Mathematicians Determine the True Protagonist of Game of Thrones

/ 2 years ago

game of thrones

With so many characters to track, across different continents, it’s easy for fans of the Game of Thrones series to become lost in a sea of names, let alone determine who the “hero” of the story is meant to be (if there is one). A new mathematical study, however, has examined the key players in Westeros and Essos in an attempt to determine the story’s protagonist.

Mathematicians Andrew Beveridge and Jie Shan of Macalester College have applied “network science” – a new form of graph theory – to A Storm of Swords, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, looking at character connections and influence within that story to find its lead.

So, according to maths, the star of the book is…


The “imp”, Tyrion Lannister.

“In our network, three characters stand out consistently: Tyrion, Jon, and Sansa. Acting as the Hand of the King, Tyrion is thrust into the center of the political machinations of the capitol city. Our analysis suggests that he is the true protagonist of the book,” the mathematicians write in their Network of Thrones study.

game of thrones maths

While the study offers an interesting angle on which characters are truly driving George R.R. Martin’s epic sprawl forward, Game of Thrones deliberately eschews the concept of a “protagonist”: anything can happen to any character in The Known World, by design. Anyway, we all know the true hero is Hot Pie.


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