I know a secret about something. Do you wanna hear? (No spoilers for HP7 are revealed in this post!)
Snape marries McGonnagal!
Okay, now that I have my ‘spoiler’ out of the way, what’s the deal with spoilers?
If someone walks up and tells me that at the end of the Harry Potter books, Molly Weasly dies, I’ll be sad, but I’ll still read the flippin’ book. I’ve already paid for it, and I plan on picking it up on my way home from services Friday night. By that point, the book will be out for four hours and some enterprising person will speed read, list the deaths, marriages and what not, and everyone will know everything.
Again. Do we care?
Knowing the end of a story shouldn’t be the surprise. We all knew how Titanic ended, and yet we watched. I adored the musical 1776, but it’s not like I expected them not to sign the declaration. And Lord of the Rings? Name me one uber-geek who didn’t go into that movie knowing that Frodo lives.
And yet. The Harry Potter book was photographed and released to BitTorrent. Now every net savvy fan is thinking about downloading, and some people are decrying this. They call the downloaders not “true” fans. I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that knowing the ending of a book made me not a real fan. I guess everyone born after the LotR books came out aren’t real fans. Unless they mean to say that people who break the law aren’t true fans. Or maybe it’s people who read a book early aren’t really fans.
Seriously? Who else would go to the effort to do all the work to get the book early to read it but a true fan? The people who read the book and post in giant letters on every site they can access “Harry’s a Horcrux and dies!” are the ‘bad’ fans. They’re assholes. But as of Saturday, the book will have been read by at least one speed-reader, and spoilers are no longer something you can keep a secret.
I may know exactly how and where to download, illegally, the book, but even if I did, I won’t read it. I want to read it on Friday with Ipstenit, but also I can wait for the details. I’m not going to cry if someone spoils a couple things for me, but even a summary of the book (almost 800 pages, people) will leave out the details. To me, it’s the details the differentiate a crap story from a good one.
Chris Lauer (aka Uncle Chris), one of my English teachers, once said that every story had been written, and all that differed were the details. I have yet to find this information to be proven wrong. If you go back far enough, you’ll find that the same kind of story, with similar plot lines, has repeated itself in each genre over and over again. That’s the way we humans work, though. Stereotypes happen, and people repeat the same mistakes. Invading Russia in winter? Oh, it’s the same idea, it’s the same idea!
So go ahead, spoil me! Tell me everything you can, but I’m still reading the book. I’ll probably pick up the CDs too (mostly cause the guy who does the voices is superb). I’ll see the movie when it comes out. There’s nothing you can do to make me not read the book, outside of physically harming me or similarly evil things. Tell me Snape’s a hero! Tell me Lupin dies! Tell me Tonks is a horcrucx and Ron is Griffendor’s Heir! I’m going to read it.
And if you’re a “true” Harry Potter fan, so are you.
By the way, if you really don’t want to know what happens, stay off the internet for a couple days. It won’t kill you.