crazydiamondsue: (BTVS Old School)
I am attempting to write a blog entry on unconventional friendships, i.e. those which began online: basically how I got one of my best friends 10 years ago via [ profile] bloodclaim's beta reader sign-in sheet and how I got another by placing an ad on Craigslist for a scrapbooking buddy, haha! However, attempting to write about this experience for the edification of the average Facebooker causes Xander's "Oh, who CARES?!" outburst from Restless to pop into my head.

So instead I'm here, rambling into the void of what used to be an active Live Journal, about friendships and non-specific spoilers.

I was reading the Mark Watches recap of AtS's Dead End yesterday and marveled at Mark's admission that, prior to the ep, he was not aware that Christian Kane could sing. I was baffled by that, until I realized that I had been in Buffyverse fandom for years and live in Oklahoma so therefore have a bit of an advantage in that type of knowledge. Still, the "Christian Kane can sing? OMG WTF BBQ!" comments to the entry amused and charmed me, so I called the artist formerly known as adis723 to share. I burbled a pseudo-amazed, "Christian Kane can sing?!" at her and in a moment of breathtaking synchronicity she and I simul-chortled, "Cibo Matto can clog dance?!" at each other.

And that, my friends, is why I love my fannish peeps.

And now I'd like to talk about my experiences with spoilers in the "Game of Thrones" realm. None of this discussion has to do with specific spoilers and there will be no spoilers in the text of my rambling.

I have never encountered a fandom as careless about spoilers as GoT. I actively read LJ during the writing period of the HP books and never encountered anything but LJ-cuts and generic squee. But HP seemed to accept that some folks were watching the films and had yet to catch up on the books and acted accordingly (at least in my experience, YMMV).

With GoT, I am stunned by the number of people who are *so* proud to have read a book (and want to make sure that you understand that the HBO series is based on books, in case that's knowledge you're unable to Google) and further want to be sure that you know that they have read something, and that all the insight is belonging to them. Um...okay? We're all pretty much geeks, reading kinda comes part and parcel with the "I'm a nerd -- ask me how!" button? I mean, it's not like you read Asimov's "Foundations" series -- you read a fantasy series. Good for you and every 14 year old kid, ever.

But it's impossible to discuss GoT the series on the wider web without having someone come in and let you know that they just finished "A Dance With Dragons" and that your (TV canon based) speculation about Tyrion is adorable.

[ profile] stoney321 is writing the GoT recaps for her site Hey Don't Judge Me. She stated upfront with the first recap that she has not read the books and is postponing doing so until she has watched the series and explicitly asked for NO book spoilers. So only a dick would fail to comply with that, right? Not a recap goes by that she makes a joke about an event or speculates about plot points that some asshat attempts to "correct" her quip or speculation with, "Actually, we know from the books that...blah, blah, spoiler, blah, yer wrong." Reading that goes up my nose like Valyrian steel, I can only sympathize with what it does for Stoney.

I get that inadvertent spoilers brought on by squee sometimes occur. However, this fandom seems determined to tell you the fate of your favorite characters the minute you watch the pilot and how everything you think you know is WRONG (It's Asha, not Yara, argh!!!) and by the way, Luke is Leia's brother, Atlanta burns and Rhett joins the Confederate army and, oh, you just read "Sorcerer's Stone"? Here's the entire plot of "Half-Blood Prince"!

Conversely, I myself was accused (wrongly! Very Jean-Val Jean!) of posting GoT spoilers on FB. I often click "like" on Stoney's GoT recaps, causing a link to the recap to post on my Facebook page. The link includes nothing but the name of the show, website and occasionally the ep title. And give GoT its props, it's not like their ep titles are "Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies." I have a friend who comments EVERY time I post a like to the link with, "Don't spoil me, haven't watched the ep." Oooookay, don't click the link labeled "recap," then, Sparky?

The other day I posted a link (on FB) to a parody vid with scenes of GoT matched with audio from "Arrested Development" with a prominent notation that the clip contained spoilers for GoT Season 2. A couple of friends and I chatted in comments, attributing AD dialogue to GoT characters. The previously mentioned spoiler-phobe friend messaged me and said, "Sue, the spoilers on your post are really uncool. I don't want to know what was said in the episode."


Dude, if you really think Catelyn Stark said, "I love all my children equally. (previously) I don't care for Bran" (oh, Lucille Bluth, how I miss you!) you have bigger problems with being a fan than just spoilers. I explained, and he was still miffy about it. Really??? I mean....really???

