Game Of Thrones Already Told Us How House Of The Dragon Ends (But That's Okay)

It won't surprise you to learn that Joffrey 'The Bastard King' Baratheon, aka one of the most-hated characters in modern TV, is still the absolute worst. His very long list of crimes includes murdering the honorable Ned Stark, torturing Sansa for seasons on end, treating everyone in his vicinity with vicious cruelty, threatening the innocent kitty, Ser Pounce, and a dozen other horrific moments that we've all tried to cleanse from our minds (RIP Ros). At some point, his offenses against humanity must end, right?! Especially since we all saw him choke to death on some pigeon pie like eight years ago.

But as it turns out, the little s*** has found a way to haunt us from beyond the grave.

During last week's controversial Q2 earnings call with Warner Bros. Discovery investors, CEO David Zaslav emphasized that excitement for "House of the Dragon" is continuing to build and mentioned (via Decider) that "rewatching of the original "Game of Thrones" is up dramatically on HBO Max." Fans heading back to Westeros probably assumed that they'd be safe from the threat of spoiler culture, but as we all know, Westeros is a dangerous land, where no one is ever safe ... unless they trade their humanity to become besties with a tree. Then they'll be fine.

But as for the rest of us, not even revisiting a story that takes place 200 years after "House of the Dragon" is safe. Don't get me wrong, It definitely should be —"Game of Thrones" was wrapped up before "House of the Dragon" was even fully conceived! There are two centuries separating their characters! But because he lacks any semblance of empathy (or understanding of spoiler culture), Joffrey once dropped a massive spoiler for a "House of the Dragon" with a random throwaway line.

Spoiler warning: The following includes a spoiler for a major character death in George R.R. Martin's book "Fire and Blood," and potentially "House of the Dragon."

Oops! Joffrey spoiled a royal death

In the fourth episode of the third season of "Game of Thrones," Joffrey decides to woo his wife-to-be, Margaery Tyrell, by showing off his obsession with dead conquerors. In between marveling at bones and sharing stories of cruelty, Joffrey stops in front of a crypt grate and points to some unseen ashes. And like the charmless beast he is, he laughs as he drops a major spoiler for the upcoming prequel series:

"Rhaenyra Targaryen was murdered by her brother. Or rather, his dragon. It ate her while her son watched. What's left of her is buried in the crypts right down there."

Most of the folks who are pumped about "House of the Dragon" have already seen this scene, but at that point — unless you were familiar with "Fire and Blood," which wasn't even released when season 3 first premiered — the name Rhaenyra Targaryen (played by Emma D'Arcy in the new series) meant nothing. She was just a random ancestor of future conquerer Daenerys Targaryen. But now we're all pumped about the prequel, and we know her to be one of the major players in the Targaryen civil war. She's the princess and a potential heir to the Iron Throne. Her name now carries weight and context. And thanks to Joffrey, her ending has been revealed.

If it makes you feel any better, Joffrey's very gruesome death is forever immortalized in an episode that's just one season later. Feel free to open HBO Max and watch him choke on poison as you seethe with rage.

How much does this spoiler really matter?

Knowing this one (albeit significant) detail isn't that big a deal, though. But hopefully, you know that already — otherwise, why did you keep reading? Surely no one who read past the headline and very blatant spoiler warning won't direct their anger back at this innocent website for writing an article that no one forced them to read in the first place?! But on the off chance that such an illogical person exists, then look on the bright side: this spoiler isn't the end of the world! There's so much more to a story than its predestined ending.

Although Joffrey drops the details of a major character death, it's completely divorced from the rest of the story. How does this dragon-eating scenario come to pass? Which of her brothers is responsible? At one point in her life does this even happen — during the war or 50 years after? And what happens next? Only those who've read the book (or scoured the internet for answers) know the truth. So even if you happened to stumble upon this key detail, you still don't know very much. 

As "House of the Dragon" slowly unfolds over the next couple of years, there will certainly be more spoilers to follow. Before "Game of Thrones" surpassed the events of the "A Song of Fire and Ice" book series, it was dangerous to even google character names, lest you stumble upon events the show hadn't yet covered. Not to mention all the book readers using phrases like "red wedding," as if that was an impossible code to crack. We're living in a media landscape packed with adaptations, where endings and details are easily stumbled upon and often available at whim. So it's only a matter of time before more details about the characters in "Fire & Blood" begin to emerge.

There are lots more spoilers where that came from

While it's always rude of people to needlessly spoil other people's journey through a story, even those spoilers can't steal the joy of watching the story unfold for the first time. Last year, in response to whatever spoiler outrage was trending that month, /Film's BJ Colangelo wrote very eloquently about why spoilers aren't the end-all-be-all. Her words are the perfect summation of this problem and why it doesn't matter as much as we often fear it will:

"Spoilers lack a crucial element in storytelling, and that's context. Sure, it sucked hearing "Bruce Willis was dead the whole time," when "The Sixth Sense" was spoiled for me as a youngster, but that spoiler doesn't include the emotional realization Willis' character has when he figures out the truth for himself. Finding out "Snape kills Dumbledore" was a disappointment, but it didn't include the context of Snape doing it at Dumbledore's request, which changed everything. Knowing these spoilers didn't ruin the stories, because the context surrounding these moments is what makes them effective. Without actually seeing the spoiler in action or having context, we can't know the execution of the scene, the tone, or see the reactions characters have to the moment ...all necessary cues to a moment's impact."

"House of the Dragon" premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, August 21, 2022.