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Let's review: Basic etiquette for discussing Game of Thrones at work or school

Don't be a jerk

Picture this: It's a Monday morning. You're already feeling pretty blah because you couldn't sleep in, the subway was late and when you did eventually get on the right train, you were forced to listen to someone's awful music because they refused to wear headphones.

You brush it off, walk into your office and try to tell yourself that you won't let a less-than-stellar morning get your week off to a bad start. But just as you're about to take a sip from the coffee that you waited over ten minutes for at a crowded Starbucks, someone from across the room shouts out the latest twist on last night's episode of Game of Thrones that you haven't seen yet. Mondays.

It can be difficult to talk about a show like Game of Thrones, which usually packs in at least one major event per episode, in a public place. You want to be able to share your excitement or disappointment with friends and co-workers, but you also want to be respectful of those around you who haven't had a chance to watch the episode yet. What do you do?

To try and help you out when deciding when it's safe to talk about what happened, where it's safe and who it's safe to have these conversations with, here's a list of hopefully helpful do's and don'ts.


  • Do start off the conversation by using an airhorn to loudly and obnoxiously signify that for the next ten minutes you'll be talking about Game of Thrones and people should evacuate the immediate area if they don't want to learn who died, who didn't die, and who may have died but also may not have died.
  • Do organize a secret, exclusive group of friends that you know are going to watch it Sunday night and plan to get your morning bagel at the same time so you can discuss it while waiting in line and annoying the barista, who unbeknownst to you, has not seen the episode yet.
  • Do consider using group text, Facebook chats or Slack rooms to make sure only those that want to be in the chat are included. Double points for talking strictly with emoji. You'll just need swords and smiley faces with x's for eyes.
  • Do consider using the term "REDACTED" when talking with others who have seen the show in an attempt to show solidarity with others who have not. For example, "It sucks that REDACTED had to fight REDACTED and then got REDACTED."
  • Do consider using adorable children to convey what you feel because it's much harder to be angry at an excited child who should not be watching the show anyway for spoiling it than it is your co-worker.
  • Do host weekly Monday morning parties where talking about the show is turned into a fun contest with prizes. It is, after all, a "game of thrones." People aren't usually as upset if they're getting a free waffle iron out of it. Trust me.
  • Do think about recapping the entire thing in Dothraki. That way, only you can understand it, but you'd be the envy of at least two friends. Fair warning, the other ones may choose to disassociate with you.
  • Do consider holding off on talking about the show until Tuesday. After that, it's fair game.


  • Don't wait until that one co-worker who doesn't have HBO or HBO Now walks in until you start talking about the show. They may have had a terrible subway ride where they were forced to listen to someone's terrible music because that person refused to wear headphones.
  • Don't tweet, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or use any of the other thousand social apps out there to post major spoilers. Your "It will Snow again" caption on a photo of Kit Harington that uses a completely inappropriate filter isn't as clever as you think it is.
  • Don't reenact what happened in the previous episode by using makeshift props. You don't want to be the reason there's no more scotch tape lying around when someone really needs it.
  • Don't ask someone if they saw the episode, and then before they have a chance to watch it, dive into what happened in explicit detail while ignoring the look of death they're sending your way.
  • Don't gloat about having watched it. No one likes a braggart, especially if they haven't seen the most recent episode of Game of Thrones and it's been ruined for them by someone with access to an HBO Go password.
  • Don't yell across the room about something that's happened. Actually, don't yell across the room in general. There's no reason to yell across the room.
  • Don't be a jerk, and remember that Game of Thrones isn't about who saw it first but about who can memorize the most names of people who have been killed off. They are the true heroes.

With that being said, do enjoy Game of Thrones. Just do so a little bit quieter.