Do you remember when the whole Internet was going nuts waiting for the Breaking Bad finale? Trading fan theories, speculating about character fates, hunting for spoilers? Well, imagine for a minute that the Internet (and broadcast media in general) doesn't exist and you're hearing this article as an internal monologue echoing against the four walls of your own mind. Imagine that, instead of sitting down to see the final episode pop up on your screen on Sunday night, you instead have to wait for it to be physically shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, arrive in some major shipping port, and then slowly be doled out to your local store via horse cart.
This was the exact situation faced by fans of Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shoppe, a weekly serial written by the author a few years after he'd made it his sovereign duty to earn every shred of his income by writing about adorable starving orphans.
They were the Johnny Depp to Dickens' Tim Burton.
Charles Dickens was a hugely popular author in his day, especially in the United States, sort of like J.K. Rowling and Stephen King riding a tandem bicycle. As any fan of serialized drama knows, people become very attached to the characters and almost ravenously desperate to find out what fate, cruel or otherwise, is going to befall them. The Old Curiosity Shoppe was no exception, and fans of the story urgently wanted to know what happened to a character known as Little Nell, so much so that thousands of Old Curiosity Shoppe fans lined the wharf where the book was being delivered and yelled at the sailors unpacking it, demanding to know Nell's fate, as if every single one of the barely literate crewmen had read the damn thing.
Meanwhile, in Dickens' home country of England, crowds of Old Curiosity Shoppe fans (we'll call them Shoppers) were so concerned for Little Nell that they actually gathered outside Dickens' house while he was writing the story and screamed desperate, commanding pleas at him not to kill her off. Amazingly, despite the wishes of all the obnoxious people yelling at him from outside his house, Dickens killed off Nell anyway, almost as if he'd already had a story in mind that he wanted to tell. Either that or he was just a cruel, bearded literary troll gleefully murdering characters for his own grotesque amusement.
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If anything happens to Tyrion Lannister, we can't be held responsible for our actions.
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Related Reading: Fan dedication is one thing, solving a riddle three movies before it's answered is something far more insane. And all that isn't nearly as impressive as the complete statistical analysis of all 900 Lord of the Rings characters. Those fans may have been crazy, but at least they weren't as obnoxious as these guys.