"Spoiler alert: We all love spoilers. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we all want them, of course—there are as many people who fervently avoid details about upcoming stories as there are people who hunt them down to learn beforehand," says James Whitbrook. "But as the 2010s come to a close, the way we talk about spoilers with each other has changed dramatically—and not necessarily for the best." Whitbrook says Game of Thrones changed everything when it came to spoilers, especially with its split audience of newbies and book readers. "That inherently meant that the way Thrones’ courtly intrigues and plot twists were discussed were laced with the danger of spoiler territory," he says. "A danger that became inherently weaponized by fans, when all it would take is one whisper of Ned Stark’s fate, or Daenerys’ true path, or an ominous mention of a seemingly far off wedding, to completely ruin the show for fans who had no idea that—in what is still paradoxically still one of the most audacious scenes of TV ever and also a plot point that’s been known since (George R.R.) Martin first wrote it in 1996 —Sean Bean was about to get his head lopped off."