In fact, I think about spoilers a lot, and I’ve been wanting to write a discussion post about them for a very long time. I could ask the usual, “What do you consider a spoiler?” or, “Do you mind getting spoiled about X, Y, or Z?” But here’s what I really want to know:
When/why would you ever intentionally spoil yourself for something?
Now, I ask that as a legitimate question! But also… WHY WOULD YOU EVER INTENTIONALLY SPOIL YOURSELF FOR SOMETHING!?!?!! Literally anything!?! Why, spoilers, why!?!?!?
If you couldn’t tell, I am extremely spoiler-phobic, not only for what most people consider “giving stuff away” (which is usually plot/twist-related), but also for character/character-development-related things. Do these two sworn enemies end up becoming friends by the end? I don’t want to know that! Is a revelation about a character’s past (or a revelation of a defining characteristic) super important to their character arc? I don’t want to know what that thing is! Does the book have a sad ending*? Oh, thanks for giving that away, that definitely doesn’t tell me anything important about the story! /sarcasm
*If the sad ending is revealed in the synopsis (“tragic”, “heartbreaking”, etc) or marketing for the book in some way, then that’s fair game to talk about freely. I’m talking about books where a sad ending is NOT expected.
Basically, my stance on spoilers (and I think most people’s stances, to a greater or lesser degree) is this: An author writes their book a certain way. They reveal things in a certain order for a reason. When that order is messed up in any way (or almost any way — this is where people start to diverge in their opinions on spoilers), I don’t like it. Having something spoiled means that my emotions when I finally reach that spoiled scene will be different than they would’ve been if it hadn’t been spoiled, and that’s something I don’t like messing with.
So, that being said — when someone to want to intentionally spoil themselves for something… my brain just can’t process why.
For example, a few weeks ago, I kept seeing people talking about spoiling themselves for a big death in The Raven King — yeah, that death — by reading the end first. Am I the only one who always wants to go into that kind of thing totally blind?! I want to read a book and earn every ounce of emotion that it brings me — whether that means hard-earned happiness, unadulterated joy and surprise, being blindsided by emotional turmoil, or running head-on into that emotional turmoil. Don’t touch my feels, I want those feels, give me all the feels!!
I think one of the only things I’m okay “spoiling myself” for is whether there is a ship in a book, and (sometimes) who is involved in that ship (as long as the ship isn’t what I call a “character-related” spoiler — a ship in The Raven Cycle is sort of one of those). I’ll readily admit, if there’s a romance in a book that I am 100% on board for, I’ll often enjoy the book way more than if it had been romance-free. Shipping is something I enjoy. So, if I’m not sure whether there’s any romance, I like to find out if there is. And if I start the book and am confused as to whom I should be shipping, I’ll often want to find out, just so I can root for them.
So, what are your thoughts on spoilers?
Would you ever intentionally spoil yourself for something?
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY? (No really, why?)
Let me know in the comments!