Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Beware the dance of spoilers cutting in on your Dance With Dragons

Author George R.R. Martin was mightily displeased to learn recently that Amazon's German distributors had shipped about 180 copies of the upcoming new book in his Song of Ice and Fire series,A Dance With Dragons,way before the official release date of July 12.

This incident has resulted in a flood of spoilers,some of which are false,all over the internet and threatens to ruin the enjoyment of discovery for many of the faithful fans of the books.

Since the last book in the series,A Feast for Crows,was released in 2005,this has been a rather long wait for those who were already enamored with the realm of Westeros long before the HBO miniseries had even begun. While I don't take Martin's comment about putting the head of the person who goofed up at Amazon on a pike seriously, I can see how metaphorically an author or a reader might at least want to give him/her a golden Viserys crown . After all,it's not as if this release date was a last minute surprise :

There are websites that are refusing to allow spoilers now because of this development along with many other folks out there insisting that they should just put the book out now for sale and be done with it.

As a former bookseller,I am willing to respect embargo dates and it would behoove the likes of Amazon to do the same. These dates aren't chosen to make the fans suffer but as part of a larger marketing and promotional plan for the book and it's author.

Not to mention that in this case,there are many new readers coming to these stories who need the time to catch up. I've only finished the first three books and will probably start on the fourth by the time my pre-ordered copy of ADWD is shipped out(my advance order was not placed with Amazon,by the way).

HBO's fierce push for the Game of Thrones show was very successful,especially since the production was nearly as great as the books are and combining those fanbases makes for a powerful pop culture force to be reckoned with,indeed:

Of course,it's not just impatient readers who are eager to spread the spoilers. Fantasy fans are a target for the malcontents amongst us who think it's the height of wit to ruin the fun for "geeks". A lot of these same people wouldn't be happy if one of their interests was mocked in this manner but then again,some of these folks are not the most introspective types to begin with.

Harry Potter fans have had to deal with this not only online but up close and in person,as these pranksters loved to crash midnight release parties and shout out spoilers to the waiting crowds from moving cars. Sort of the verbal equivalent of mooning,only without the added air of sophistication.

I wouldn't advise them to try that with GOT people,since they're more likely to carry swords than wands and while I'm not suggesting that anyone should get physically harmed here,teasing does have it's consequences(if you haven't read the last Potter book,don't watch the following video-you have been warned):

The best thing that anyone can do about this literary leakage is avoid what spoilers you can and take those that might cross your path with a huge grain of salt. In the grand scheme of things,this is far from being the worst event to have happened and if you let it bother you too much,the bad guys win. Besides,we still have a long ways to go with The Song of Ice and Fire and the journey tends to be the most entertaining part of the trip:

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