Features and Columns · TV

This Week Even I Had Game of Thrones Spoiled for Me

By  · Published on May 7th, 2015

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones up to the most recent episode, “The Sons of the Harpy,” and A Song of Ice and Fire through the most recent book, “A Dance of Dragons.” It also contains theories, speculation and general crackpotitude.

Despite the fact that I’ve now been co-hosting a podcast about Game of Thrones spoilers for the last year and a half, I can’t say that I remember – not in a long while, at least – having had something spoiled for me.

My relationship with Game of Thrones became one that involved an intense thirst for knowledge during season two of the hit HBO show. It was my first year receiving screener discs in advance of the season. HBO had sent out the first 4 episodes of the upcoming season. Up to this point, I had enjoyed season one on its own and while I was aware of the books, I had not yet read them.

If you take a moment to remember back into the early episodes of season two, you’ll remember that episode four ends with Ser Davos executing a task for Stannis, who has just had an argument about which Baratheon brother is best with Renly. Davos smuggles Melisandre into an ominous cave where she, rapidly pregnant with what we assume is Stannis’ baby, gives birth to a smoke monster. Even in screener form, which included some temporary special effects, this was jarring. The world of Game of Thrones (the show) had given us some magical elements to this point – ice zombies, blood magic and dragons – but nothing quite like this.

My reaction: “What the hell?”

This is the moment when I decided to read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. I was staring down the barrel of a six week wait to find out what the hell happens next with the vagina smoke monster, as screeners for the season usually arrive a few weeks early. Don’t feel bad for me. That’s not what this is about. Press get screeners early, that’s just the way the world works. It’s a wonderful cross to bear, but it does mean almost 6 weeks living with the mother of all cliffhangers (at least to that point).

So I began reading the books. In those six weeks, I was able to power through A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows (books 2 through 4 – I went back and read book 1 later). This is when my appetite for the franchise grew, leading to the reading of A Dance with Dragons during the final throws of season two, a bunch of time spent reading spoiler theories on the A Song of Ice and Fire Wiki, and ultimately finding my way onto the hosting team for A Storm of Spoilers, the finest of Game of Thrones spoiler podcasts.

It’s been a long, spoiler-filled road. And it all began with Melisandre giving birth to the smoke monster from LOST.

Which brings us up to date on my spoiler history with Game of Thrones. Since then I’ve been ranting and raving with my theories alongside Joanna Robinson and Dave Gonzales. We love to take what we know from the books, what we’ve seen in the show and plenty of our own speculation and talk about where we think this wonderful show will go. This fifth season has presented us with a number of challenges. The first four episodes, usually reserved for the press, were leaked to the public. For four weeks we’ve had to dance around what we know is going to happen based on those episodes (we would never spoil anything we know is going to happen and is off-book).

This week the gloves came off and the theories were allowed to roam free. Following weeks of listeners accusing us of playing coy with our theories, we let them fly. This included my theory for how the season will end and a theory from Joanna that included the death of a mid-major character that I personally love. Which means that if you listen to this week’s A Storm of Spoilers below, you will hear the soul-crushing results of what it’s like for me to be spoiled. It’s very sad and fascinating, leading me to wonder if I’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole of Game of Thrones spoilers:

Spoiler: It turns out that not only have I not gone too far down the rabbit hole (who am I kidding, this is way too much fun), but we’ve heard whispers from multiple sources that our theory about Bronn isn’t 100% true. I will never have been happier to see one of our theories go down in flames, should that be the case. If it is the case, that’s fine, too. Because that’s the fun part – especially now – about being a spoiler-hungry, book-reading fan of Game of Thrones. The show is headed further and further off-book and even the wildest theories are in play. Some of what we predict will come true (for better or worse), and some of it, as is likely the case here, will be proven false.

As to the rest of our wild predictions for season 5 – many of which came bursting out into this episode the moment the chains came off – well, I guess our watch continues.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)