J K Rowling: “No spoilers please!”

USA Today is reporting that fans of Harry Potter are upset that they have been receiving alleged spoilers for the final novel in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (due to be released July 21st, 2007).

“If Harry dies, we don’t want to know about it until J.K. Rowling decides to tell us,” Leaky Cauldron webmaster Melissa Anelli wrote. “And if you decide to tell us before that, you’ll incur the wrath of a staff of almost 200, most of whom have been waiting almost 10 years for these final revelations and can NEVER get back the moment you rob by spoiling them.”

“That’s some wrath right there. We own pitchforks, hot wax and feathers. And we’re not afraid to use them.”

I find this fascinating because a large “spoiler” culture exists with fans of movies and tv shows among. I’ll never forget reading fan websites of Survivor when it was in its second season and seeing how much time and effort the fans spent analysing every tiny part of every screen cap from every second of the 2 minute “next week on survivor” teasers each week. The game was in the analysis of editing techniques, visual clues from the screen cap, and a real knowledge of media literacy.

In this case, I think the fans love to predict and hypothesise from clever analysis of plot and character and author, but they really do not want to be spoonfed these things by somebody who works at the publishing company. There’s a difference between good spoiling and bad spoiling!

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