by Graham Pierrepoint
If there’s a group of TV fans who hate spoilers, it’s those who watch HBO’s Game of Thrones. The controversial fantasy saga has clawed in millions of viewers from around the world and has more or less revolutionized adult drama over the past few years – few other TV shows have overstepped the line in terms of violence and nudity the way this show has – but on top of this, it has kept viewers captivated with tales of political intrigue, grey morality and complex characters. Therefore, having one or two moments spoiled really isn’t in the question for the majority of viewers. However – the show’s recent episode ‘Eastwatch’ may have done itself a disservice in its opening credits alone – thanks to the return of a long-missing fan favorite.
Gendry, portrayed by Joe Dempsie, is a character who was last seen rowing away four seasons ago – and his disappearance from the show’s vast line-up of characters has generated memes and jokes over the years which have taken on legendary status. The character’s return, therefore, could have come as a nice surprise – had the show not led with placing Dempsie’s name in the opening titles for the episode.
The show has opening titles which run for around a minute – and are therefore skipped by many watchers – but other avid viewers note that there are changes made to the map of the world that is shown in the opening reel based on episodes prior – making them cult viewing for the most hardcore of fans. However, those watching through the titles for ‘Eastwatch’ were immediately aware that Dempsie, and therefore Gendry, would be coming back to the show for the first time in four years.
While many other viewers, according to the Game of Thrones Reddit community, were pleasantly surprised, others were saddened to effectively be spoiled at the last hurdle – by the show itself! This is a strange phenomenon – but for many, it perhaps means that skipping the opening titles should now be on the cards each week.
Closing its landmark seventh season over the next two weeks, Game of Thrones has never been bigger – with only a handful of episodes left on the slate for its final season next year. This means, of course, that things are moving on the show at break-neck pace – but very few seem to be complaining about it!