The notoriety of “Game of Thrones” in killing off the key characters is preposterous. Every time they make you fall in love with a character, it is indubitable that the person will not see the light of the next season/book. With five seasons and a couple of books down, the only pardonable mischief at this point can be the death of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) for obvious reasons and Sean Bean’s reputation.
This gets all back to one question, who will make it to the end? Who is the one true hero of them all? Ain’t nobody’s gonna ask the author George RR Martin, but will ask Andrew J Beveridge, an associate professor of mathematics at Macalester College, and Jie Shan, an intrepid undergrad. All because they didn’t turn to books but turned to Math.
The duo decided to turn the world of the “Game of Thrones” books into a social network using network science, a branch of applied graph theory that draws from several disciplines, including economics, sociology, and, computer science, to examine how information flows from one thing to another.
“This is a fanciful application of network science,” Beveridge told Quartz. “But it’s the kind of accessible application that shows what mathematics is all about, which is finding and explaining patterns.” Their research, entitled “Network of Thrones,” is published in the Mathematical Association of America’s publication, Math Horizons.
After a grueling assessment which started with linking two characters appeared within 15 words of one another, creating a network structure to segregate them to communities, and ranking them resulted in establishing that Tyrion Lannister, the sharp-witted, marginalised member of powerful house Lannister is the most important character.
Tyrion was followed by Jon Snow, the (former) head of the Night’s Watch and bastard son of Eddard Stark, and then Sansa Stark, one of Eddard’s daughters, who finds herself in several precarious situations throughout the story.
The results aren’t too surprising, given that Tyrion has the most point-of-view chapters in the book series. Daenerys Targaryen’s ranking was hindered a bit by being isolated on the continent Essos, away from most of the main action on Westeros. “Daenerys really represents the future—you can see what’s about to happen based on the people she’s linked with,” Beveridge argued.