Should Book Readers Watch Game of Thrones’ Sixth Season?

On April 24th, for the first time since the show premiered, readers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series will be completely in the dark about the fate of Westeros and its characters.

Martin recently announced that The Winds of Winter is not finished nor will it be in time for release before the premier of season six. As far as whether the next season will spoil the books Martin answers “Maybe. Yes and No.”

Season five saw the biggest divergence of the stories yet with the death of major characters that still live on within the books. Not only that but budgetary and time restraints has certain characters from the books completely absent from the show. So no, their stories will not be spoiled.

The bottom line is that all the most beloved characters will have their stories spoiled for readers of the series. That includes Tyrion, Jaime, and Cersei Lannister, Arya, Sansa, and Bran Stark (Maybe Rickon too?), Daenerys, her dragons, and all of Meereen. The Greyjoys, the Martells, the Boltons, the Baratheons, the Tyrells, the Night’s Watch, the Brothers Without Banners, The Wildlings, and even the Others will all have their stories spoiled. The amount of characters free of being spoiled is negligent compared to this amount.

Readers are then left with a decision, to continue or stop watching Game of Thrones. With HBO looking to renew Game of Thrones for up to eight seasons that leaves those on the fence with some math to consider. It is likely that within those three years The Winds of Winter will be released, but what of the final book in the series A Dream of Spring? That might likely not be released until after the series has ended, based on the time the sixth book has taken to release.

So are you, dear A Song of Ice and Fire readers, able to resist not only spoilers for three years as the show airs but also five years and change for the release of the next two books?

Let’s be clear, A Song of Ice and Fire has a huge audience but the show’s is even larger. It’s not simply a series you watch but a social event that you discuss. To avoid spoilers for five years plus may ostracise you socially unless you fill that void by talking about other shows, events, and sports that take up pop culture. That’s an extreme view of it, you may go about your life avoiding spoilers all the times like it’s no big deal. It’s not like Game of Thrones is always publically discussed

It’s not like Game of Thrones is always publically discussed, covered constantly by the media, or posted about across social media. It’s not as if HBO releases a string of trailers and preview for seasons that recap the previous ones while discussing upcoming ones. It’s not as if the amount of spoilers released between the time of the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser and the time of its release are any indication of the difficulty it will be avoiding spoilers.

That’s one year. One year between the teaser and the release of Episode VII. In that time, it had two localized trailers, an international trailer, a teaser, and television footage. It’s actually quite remarkable how we collectively agreed as a fandom not to spoil the movie for each other.  Can your recall Game of Thrones viewers

Can you recall Game of Thrones viewers being that kind? Were you one of those who lorded over your knowledge from the book to your friends? Did you record their reactions to the Red Wedding? Do you think they may be petty enough to get their revenge? Seeing videos of people reading books while their friends cackle in the background doesn’t sound as exciting.

Still, this may be an opportunity for the showrunners to completely diverge from the direction of the books. They may have no choice with the elimination and death of certain characters. HBO may get their wish, in the end, to have a season nine happen giving Martin more time to release the next two books. Even less likely, but not impossible, is Martin may have A Dream of Spring better planned out in his head as he envisioned the series ending after three books, then five, and now seven (and even contemplated an eighth book.)

No matter the outcome, some spoilers are inevitable. You’ll have to decide if you will remain unsullied or not from them.

 

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Memories of the Simpsons.

Currently on FXX they’re showing every Simpsons episode ever, as the tagline suggests. I sit down in the living room, turn on the television and get flooded with nostalgia.

It reminds of a time when new episodes were on Thursday and I had to choose between that and the show Dinosaurs to watch. I remember my mom complaining about Married with Children, how the main character was a pig and no one was allowed to watch it.

Then they moved it to Sunday night and I sort of lost track of it. That was until 5th grade when I met who would be one of my best friends all throughout school, Jeff. When he wasn’t coming over and kicking my ass in Super Mario Kart, playing with Z-Bots or showing me how to beat the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past we were stopping everything we were doing to watch reruns of the Simpsons at 7 p.m, then at 7:30 p.m., then at both 7 and 7:30.

When the Nintendo 64 came out, the entire class was enamored with who shot Mr. Burns. Only one kid guessed it right and no one believed him and when we did find out it was to be honest a bitter disappointment. We didn’t care though because the show went on being hilarious and we went on playing video games.

Even in 1998 when The Legend of Zelda; Ocarina of Time finally came out after two years of constant delays Jeff and I would be on the phone saying what part of the game we were up to, where we had found certain secrets and heart pieces but oh wait, it’s 7:00 time to watch two back to back episodes of the Simpson. Unless it was Sunday in which we stopped to watch new episodes.

Watching this marathon reminded me how much I watched the Simpsons as a kid. There are w hole episodes that I can anticipate the next line or the next joke.

This isn’t a post to bash about the quality of the Simpsons now because I simply stopped watching it so whom am to judge it?

What I will say is that the older episodes managed to both pull at the heart strings and still be funny. I’d go into details but I’m missing the next episode.

If you want The Winds of Winter to come out, stop reading about it.

In the news this week on many different pop culture websites is an interview with George R.R. Martin’s editor, Anne Groell speaking about an eighth A Song of Ice and Fire book sprinkled in between words like might, maybe, could be. I’m not going to link it because that would be the opposite of the point I’m trying to get across. This isn’t just a message to you, whoever is reading this waiting for The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring to come out but for me also. If you want it to come out before driving yourself insane you have to stop reading about it.

These news sites like IGN, Salon, TheMarySue, Nerdist, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly and the like are all creating click bait that offer no real news about when the sixth book will come out. If you’re browsing whatever site you see news on, maybe a social network, maybe the site itself, and you see anything that isn’t “The official release date for The Winds of Winter is _____” then do not click it. It’s not going to bring the book out any faster. None of these for the recent interview have been consistent. with their reporting of the interview. Some have reported she definitely said eight books, without a source. Some have reported he has only 168 pages written, ignoring the part that in order to get paid he had to hand in some pages back in February of 2013 (A year ago).

I've been writing with a sausage the whole time, no wonder it takes so long!

This news site will dangle any tidbit in front of you in order to get you to click.

This could mean anything without context. Maybe that was the file he had on hand. You could use some context clues to figure this out. Groell says he’s very secretive about the plot in the book. She knows some secrets but she doesn’t know how it ends. Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t what a file with his secrets going around.

All I am saying, and I know this from experience, is stop reading about new about George R.R. Martin and when the books will come out. Don’t click on the links that show up on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter or any site. Just ignore it. There are millions of good books out there you can read in the meantime. Reading about when the next book is going to come out is just going to drive you crazy. It won’t make the book come out any faster. In fact, I’m going to say it’ll make the wait feel even longer.