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Power In A Song of Ice and Fire

A Song of Ice and Fire, famously translated into the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, is one of my favorite book series. The story is based heavily around the interpersonal connections between individual characters, which lends itself greatly to an analysis of a network of these characters. Much of the plot revolves around the relative amounts of power each character yields in society throughout the story.

The article linked above uses the text of A Song of Ice and FIre to determine which characters are the most important as the series goes on. It does this by creating a network of all of the characters in the series. Each character is represented by a node, and a an edge is added between two characters if their name is mentioned within 10 words of each other. In the following graphic, the more edges a character has connecting to it, the larger the character’s node becomes.

This article ranks the importance of the characters in 3 different ways. The first method is to rank the importance of characters based on how many neighbors they have. The author calls this degree centrality. Second, the author uses betweeness centrality, which measure the number of shortest paths between two nodes that pass through a character. Third, the article uses Pagerank, which was discussed at length recently in class. Pagerank evaluates the number of and importance of inlinks and outlinks for each node. The author later concludes that each of these methods has a have a high correlation to each other, suggesting that the outcomes of these methods are quite similar.

This graph and its analyses do a great job at analyzing the importance and relationships of nearly every character in A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s interesting to see that the one can make such accurate evaluations of the relative power of characters without having to actually read the books, just by creating this graph.



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October 2018