Looker Blog : Data Matters

Data of Thrones Part IV: Were our Season 7 Game of Thrones Predictions Right?

The Looker Team

Apr 3, 2019

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’re likely as excited as we are about the upcoming eighth and final season of the series. There are so many questions we still have that we’re eager to (hopefully) get answered!

As we anxiously await the results of winter’s arrival, we decided to pull a Viserion and resurrect our predictions from 2017. With an updated Game of Thrones data set and model, we went back to find out how our data-based, totally unscientific predictions for Season 7 of GoT fared in the #dataofthrones.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS AND EDUCATED GUESSES AHEAD


Prediction 1: Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 7 will have a lot of deaths.

Result: We were WRONG.

In our previous analysis, we saw a death-related data trend and predicted to see that continue, specifically hypothesizing that episode 7 would be deadliest in season 7.

To our surprise, season 7 kicked the death trend we’d previously seen to the curb. According to the all-knowing #dataofthrones, the highest number of named character deaths in the penultimate season actually occurred in the episode before the season finale. And when you think about it, that makes sense, since season 7 was largely setting the stage for what’s to come in season 8.

With that knowledge paired with the data, the deadliest episode of the series is likely to come in the final season and will break the record high of 9 named character deaths in 1 episode, which occurred in Season 6, Episode 10.

Prediction 2: Episode 4 is going to have a surprise death

Result: We were WRONG.

Although mid-season episodes were historically pretty deadly, Season 7, Episode 4 had no named character deaths. Instead, Season 7 had consistent, surprising deaths, the majority of which occurred during Episode 6.

Prediction 3: This season will not be as deadly as the final one

Result: We are PROBABLY RIGHT.

In our previous analysis, we found a trend of deadly seasons followed by a less deadly season. Shown in the data, season 7 ended up having the least amount of deaths in the entire series to date, which leads us to believe Season 8 will not only have more deaths than Season 7 — it may very well be the deadliest of them all.

Prediction 4: Eddison Tollett is going to do... something

Result: We are PROBABLY RIGHT.

While Eddison Tollet remains a character who’s shown up in a surprisingly high number of episodes, he didn’t crop up as much as we expected in season 7.

But hold on! When including Season 7 in our analysis of total screen time throughout the entire series, our trusty Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch still holds a high screen time — higher than Podrick Payne, Hodor, and Gregor Clegane. That’s pretty significant, wouldn’t you say?

We’re still unsure as to what exactly he’s out to do, but considering everything that happened in season 7, we have a feeling it’ll have to do with the breach of the wall and the good of the realm — in other words, some very worthy screen time.

Bonus Insight:

When we mapped screen time over season as a trend, we noticed that Eddison’s screen time trend has diverged from Jon Snow’s and is now trending similarly to some other key characters: Bran and Meera.

In addition, Jon’s new screen time trend is now similar to that of The Night King. No surprise there, since we know the face-off between these two factions is already upon us and can be expected to reach its climax in Season 8.

Prediction 5: Will Jon Snow survive with Sansa by his side?

Result: We were PROBABLY WRONG.

We previously noted Jon and Sansa were the only two characters of the main character group whose screen time has increased consistently in recent seasons. However, our interpretation of that trend to mean their time on screen in season 7 would continue to increase as a part of their shared storylines was wrong.

While Sansa’s triumphant return to Winterfell allowed Jon Snow to have the highest amount of screen time within a season to date, it was likely because this allowed Jon to leave his childhood home to recruit support for his campaign north of The Wall.

More interestingly, screen time for nearly all of our major characters reached series peaks in Season 7 except for Sansa. As the action is moving from Winterfell to the rest of Westeros and heading to The North, it makes sense that those that remained in Winterfell saw less on-screen action than the rest of the characters.

Prediction 6: Varys’ big plot will be revealed

Result: We were MOSTLY RIGHT.

While a big plot reveal wasn’t quite what we got from Varys’ appearances in season 7, we learned some interesting things from Varys that lead us to believe we were mostly right about this prediction.

When Daenerys confronts him about his poor show of loyalty in the past, Varys responds, “You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people.” It’s clear, now more than ever, that he has never been out to serve a single ruler, but rather chooses to serve the realm. He goes on to say, “I will dedicate myself to seeing you on the Iron Throne, because I choose you. Because I know the people have no better chance than you.”

So although a massive plot wasn’t necessarily revealed, we gained a bit more understanding into his rationale and motivations.

Going back to the data, we plotted some specific words Varys has spoken throughout the series against each other, to see if that’s actually the case. The percentage of times Varys mentions “Daenerys” (pink), “Cersei” (blue), and “throne” (yellow) are trending most closely to one another in Season 7 - perhaps hinting to the inevitable face-off between the Mother of Dragons and the former Queen Mother.

Prediction 7: This will be the end of Little Finger… if we see more of him

Result: We were RIGHT... but also kind of wrong.

We all collectively knew Littlefinger’s time was ticking; we just didn’t know with certainty when his end would come. In one of the most anticipated (though arguably least climactic) moments of season 7, Littlefinger was executed at the hands of Sansa and Arya Stark.

This confirms that our initial hypothesis was true: on-screen time is related to characters who will die. Littlefinger’s screen time for season 7 was at its 3rd highest for his character, right up until he was killed.

However, screen time has not shown to be the loudest signal for death. In fact, most major characters had upward trending screen time, regardless of the likelihood of their demise, shown here when we compare the screen time for Varys (alive) against Petyr (recently deceased).

Final Tally of Game of Thrones Season 7 Predictions

Right: 2.5; Wrong: 2.5

Half and half — not too bad! Some of our predictions were closer than others, while others left us still curious and wondering. Are there other trends in the data that exist and will ultimately contribute to the events in the final season?

Subscribe to our blog for more data stories, or share your Game of Thrones insights and predictions with @LookerData!


Disclaimer: Game of Thrones belongs to HBO and is not affiliated with Looker in any way.

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