out there,” Benioff says. “But the idea that people want to go to sites and find out those spoilers … it’s like if there was a website called Last Pages of Great Books, would you read that?”
Harsh words. I think Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair summed it up quite nicely.
WinterPhil: I’m going to have to disagree with David & Dan on this one. Just because you personally don’t like spoilers when you are experiencing a story, doesn’t mean others feel the same. As for myself, I don’t like to be spoiled too much but I know plenty of other people do and to those people I say: knock yourselves out.
The other thing that doesn’t sit well with me about this is the implicit notion in David & Dan’s comments that the fans who like to be spoiled and the sites that do the spoiling are somehow in the wrong. The fans who hunt down every scrap of news about the show, spoiler or otherwise, are generally your biggest fans. Shaming them for being passionate fans is a bad look.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t stand up for this site and community. It definitely feels like some of those words were directed this way. It’s true that Watchers, and WiCnet before it, runs some news that could be considered “spoilers”. Of course, I’ve already explained why that isn’t something to demonize. But even so, I think our track record in releasing spoilers is quite admirable. My policy at WiCnet and one that has carried over here, is to not publish any major leaks ourselves. If something ends up online, yeah, we will report it. It’s already out there and the fans are going to find it. (This does not extend to full episode leaks, of course.) But there are tons of script leaks and set photos and other reports that we get each and every year that we DON’T release. Going all the way back to when I got the pilot script. I reviewed it, but didn’t release it. We had set photos of Ned’s beheading that we didn’t release. We had shots of the script of Tyrion’s trial; we didn’t release them. We had confirmed set reports of Talisa’s death that we didn’t report on.
Anything that is newsworthy, yeah, we are going to report. Casting news is a big one. Every year HBO and David & Dan get more and more tight lipped about casting. I have no idea why. That is news, not a spoiler. So yeah, we are going to report that. Filming locations are also news. We are going to report on that. And the spoiler stuff that we do report on, we are always careful about hiding that from those who don’t wish to see it. You can be a regular reader of this site and still not get spoiled (I know, because I’ve been doing it for the last couple of years).
Please don’t shame your biggest fans, David & Dan. Every one of us here at Watchers and all of the readers love the show and love reading about it and talking about it. Even when that might extend to something you would consider a “spoiler”. Many of us enjoy having a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. While others just love to obsess over this show year round and spoilers and speculation are a big part of that. This sort of fan engagement should be celebrated, not discouraged.