Mathematicians have revealed that the main character of Games Of Thrones is Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister, followed by Kit Harington's Jon Snow and Sophie Turner's Sansa Stark. Andrew J Beveridge, mathematics professor at Macalester College, and undergraduate researcher Jie Shan came to their conclusion after they mapped the relationship dynamics of the characters in George RR Martin's third book in the series — A Storm Of Swords.
The two mathematicians were able to figure out the characters' ties, including families, foes, allegiances, romance and geography, by applying network science, which is a new and evolving branch of applied graph theory that uses many disciplines such as sociology, economics, physics, computer science and mathematics. With the help of network science, the duo were able to figure out every link between characters based on their names appearing within 15 words of each other in the book.
"This is a fanciful application of network science," Beveridge told Quartz. "But it's the kind of accessible application that shows what mathematics is all about, which is finding and explaining patterns. We didn't tell it what the communities were, the network actually tells you what the communities are," he said.
"Acting as the Hand of the King, Tyrion is thrust into the centre of the political machinations of the capitol city," the researchers wrote. "Our analysis suggests that he is the true protagonist of the book."
According to the study, Snow was the second most important character followed by Sansa.
"Jon Snow is uniquely positioned in the network, with the connections to highborn lords, the Night's Watch militia, and the savage wildlings beyond the wall," the researchers wrote.
"The real surprise may be the prominence of Sansa Stark, a de facto captive in King's Landing. However, other players are aware of her value as a Stark heir and they repeatedly use her as a pawn in their plays for power. If she can develop her cunning, then she can capitalise on her network importance to dramatic effect," the researchers explained.