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Networks in Game Of Thrones

http://www.npr.org/2016/04/16/474396452/how-math-determines-the-game-of-thrones-protagonist

Game Of Thrones is one of the most popular tv shows on air right now. A notable aspect of Game Of Thrones is that there are so many characters and storylines on the show that there is not necessarily one sole main character/protagonist. It is even more known for killing off characters that many may have perceived as being the main protagonist of the show. Mathematicians Andrew Beveridge and Jie Shan set out to figure out who is the main protagonist of Game Of Thrones by creating a large social network that outlines the connections between each character. However, they based their findings not off the entire series, but instead off of the third book in the series, A Storm Of Swords.

In their network each of the 107 characters they deemed relevant is given a node. An edge exists between two nodes if the two characters’ names appear within 15 words of each other. The more times these names appeared together the thicker the edge was between the nodes. There was no indication of whether these edges were positive or negative thus the graph purely showed the connections between characters without any insight on structural balance. However, we can observe structural closer. If we think of the thicker edges as strong bonds than we can observe several instances of strong triadic closure, where there is a thinner edge (weaker bond) between nodes that have a thick edge (strong bond) between the same node. We can also see clear divides in the graph between clusters of strong bonds. These difference clusters, which are indicated in the graph with different colors, actually represent the different main storylines in the series. Overall, this graph provides meaningful insights as to who the main character of the season is and shows evidence of strong triadic closure.

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