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How to enjoy a book after "spoilers"?

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Mos of us probably know the horrible feeling we have when someone tells us how the story will end.

"It's too bad she will die at the end"

"what???? she will die!! Why did you tell me that!! I hate you now for telling me that"

Although, I always try to avoid discussing a book with someone before finishing it, it is kind of hard for me to resist the temptation of watching the movie version or the series version of books before actually reading them.

Sometimes, that might be a terrible thing to do, and I end up not being able to read the book, but other times, like it is the case with A song of Ice and Fire, the books seem to good to be forsaken even after having watched two seasons of the series.

I wanted to start this thread so that we can all share some of the "techniques" that we use in order to still enjoy the book even when we know already what will happened. I have to admit that this might be somewhat challenging but it's worth the shot!

I would like to invite you to read this wonderful article, it says more than what I could say.

I also wanted to ask you to please share your experience with spoilers and how you managed or failed to deal with them in general, and specifically when it comes to A song of Ice and Fire.

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I got the books way before the series came out I think I was eleven and I wasn't ready to read them and I read a summary so I knew only the plot summary of the first book, so going into it you know I knew what was going to happen, so when I went to read it I fell in love with the books, they're good and although I knew what was going to happen I couldn't help but hope for a different outcome, no matter how detailed a summary someone gives you or one you read online, it's not going to capture the depth the books have or the little details spoilers leave out, I've found there's always something spoilers leave out

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Well the nice part of asoiaf is that the ending of the story isn't even written yet so its impossible to truly spoil the reading of it. Certain plot elements can be spoiled, but not the whole arc or even, imo, any major part of it. It is quite honestly difficult to even nail down what the story is supposed to be. We have some characters of import in a world, and a description of what is happening to them. That is it. This is really more of a history of The Realm than anything else. Like reading history, I know what is going to happen (I live in the present after all) but that doesn't at all ruin my enjoyment of the things that lead to this point.

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I got the books way before the series came out I think I was eleven and I wasn't ready to read them and I read a summary so I knew only the plot summary of the first book, so going into it you know I knew what was going to happen, so when I went to read it I fell in love with the books, they're good and although I knew what was going to happen I couldn't help but hope for a different outcome, no matter how detailed a summary someone gives you or one you read online, it's not going to capture the depth the books have or the little details spoilers leave out, I've found there's always something spoilers leave out

Well the nice part of asoiaf is that the ending of the story isn't even written yet so its impossible to truly spoil the reading of it. Certain plot elements can be spoiled, but not the whole arc or even, imo, any major part of it. It is quite honestly difficult to even nail down what the story is supposed to be. We have some characters of import in a world, and a description of what is happening to them. That is it. This is really more of a history of The Realm than anything else. Like reading history, I know what is going to happen (I live in the present after all) but that doesn't at all ruin my enjoyment of the things that lead to this point.

Thank you guys for your answers, I think you are totally right about that.

I think series/ movies depict books according to the production team's perception of the book, and since no representation is totally faithful to the original version, I think we can always try to imagine characters, places, etc... differently than the ones that we were presented with in the series.

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Try to see the spoiler as useless, the important thing is how and why it happened. Usually works for me.

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Try to see the spoiler as useless, the important thing is how and why it happened. Usually works for me.

Thanks! You're right! :)

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I'm horrible with avoiding spoilers, since I'm pretty curious. I managed to avoid most spoilers for Game of Thrones, somehow, and for those I didn't, I wasn't aware of the whole political mess leading to them, and what the events in question meant. And that was the most important part. That it wasn't just "this guy dies" - the way it was after reading some spoilers but not having read more than the preview of the book - but who the guy was, what sort of character, and why he died, and what happened because of that.

Generally, though, I try to avoid spoilers (and fail miserably at it), or if I read them try to forget them (which I'm slightly better at, but they come back as that niggling voice in the back of my head that says, "Wait, didn't you read about that?").

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I happened to stumble on a youtube comment after watching a video of behind the scenes of Game of Thrones,

in which some guy named every major character that dies from CoK to DwD and even before I saw the TV series (in which I knew nothing about the story or books) lots of people had already said that Ned dies at the end of the 1st season/book (mainly because Sean Bean dies in everything he's in), so it's hard to avoid it when talking about it or people on youtube just wanted to ruin it for ASoIaF virgins because they read the books before the TV series came out...