I get that every fandom has its thorn (Roslin/Adama is octogenarian porn: still baffled by that) but I've never been involved in one where the majority was so eager to prove that they had filled their Weekly Reader checklist with Song of Ice and Fire through Dance With Dragons, give them a hug now! Or so vitriolic about spoilers that they see plot revelations where there are only banana stands.

Anyone else had this experience? Or is it merely my lot for falling into Facebook?

Date: 2012-06-08 03:13 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
It's so weird b/c when I was reading the books (after season 1 aired), the book-fans were really good about not spoiling things for me. Something happened b/t season 1 & 2. (I have not seen 2 yet, but I understand it's starting to diverge significantly from the book canon, and the book fans just DO NOT SEEM TO BE ABLE TO ACCEPT THAT.)

Oh, fandom.

Date: 2012-06-08 03:41 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
My first real experience with the Hermione-esque, "Ooo, ooo, I've read "Westeros -- a History! Let me tell you ALL!" phenomenon on Stoney's GoT recaps page. Example of my own creation: She would write "A mysterious man enters mysteriously and then leaves, but the mysterious theme music leads us to believe that he will be up to some mystery at time yet to be revealed" and someone would leave a comment like, "Actually, we know from the books that the 'mysterious man' as you call him is actually Quarter-Toes Half-Nose and who is revealed in a barely known interview with Martin to be the illegitimate son of Minor Character and thus VASTLY important to the plot, how dare you not name this unnamed TV character!"

Facebook is even worse, because a post of "Tyrion rocks" will reveal in comments the book canon deaths of dozens of characters (I should not read FB comments.)

Haha, TV/media canon diverges significantly from book canon?! This is brand new information! Although I have always encountered fans who didn't understand why every bit of internal monologue from a book was not utilized in a series/film as voice over....

Date: 2012-06-08 03:45 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I do think season 1 following SO closely might have raised some expectations but really folks THE BOOKS ARE NOT FINISHED. THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE STUFF.

My first experience was when I innocently commented to a Jaime-centric comm that it would be cool to see his plot from book 3 moved forward a bit, because otherwise there is NOTHING FOR HIM TO DO in season 2. I think he literally has one scene in that book, and it happens while he's in prison. And the reaction was OH NO and all of these reasons why the book plot couldn't be changed. I was like -- I thought you would WANT more Jaime? Sigh sigh.

(Also, even if you've read the books, the 'actualyl, GRRM said on his blog -- ' thing will come up. ffs. this is partly why i'm waiting to watch season 2 until the DVD release, when i figure i will have forgotten the book canon anyway)

Date: 2012-06-08 03:26 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Every time I read the comments for the GoT recaps I die a little inside for Stoney. Granted, I should probably stop being a lazy ass and get involved with the conversation instead of lurking all the time like a creepy creeper, but lazy I am, and busy too, and I'm afraid I'd just start being an asshole to the assholes and make life harder for her so.

creepy mccreeper

That said -- and to TOTALLY show that your point is REAL and VALID -- I read book 1 concurrently with watching season 1. I immediately started and finished book 2. I picked up book 3 and decided to wait until the show aired season 2. Then when it FINALLY -- god has a hiatus ever been so long? -- started and I was happily watching I began to wonder if my memory was shot or if my reading comprehension level had taken a hit because WTFF? Then other people who had read ALL the books started losing their shit and I was suddenly reassured that I do have a memory and I do have stunning reading comprehension, it's just that the *adaptation* part of book to TV didn't really start until season 2. Then all was golden.

Date: 2012-06-08 03:56 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Ugh, yes on the comments she gets. And it baffles me because she headers every recap with "TV canon only, haven't read the books, no spoilers plz) but so many people seem SO eager to give her background on barely intro'd TV characters with their book IDs. Um, I'm sure the show will get to it and she'll see it?

Eddie is reading the books (I think he's on book 3?) and he's mentioned the book-to-TV inconsistencies, but that's to be expected with budget, prose v. teleplay, consolidated characters, etc. It's expected, I mean, Gone With the Wind is 3 hours long and still completely omits Tareltons beyond the twins, LOL. But it seems like a lot of the book fandom truly expects each chamber pot emptying moment to be displayed or its otherwise inferior work (I read a NYT's recap of the penultimate ep and soooooo many people were disappointed in that fabulous main scene because it glossed over one book element in the interest of time/budget. As a TV viewer only, I was still amazed and impressed).

