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Numbers tell tales on ‘Game of Thrones’

"Game of Thrones" title

“Game of Thrones,” the HBO sword-sorcery-and-sex series that begins its seventh season tonight, has spawned a geekier kind of game: doing data analytics to study who’s on top and who’ll get the ax (figuratively and literally).

The Wall Street Journal delved deeply into the data geekery last week, noting that fans have recorded the screen time and other statistics for nearly 200 notable characters over the course of the past 60 episodes. Intricate algorithms seek to correlate the characters’ characteristics with their chances of surviving the poison pens wielded by book author George R.R. Martin and the series’ screenwriters.

Indian data scientist Shail Deliwala ran the numbers and came up with several correlations. Some mesh with common sense (for example, characters with lots of dead relatives are less likely to survive), while others mesh more with literary sense (for example, the larger the attacking force, the higher the chances that the defenders will prevail).

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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