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<   No. 1632   2007-07-16   >

Comic #1632

1 [caption]: Spoiler warning: The final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
1 {scene: Ron and Professor McGonagall stand on a beach, watching Harry ride a horse into the distance.}
1 Ron: What will he find out there, Professor?
1 Professor McGonagall: His destiny.
2 {Harry rides along the beach.}
3 Harry: {stopping his horse} Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it.
4 Harry: {kneeling on the sand next to the horse} You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell! {Further along the beach is the remains of the Statue of Liberty, half buried in the sand.}

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I hope it's obvious that this is not really a spoiler for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Of course the book isn't even out yet, and I have no idea how it will end, so it's not even possible for me to spoil it.

I must say, I think people get a bit too worked up about spoilers sometimes. I've had several things spoilered for me. I know who did it in The Usual Suspects, despite not having seen the movie yet (I do plan to see it one day). I know what Rosebud is. I knew what the Maltese Falcon was before I saw the movie. I knew Spock died before I saw Wrath of Khan. I knew what would happen at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before I read it, because I accidentally saw it mentioned somewhere in the media blitz that accompanied the release of that book. I knew how Casablanca ended before I saw it.

And it hasn't ruined my enjoyment of any of those works.

Now, I don't go around deliberately spoiling things for people. I won't be mentioning anything that really happens in Deathly Hallows until well after the release date. But I figure a year or so after release is plenty of time for anyone who actually cares about spoilers to already know them. I have no compunction whatsoever in revealing significant events in Half-Blood Prince now, for example.

There has to be some reasonable limit beyond which you can talk about events from some fictional work without people yelling at you about spoilers. I recall a friend of mine got abused for revealing a plot point of a Shakespeare story, for Pete's sake.

And I certainly feel no need to avoid spoilers for a certain classic movie released in 1968.

2017-10-18 Rerun commentary: That classic 1968 movie is, of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yeah, sorry, if you haven't seen it, it ends with a guy on a beach cursing at a half-buried Statue of Liberty.


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