Date: 2012-06-08 05:03 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
still completely omits Tareltons beyond the twins,

OMG. Mama Tarleton. Such a badass!

Date: 2012-06-08 03:30 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
HOLY SHIT THIS FANDOM. I think a lot of it is a class of fanboys and fangirls. I've had someone mansplain shit to me on another board, and when I got all Texan on his ass, had four or five people crawl out of the woodwork to have an actual conversation with me about female characters.

(And that same douche canoe later thought I was a "vulgar man," which made me laugh very hard.)

In conclusion, PLUS ONE. LIKE. REBLOG. All of the above. :)

Date: 2012-06-08 03:59 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Ahahahaha, you vulgar man, you! Did you use the phrase 'meat-curtains' mayhap?

I just want you to know that your pain with some of your commentors is valid and that your responses have been reasonable (moreso than I could manage, anyway). It's a compliment to your writing that so many want to feel a part of your recaps, but damn, they could go about it in a less TOS-ignoring way.

I'll be your Podrick, is what I'm saying.

Date: 2012-06-08 04:04 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I mean, I *am* vulgar! That's the great thing. LOL.

I think over the past, say, three recaps that people have settled down (or I've shut them down and they realize that they can't act like asshats in our space), so that's good. I want a place to just LOVE ON STUFF, for crying out loud.

I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm good with funding the site on my own and keeping it running as is instead of pushing for a wider (and more hateful) internet audience, because I just can't stand that sort of behavior any more.

I'll be your Brienne, then. :) (I happen to like Lady Catelyn, something I'm finding is also rare. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS FANDOM.)

Date: 2012-06-08 04:29 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
A wider audience sounds awesome in terms of like-minded people finding a site free of ironic "liking" or "Ugh, why does this show exist?" recapping, but you're right in that it brings in the dregs. I'm wishing you a happy medium, because I know funding it on your own is an undertaking.


Really, on Catelyn? I enjoy her character so much. It's refreshing to see an over-40 female character who isn't relegated to a background role and one who has so much influence. Yes, she has opinions. And she makes tough decisions. But much like Joss said years ago about reaction to some fans expectations for the events in "Grave" and the actual portrayal of events in "Grave": "It's a thing I invented that I like to call a 'plot-twist'," LOL, Martin seems to have invented something that he likes to call "conflict" (see also: plot) and Catelyn's current storyline is fascinating (and by virtue so is Brienne's.)

Date: 2012-06-10 02:09 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_2351: (got: sansa by bluelantern)
I know! WTF with the Catelyn hate? It makes no sense to me. Every time there's a secret about the show in fandomsecrets, there's a dogpile of "Catelyn Stark is so heinous. She abuses my woobie Jon Stark and hurts his ickles feelings and she should diiiiiiiiiiie."

They also hate Ros and Littlefinger and the ones who don't want Sansa to bone Sandor hate Sansa. Or maybe that's the same thing. IDK

Date: 2012-06-08 05:00 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I haven't had this experience with spoilers, but I haven't played in the fandom much.

However. I often have read the books when the movies come out, and I am not the sort of person who is all, "Ugh. New fans. I am so much better because I have read the books!"

But in GoT fandom, I kind of am. It's for a very specific reason.

I started reading the books 5-6 years ago, so I feel I have special knowledge. KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE BAD AND NOT WORTH READING. There was some really cool stuff in them, but in the end they were sexist, not well thought out (like the Cylons, George R R Martin does not have a plan), overly wordy, and just sort of smelly. I really like the mini-series, because it takes out the writing and length problems, and I hope will better address gender (haven't seen S2) yet. When people watch the mini-series and like it, I say yay. But when people watch the mini-series and are all like, "Oooh, now I have to read the books!" or "I'm reading the books!" or "I read the books because of the mini-series!" for some reason I just feel so self-righteous. I want to say, I HAVE DONE THAT WORK BEFORE YOU AND IT IS NOT WORTH IT. VALUE MY INSIDER KNOWLEDGE.

Whatever. I'm a bastard of a fan. Maybe this canon just engenders self-righteous pomposity.

Date: 2012-06-08 09:11 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
like the Cylons, George R R Martin does not have a plan Hahahahaha!

