Briana Hansen
April 16, 2016 1:43 pm

Any avid fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones knows better than to get too attached to any certain character. [Spoilers ahead] Ever since Ned Stark met his untimely end at the end of season 1, it’s been fair game to lose even the most beloved of characters at any moment. (Um, I’m still crying from the Red Wedding…)

So how, then, do you decide which character you can actually root for? I mean, one option is, of course, to just choose to love characters even though you know that they can die at any point.


Or, after enough heartbreaks, you can approach your emotional investment from a more logical standpoint. At least that’s what an associate professor of mathematics and undergraduate student at Macalester College did. Using a new field of research that studies how information flows through complicated networks, they studied created a grid for the Game of Thrones characters. In doing so, they determined who the technical “protagonist” of the story is.

Notice we said the “protagonist.” Not the one you should love the most. That’s a totally personal determination and we all know the “right” answer is obviously Daenerys (no matter what the math may say).


The results themselves were not super surprising. So who’s the mathematically most influential plot-driving and mentioned character with the more interactions than anyone? Your favorite wine-drinking, king-slapping Lannister, Tyrion.


It’s worth noting that these results studied only George R. R. Martin’s third book A Storm of Swords. But the results probably holds true for at least the TV series, too. Thinking about it, Tyrion has interacted with someone from almost every single corner of the seven kingdoms. He’s been to the Wall, hung with the Starks of the North, served as the (temporary) Hand of the King in King’s Landing, been represented in battle by Oberyn Martell of Dorne, and even seen a dragon while searching for (and eventually finding) Daenerys all the way in Meereen. Basically, he gets around.

And, let’s face it, while we love Jon Snow (who we maintain still somehow lives), we do have a pretty soft spot in our hearts for the highly intelligent and surprisingly brave Tyrion. Even if he is a Lannister.