I love to read, and to watch television and movies. Because I'm busy, and because I often don't see movies in the theater due to problems with loud noises and crowds, I am often “spoiled” – that is, someone tells me the ending of a book or movie, or a vital plot point, before I've read or watched it. And, of course, I add to that problem myself sometimes by researching a book or movie before I read or watch it. (Minor spoilers in body of post).
The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, Day of the Doctor, just happened, and the general consensus among Whovians was that it was wonderful. It also contained many spoilers about the lore of the Doctor. When I posted on my Facebook that I loved the episode, it wasn't long before a commenter on my thread revealed a plot point that might be better seen in the movie than in a comment thread.
I am pretty easy going for the most part about being “spoiled”, but there are some plots that clearly turn on surprise. A certain movie from the 1990s revealed that a main character was a ghost in the last few minutes. Many books, especially books in series, have multiple twists and plot developments that might upset those who have not read them if they find out ahead of time (George RR Martin and Mira Grant, I'm looking at you!).
The Red Wedding, for example, was something that readers of Game of Thrones knew about ahead of time, and people who only watched the series didn't see coming. How did knowing or not knowing about it beforehand affect the experience of watching the show?
So here's the question (or, rather, questions, as I find a bunch of questions gets things more interesting): When is okay to reveal spoilers? At what point does the ending of a story stop being a secret and start being part of the lore that 'everybody knows'? Do you enjoy reading books or watching movies for second and third times that, if you'd known the ending the first time, you might not have finished?
Are there some types of books and television shows or movies for which “spoilers” are more maddening, and others for which they are less so? Have you ever “spoiled” a book or movie for someone else deliberately? If so, why? Do you ever read ahead, or fast forward, or Google something in order to find out the ending before you finish? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Please feel free to answer questions in the comments, and add your own. Now, off to write “the novel”, or possibly “the awesome non-fiction book for therapists”. In any case, see you all soon.