I have read none of the books, so I value your inside knowledge!

I have greatly enjoyed the series, though. And it brings to mind something I've noticed in fan fic, somewhat in Buffy fandom but more so in HP. I have read stories where the plot was fascinating with original magic, great tension, etc, but the characterization was nil and the dialogue was deplorable. I've also read fic where the characterization was so canon it sang and the dialogue sparkled but absolutely nothing happened (I like to call this type of fic "people who write like me," LOL). I've often thought, "If only I could smoosh those two writers together, what a fic that would be!

So perhaps the GoT TV canon benefits from the influx of other writers and the streamlined nature of the teleplay? Which is amusing, considering Martin's zero-tolerance of fanfic, that other writers tell his story perhaps better than he. (Again, not having read the books, I only speculate. But I trust your judgment, it is known.)

Date: 2012-06-08 11:17 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
While I totally agree about smooshing types of writers together, for GoT I really think it has to do less with the writers than with the medium.

There are some great ideas in GoT, but the tone is very tell-tell-tell. Because TV is by nature show-show-show, it's automatically an improvement. And, as you say, as it is a teleplay it must be streamlined. Fitting each book into what, say, 12 hours? is also an automatic improvement, because you just can't wander all over the place like GRRM.

Last, the format of the books becomes really cumbersome--each chapter is from close third person POV of a different character. We are more used to jumping between plotlines and characters in film; if you're going to do that in print, you need some adequate justification for why you're jumping around quite that much, and GRRM doesn't have it. Also, the POV changes are less awkward in film, because film tends to be omniscient.

I also liked The Hunger Games movie better than the book. I find the book poorly written, but it has an interesting plot and an interesting character. Having it be a movie--especially one with Jennifer Lawrence as the POV character--takes out the bad writing around that character.

Date: 2012-06-08 10:52 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynnenne
lynnenne: (mood: lolbuffy)
I have not watched nor read GoT and I have no intention to. Nevertheless I read your post and laughed out loud at, "Roslin/Adama is octogenarian porn." WHAT OMG ROFLCOPTORS. That is the funniest objection ever.

Also, I did not know Christian Kane could sing until I watched that episode of Angel.

P.S. Online friends are awesome! <3
Edited Date: 2012-06-08 10:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-06-09 01:40 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Why no interest in watching (I get the no interest in reading) GoT, if I may ask?

Hahaha, I can't remember if it was [ profile] turnonmyheels or [ profile] likeadeuce who complained about that appellation years back, but it amused me.

I didn't know CK could sing until that ep of AtS, either, but that aired in 2001, Mark and his readers are watching it in 2012, after CK had a recording contract and was all over the (albeit country) radio, LOL.

Online friends are the bestest! <3

Date: 2012-06-09 02:55 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynnenne
lynnenne: (buffy: faith)
I've heard that Game of Thrones is pretty gory, with a lot of medieval violence and rape and gushing fountains of blood. Too triggery. Cable TV goes way further with the blood and gore than network TV does. I avoided Rome for the same reason.

Date: 2012-06-09 04:03 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Ah, totally understandable and what you have heard is not wrong, so wise decision.

Date: 2012-06-09 03:21 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
It's been my experience that there are many rabid fans who feel that tv series or movies derived from a book or books must slavishly adhere to the source material. My own take is that the mediums are different, the storytelling has to be different. If you want to imbue the lead warrior character with an ability to tap dance I really don't care as long as the story is good.

The other thing is that people on the Internet seem to feel free to express themselves in ways they never would face to face. For some reason, the anonymity seems to heighten emotions.

Date: 2012-06-10 01:48 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I had heard that S2 deviates quite a bit from the books and possessive fans are all up in arms about it. We've only watched episode 1 of S1 so far, as it's really hard to find time to watch the DVDs when 1) the kids are not around and 2) we're awake! And wow is this show not something I'll ever feel comfortable watching with my kids. Even when they're 30 years old.

I have read the books but will never be able to fall into the bad habit of spoiling people because my memory for plot details is HORRIBLE. I'm not sure that I'll be able to tell where the show departs from the books, and maybe that's for the best.

GoT fans got a bad reputation long ago when they started acting as if they owned GRRM and could order him to produce the next book, immediately if not sooner. (Although I do think GRRM erred significantly when he promised delivery of the book in such-and-such a time frame. That developed expectations. Writers, learn a lesson from this.)


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