Computer algorithms predict next characters to be eliminated in 'Game of Thrones'

April 20, 2016, Technical University Munich
Machine learning algorithms power predictions about the coming season of the TV-series "Game of Thrones." Credit: Christian Dallago

The rich worlds created in the TV series Game of Thrones (GoT) inspired a computer science class at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany: As part of their class project, the students developed applications that scour the web for data on Game of Thrones and crunch the numbers. Then they put together a website that reports which characters are most likely to die in the upcoming sixth season of the TV series.

Just ahead of the kickoff for season six, the students have implemented a project that answers questions preoccupying fans of the series: Has Jon Snow survived season five? Who is going to die next?

The students used an array of machine learning algorithms to answer these questions. The algorithm, which accurately predicted 74 percent of character deaths in the show and books, has many surprises in store, placing a number of characters thought to be relatively safe in grave danger.

Based on these predictions, there is a good chance that the villainous Ramsay Snow (64 percent likelihood of death) will outlive his runaway captive and mortal enemy Theon Greyjoy (74 percent likelihood of death). The algorithm also gives a very clear answer on the fate of Jon Snow, who was betrayed by his friends in the season five finale.

Machine learning and the Twitter seismometer

The website Got.show presents key data generated by the students' diverse machine learning tools compilation. The site also tracks and analyzes Twitter user sentiments on hundreds of GoT characters.

Beyond these predictions, the students also programmed an interactive map that allows fans to explore the Game of Thrones world and chart the journeys taken by major characters.

Game of Thrones Season 6 will premiere in USA on April 24th. It will also air in Germany in the night from April 24th to 25th on Sky, in both English and German.

Solving real-life problems with big data

"This project has been a lot of fun for us," says Dr. Guy Yachdav, who led the class and conceived the project. "In its daily work, our research group focuses on answering complex biological questions using and machine learning algorithms. For this project we used similar techniques. Only this time the subject matter was a popular TV show. The epic scale of the worlds created by George R. R. Martin provides an almost endless resource of raw multi-dimensional data. It provided the perfect setting for our class."

"Data mining and are tools that enable digital medicine to benefit from modern biology for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Turning to such a 'real life' challenge created a didactical jewel, winning students for these subjects," summarizes Burkhardt Rost, Professor of Bioinformatics at the Technical University of Munich. "And the interactive visual maps created in the project might open a new approach to data visualization that we will follow up scientifically."

Explore further: Mathematicians use 'Game of Thrones' to highlight the growing importance of network science

Related Stories

Mathematical model tackles 'Game of Thrones' predictions

September 30, 2014

Take events from the past, build a statistical model, and tell the future. Why not apply the formula to novels? Can contents in future books be predicted based only on data from existing ones? Richard Vale at the University ...

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.