Spoiler Alert: How Our Favorite Sites Are Ruining Our Favorite Shows

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The Hollywood Reporter's homepage after a big night for <em>Game of Thrones</em>

SPOILER ALERT: This article about spoilers contains spoilers for the second episode of Game of Thrones, season four. 

Dear Internet,

I know your job is hard. I know you’re all competing for clicks. I know it’s not in your nature to keep a secret. But please, please stop spoiling the shows I love. Or at least stop pretending you care about those of us who might still be in the dark.

Don’t get me wrong: you’re pretty much my best friend. But when I miss my favorite show, I need you to not give all the major plot points away within 12 hours. This Monday morning, having not seen the second episode of Game of Thrones’ new season, I felt like I was traversing a spoiler minefield online — every headline, article, image, and tweet a possible threat.

A big moment, you say? Hm. 

Oh right. Those two were planning a wedding, weren't they?
Hopefully this one is less, erm, red than the last.

Oh dear. 

Welp, that narrows it down. 

It wouldn’t take a warg to figure out what transpired, but pretty soon I wouldn’t need to figure much at all.

A headline at Vulture read "Primer: He Who Plays Game of Thrones’ Joffrey." Not bad, but then you see the the sub-head: “You might not be seeing much of Jack Gleeson going forward.” Really, Vulture? Why is that? Over on Entertainment Weekly’s homepage, a few too many images of an exceptionally obnoxious-looking Joffrey were accompanied by a "Game of Thrones: the 9 most satisfying deaths" post. And then there’s Rolling Stone who did away with any spoiler-alerting effort with its morning-after post titled “George R.R. Martin on Who Killed Joffrey.” 

As always, the coup de grâce was provided by BuzzFeed. The site wasn’t just interested in giving away the big surprise death at the end of the episode, but also forecast how the big death happened. A spoiler of future episodes! I didn't even know that was a thing. 

BuzzFeed's Game of Thrones coverage

Look, Internet, you're my favorite thing to do when I'm not off enjoying the TV and movies and music that I love talking about when I'm hanging out with you. These are the stories, characters, and sounds you and I care most about. So let's keep this relationship honest. You either tell me straight up what you saw last night (Rolling Stone-style) or do a better job of keeping it to yourself.

Slideshow: How the Internet ruined Game of Thrones this week

Entertainment Weekly tries for the subtle approach but still suggests a death.

( <em>Entertainment Weekly</em> )

New York Daily News tells us Game of Thrones killed off a major character.

( <em>New York Daily News</em> )

Gawker provides an image to suggest which major character died.

( <em>Gawker</em> )

Vulture is subtle on its homepage, but...

( <em>Vulture</em> )

...also not subtle at all.

( <em>Vulture</em> )

See if you can piece together what happened on Sunday’s Game of Thrones only using Monday’s Most Viewed articles.

( <em>Vulture</em> )

Rolling Stone goes straight for the gizzard and gives it all away.

( <em>Rolling Stone</em> )