HBO has had quite a rough week. First, the network suffered a devastating hack that led to the theft of 1.5 terabytes of data and thousands of internal documents. Shortly thereafter, the new episode of Game of Thrones leaked online. The worst part is, the two are entirely unrelated. While the hack was initiated by a group of anonymous online troublemakers, the GOT leak happened because of Star India, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox that received advance screeners of the episodes. Regardless of the reason for the leak, one thing's for sure: I'm staying so far away from anything related to it. I will not be watching the pirated episode. I will not be reading Reddit threads that spoil what happens. I will be waiting until 6 p.m. on Sunday night. And here's why.
One reason any Game of Thrones fan might want to spoil the episode for themselves is because they simply can't wait to find out what happens. Does Daenerys go off and unleash her dragons on King's Landing, as the preview suggests? Does Cersei stay winning and sipping that sweet, sweet wine? Do Sansa and Arya run at each other in slow motion and give us the reunion we've been dying for? Is Bran still being kind of a d*ck (no offense)?
I get it: some fans just want answers, and they want them now. In the end, though, there will still be more questions that won't be addressed until the next week, or the next leak! And even if the rest of the season gets spoiled online, we'll all have to wait quite a long time until the final season. It's a lot of rushing just to inevitably wait anyway. And also, it's like, do I want to find out what happens so badly that I'm willing to watch a grainy, poor-quality version of the episode to get my rocks off? No! First of all, that's illegal, guys. OK? Illegal. Also, I want full, high-definition, big-screen beauty. I can wait two days if it means Jon Snow's face won't look like a sad, blurry game of Tetris the whole time.
And I don't want to read about it either. Can you imagine how underwhelming some of the show's most iconic sequences must have been on paper? The Battle of the Bastards? Euron's brutal attack of the Iron Fleet? If I read it, I'll have to watch it on Sunday anyway. And as far as I'm concerned, it just lessens the impact of seeing it all go down live. If I know Daenerys is about to rip a castle in half while riding Drogon, it just won't give me as much satisfaction to watch it all go down.
As an alternative argument, one of my coworkers (not naming names) said they'd read the leak so they had control over whether or not it was spoiled for them. The logic was, "If I spoil it for myself, no one can spoil it for me." Which, like, so, that means you don't want to have it spoiled, but if it's going to be spoiled, you may as well spoil it for yourself? Nah, man. Nah. I will run that risk. I don't mind spoilers. Like, if it accidentally gets ruined for me by some internet troll, so be it. It happens. But I'm not about to do that to myself just to preemptively solve a problem that might not even be a problem.
If you want to read spoilers or watch leaked episodes, more power to you. I'm serious! That's your jam, and I get it. I want to know what happens just as bad. Do your thing. I'll see y'all on Sunday.