How Data Science Can Uncover the Future of Game of Thrones?
By Afia Ahmad
It is irrefutable that the HBO series, Game of Thrones is a phenomenon that has the world captivated. Since its release in 2011, Game of Thrones has steadily garnered viewership, owing mostly to its bold, grotesque and unpredictable screenplay. The season 6 finale had a total viewership of 8.9 million, across the world. This cultural phenomenon has surpassed the entertainment industry and seeped into several others; people across various domains are intrigued by the factors that make Game of Thrones the exceptional success it is and Data Science is no exception. Data enthusiasts have taken to analytics, coding and machine learning to map, analyze and predict various aspects of the series.
Over the six seasons of Game of Thrones, a plethora of theories, predictions and patterns have been uncovered using data. Fans have predicted Ned Stark’s death to Jon Snow’s return from the dead. One of the most interesting results that came from combining Game of Thrones and Data Science was the creation of a computer algorithm that was capable of predicting the deaths in the series. Following this, mainstream media began releasing infographics and data sets about the patterns of death on Game of Thrones and how one could possibly predict the next. For instance, details such as the deadliest locations (King’s Landing with 322 deaths), deadliest killer (Cersei having killed 198 characters) and comparative data such as the possibility of death amongst men (33%) and women (23%) started surfacing and people started using these data sets to conceptualize their theories and predictions.
Predictions and theories have become a huge part of the fandom and, with the premiere of the new season the boom in it has only gone up. Fans and Data enthusiasts have come up with theories using spheres of data analytics such as pattern recognition, data mining, scrutinizing uncertainty, and visualization. Data aficionados believe that nothing about Game of Thrones is a random event and that with the right approach, one can clearly uncover its future. Some people have gone so far as to fly drones over the sets while filming occurred to gain and confirm their theories. While some resort to statistics and data patterns they manually extracted and observed over the last seasons, some strongly believe that Machine Learning can correctly predict the future of Game of Thrones.
Some of the theories and predictions for this season, backed by data gathered over the past six seasons are so grounded that one cannot refute them. For instance, this data predicts that this season’s heroes will be Sansa and Jon, based on characters’ screen time trend, mapped over the last six seasons:
( Source: https://looker.com/blog/data-of-thrones-part-iii)
Another intriguing prediction is that the episode 7 of the season would be the deadliest, if the series followed its story-arc peaking trend from the previous seasons. Some of the most plausible theories include ‘Jamie killing Cersei’, ‘The end of little finger’ and ‘Bran will bring The Wall down’. Each of these theories are backed by patterns and occurrences observed in the past.
Though there is a lot of debate on which aspect of Data Science can predict the future of Game of Thrones, there is no denying that Data Science is capable of it. The internet is filled with multiple predictions and analyses strongly grounded in data; George R. R. Martin has even admitted to the fact that the real ending has already been predicted by fans. Whether these predictions will come true, we will only know as the season progresses. For now, gear up because Winter is Here!
What are some of your predictions for this season of Game of Thrones? Tell us via comments!