Do we have a distinct policy towards the separation of TV works, and the details of the books/comics/source material?
I say this not only for 'spolier' purposes, but because books and their developed media content often offer different continuities, which can result in inaccuracy.
The MCU is a good example of this (borrowing certain elements from different books) but perhaps more pertinent is Game of Thrones.
If someone asks a question about the TV show, is it good etiquette to put anything referring to the books in spoilerboxes, or at least draw attention to the distinction between different medium?
I say this because not only do we have cases of people bringing in book continuity details to explain plot points within the series, but they are also liable to create conflicts of information as the TV series develops slightly differently from the narrative of the novels.
As the Sci-Fi stack has plenty of GOT material floating around in it, have we established that our ostensible remit is to discuss the live action series (although referencing the books is at times highly appropriate, if not encouraged), but try to redirect content about the Books over to Sci-Fi?
Do we feel that something like this would in some way impede of limit the M&TV site?
I'm all ears as to what the community thinks, but I think something needs to be codified to separate the distinction between the Series and the Books: they do, after all, have separate Wiki's for this very purpose, should we effectively fall in line?
I think we would need to be careful to ensure questions do not get closed (this shouldn't be manifested as pedantry!), but are modified accordingly and users reminded of this etiquette, if indeed we agree to implement it.
If anyone is still unclear, I think this is a very good example from SystemDown of striking that balance: he provides an answer that recognizes the difference in continuity, and takes steps to hide spoiler material from the books, also.
Even TylerShads answer is perfectly acceptable, as it includes information from the books that doesn't spoil the TV series, only enhances it. Two successful approaches towards the same problem, but successful because they recognize the difference of orientation between content.
Particularly after hearing Keen's response to the Proposition over on Sci-Fi and Fantasy I've realized that people may be misinterpreting the goal of this discussion; perhaps in part due to my unsuccessful clarification.
In order to remedy this, I'm including an anecdote about my own experiences to provide a frame of context. Hopefully, this will render the situation in a relatable way, and explain that this isn't something being pursued for dogmatic or Bureaucratic purposes, but in order to protect a certain experience.
My first exposure to Game of Thrones was the TV series. I tuned in, not expecting a great deal, and (to be honest) it took me a few weeks to really understand how superior it was to any of its contemporaries. I was suitably impressed: not only with the plot details, the political allegories and the existential ruminations on the locality of power, but in the way the series was constructed.
As someone coming from an background of Film Academia, I'm often interested in the construction and craftsmanship involved in such work, and was immediately charmed by the way in with GoT demonstrated not only an awareness of but also a wilingness to manipulate the perspective of the Audience to give momentum to the plot.
It was bold, non-condescending and brilliantly rendered. I was defenseless to its charms.
I had questions about minor plot points, and like so many people who come here, I was directed to the books for answers, which I duly began to read. This was between seasons 2 & 3, overlapping into the start of Season 3.
The books were incredible, I was hooked and fascinated, and they truly did render the world in starker (sorry for the pun) detail. I loved them, and resolved to complete the series...
Then this happened:
I had never experienced anything like my reaction, it was unprecedented. Stunned, with my hand over my mouth, I watched with baited breath as it happened. I wasn't alone. I still remember finding myself stood up in front of the TV, with no memory of actually getting to my feet.
It wasn't neccesarily the revelation contained within the episode (although, lets face it, it was fantastic), but the way it was enacted that caused such an incredibly visceral reaction.
The look on Michelle Fairley face utterly disarmed me; it was such a human reaction to utter despair, total loss. There is something called the 'wow shot', used (particularily by Spielberg) to try and align the reaction to a spectacle of the audience with the characters on screen.
It's often attempted and rarely successful, but I still maintain that this scene was the quintessence of it's purpose.
Catelyn's surprise totally mirrored my own, and her eventual fate just felt like it had been numbed by the few minutes preceding it. It was a perfect positive example of 'starting with the head'...
This is, from my experience, perhaps the most effective scene in TV history. The situation is built by aggregate, and actual images of barbarity are unprecedented.
I would give anything to experience something like that again. It was such a unique and devastatingly traumatic (in a good way) encounter; and rare to see it so well done.
I walked into work, and could immediately tell which of my colleagues had anticipated (through reading the books) this episode, and to which it had been (like me) a totally debilitating surprise. The latter were identified easily as the ones climbing the walls and rolling around in agony.
In gauging the different experiences, I resolved not to read any further into the books. I wanted to find myself climbing the walls again, I wanted to see if GoT would ever elicit that incredible "wow" reaction in my gut again, so I made the conscious decision to stop reading.
I recognized the difference, and realized that (while the books were awesome), they would never be able to provoke anything near that reaction. It's an experience exclusive to the Film medium, because it employs imagery in its craftsmanship, and privileges that experience like no other visual medium.
Although this example just pertains to GoT, I know there are plenty of other examples where this distinction is important.
I value that moment so much, I would do anything to sustain it, and to protect it. I'd like to think I'm not alone, and others are as passionate as this; even if they don't want to come here and vote directly on it.