It never fails: for every writer that posts a “spoiler” about a movie or book, there is one jerk to immediately post, “Where’s the spoiler alert???”
(To answer that question, one need only read the link, and immediately above and below the offending article.)
Spoilers don’t exist for the man-children that wait to read a certain book after an all-night book store party with a sorting hat. They exist for those that are more interested in the entire work instead of some usually trite “surprise” ending.
That’s right, I’m defending spoilers and pissing on J.K. Rowling. She’s hyped up an inevitable ending so much that she’s dared people to steal her thunder … and by thunder, I mean the typical ending of any cliche magical world where apparently all the adults are idiots and only children can save them.
Seriously, does anyone get tired of this genre of fantasy? From Peter Pan to The Neverending Story, more stories about children saving fantasy worlds get made every year than all of the Christmas movies combined (not including Christmas movies where children save the North Pole).
So the fans wonder why we spoil the ending for everyone? I’ll retort with why read the spoiler? It’s not forced on you. Hell, it’s usually locked away in the section of the Internet reserved for grown-ups and real users. If you’re such a dedicated fan, why can’t you resist ruining what might sadly be the greatest literary moment of your life?
The truth is that you can’t avoid reading spoilers because you’ve already discussed it to death on your message boards. You need to know if you’re right. And that’s the love-hate relationship with spoilers.
The ongoing argument that is called the Internet would cease to exist tomorrow if all fights were resolved today. I mean, does anyone still visit the Web site for “The Village?” No, because everyone’s seen the movie. Spoilers end arguments, and that’s bad for the Internet.
Spoilers also prove you’re right or wrong. It’s great when you’re right, but how often does that really happen?
And perhaps that’s why fans hate the more pervasive (and hilarious) spoilers: the ones posted on their chat boards. It ends their debates, possibly proves them wrong, and at the very least ruins their book.
But do spoilers really ruin the book? My argument is only if you’ve never read a non-Harry Potter book in your life, which seems to be a common trend. That’s why timing is the essence of this book’s success. Everyone’s reading again, which means they have no clue what other books are like and how much Rowling borrows from them. And it’s okay that she does that, but she’s no genius, nor are her stories thoroughly unique.
To test this, I submit this ending to show just how much Rowling cribs from others. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ll tell you exactly what will happen. Snape will die a hero because you can’t invite the double-agent to family reunions (see the MI-5 Family Handbook). Harry will live, because, well, that’s what he does: he lives. That’s his schtick. Voldemort will die because he’s fighting a child. Anyone else who dies is inconsequential or already dead.
Oh, yeah: SPOILER ALERT.