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OM in the News: Killing Off Game of Thrones’ Characters

October 11, 2014

Jon_snowIf you are a fan of the HBO show, Game of Thrones, this post may be of great interest!  The show kills off almost as many characters each season as it introduces. The most iconic scenes, like “The Red Wedding,” are ones in which the show mercilessly kills off beloved characters quickly and without warning. We fans love to guess who will die next.

Game of Thrones is based on the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin. As the series is a fairly faithful adaptation, fans of the show often look to the books for clues about what will happen in the upcoming season. Now a professor at the University of Canterbury has applied statistics to analyze the books and establish probability distributions for who will die next (Vox, Oct. 2, 2014). For example, there’s a 38% chance that Jon Snow will have no chapters in the next book, but a 67% chance in the 6th book, meaning that Jon Snow may be dead by the end of the 6th book. The graphs below show a prediction of how many chapters each character will get in Winds of Winter.

Classroom discussion questions:

1. Does Jon Snow have about as much chance of survival as the other major characters?

2. What are the weaknesses of this model?

 GOT shot


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