I do have to say though, I have strong sense of curiosity and that has also led to spoilers, so I spoil it for myself as well. Plus also having seen the TV series first before I read either GoT or CoK, so I knew what was coming both books, (although there's some plot points/deaths which I had no knowledge of, so I was generaly surprised on occasion).

I do try and avoid spoilers now (not too much success), but even if I do see a spoiler I just carry on with it because at the end of the day, it's still not the end of the story and by the time WoW comes out I'd be on a par with everyone who has read up to and including DwD. Also I like the story and as I say at times it does bring out the occasional death/plot point that I wasn't expecting.

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I convince myself that they're lies. or I convince myself that I've forgotten what i read :P

I've been spoiled about the beheading, but i managed to forget that enough to be surprised when i read it.

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To me, the books were better on re-reads. I'm pretty sure I remember GRRM saying that he planned it this way.

The only book I didn't read mostly spoiled is ADWD. That's fine. They are still best books of all times to me, and I've read GoT at least 10 times by now.

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Enjoy the beauty of the writing. The rich dialogue

:agree: Exactly.

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:agree: Exactly.

Enjoy the beauty of the writing. The rich dialogue

I agree as well. It is the getting there that I absolutely Love. All of the events leading up to that one defining moment are what make something special.

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Spoilers suck. The writing and the atmosphere of the books are top-notch, but knowing what happens in advance absolutely ruins the sense of dread you feel throughout tense scenes (think RW) and the surprise of character deaths or near-deaths and exciting escapes. So if a book or a part of a book has been spoiled for you, you're going to miss out on some elements that other readers get to enjoy.

That said, these books are not only about plot twists.There is an atmosphere, wit, and beauty in prose that is positively unmatched in any other fantasy series I've ever read. So you have that. And the books are so dense that you will find yourself getting caught up in the moment and forgetting things you already knew. And even in those spoiled moments, you'll feel the same sense of loss or wicked joy everyone felt when reading it. You just won't be shocked. At least in terms of deaths. Character deaths actually make up only a small percentage of plot twists and surprises that await ASoIaF readers. Chances are, all the political intrigue and allegiances both true and false are still a mystery to you, so take heart in that.

My advice to people who have suffered spoilers and don't want to suffer any more is to stay away from social media sites related to the book or television series. Don't talk to people who have read further ahead than you unless you have an explicit agreement to say nothing about what happens later. ESPECIALLY stay away from Youtube, where idiotic posters use the comments sections of BTS videos and music tributes as an excuse to intentionally spoil major moments in the books. They get a kick out of it.

I am committing to a similar social media blackout as it pertains to The Walking Dead. I have not read the comics, so I don't know who dies or who doesn't. Therefore, I stay away from just about every article related to the show, since they are wont to point out where the show departs from the books, even though these departures are usually small and the comic plot point is eventually played out on screen (think Shane, for fans of the show). It may not be EVERYTHING to be surprised, but it's still an enjoyable aspect of books and shows, so avoid them at all cost.

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:agree:

And always remember “It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.” ;)

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I want to add, I'm on a re-read at the moment (ACoK) and there's still many parts I'm really enjoying despite the fact that I know exactly what's happening.

Looking for foreshadowing is half the fun. :P

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Looking for foreshadowing is half the fun. :P

Ohhh I love that as well. Sometimes I re-read just to catch some foreshadowing and hints.

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Ohh, the foreshadowing! I'm at the point where I'm literally dreaming about the subliminal meanings of certain scenes/turns of phrase. It's torture!

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I've watched the first two seasons of the show myself, and am determined to read all of the books thus far before I watch any farther. The books are even more enjoyable than the show, in my opinion.

I think it's due to the richness of each character's distinctive POV combined with an omniscient narrative presence--kind of a unique way to tell a story. Sort of character-specific but not to the point where it's hard to balance voices.

The description is also rich enough while still very direct, which lends itself to a nice amount of individual interpretation, for me!

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I HATE surprises and usually spoil things for myself. I saw season 1 before I started reading the books and I knew Ned was going to die but what I didn't know is that he was going to lie about Cersei's children and die anyway. That really took me by surprise and I was really dreading reading that part in the book because of how emotional it was for me on the show (I cried). Funny enough, when it came to that part in the book I didn't cry but I did cry when Khal Drogo died, when I didn't cry for him in the show.

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