Page 3 model: Game of Thrones

Using graph theory to predict who will sit the iron throne


Images: Welsh dragon: Wikimedia commons user Sodacan, CC BY-SA 3.0; Ice road: Ian Mackenzie, CC BY 2.0.

Be warned: this article is dark and full of spoilers.

One of the best parts of getting into a series is getting to know and love the main characters. However, in Game of Thrones (or A Song of Ice and Fire, for you purists), this can be a heart-breaking activity. Who will survive to the end and who will bite the dust? No one knows, but perhaps maths can lend a hand.

Image: Andrew Beveridge

Andrew Beveridge and Jie Shan used network theory to investigate who the main characters of Game of Thrones are. The diagram above shows all the interactions between characters during the seventh series: the larger characters are more central, as determined by the PageRank algorithm.

However, it only takes one swing of an axe to drastically change the network…

Eleanor is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester. A mathematician by training, she works on developing mathematical models to improve our understanding of biological mechanisms in medicine, with particular interests in women’s health and autoimmune conditions. When not doing mathematics, she crochets, sews and reads everything and anything.

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