Since the beginning of the series, much has already been noted about the “woman problem” in Game of Thrones, from how the show may lean into gender stereotypes, to killing off female characters in one fell swoop (or season).
Thanks to our analysis on GoT screentime, we were able to validate, through data, that GoT women got less screentime than their male counterparts. And even though average screentime for female characters is higher than for male characters, it was because there are fewer speaking and leading roles for women than men.
With female characters poised to steal the show in GoT’s final season — especially considering the most recent episodes — we decided to revisit our gender analysis with the added context of scene-level and script data we now have in #DataOfThrones.
Read on to learn what we found in our gender analysis dashboard of GoT script and scene-level data, but be warned: SPOILERS AHEAD!
To even the playing field between male and female characters, we took the top 15 speakers of each gender based on the number of lines each spoke. The result?
Even though we already knew men get more screentime than women, the results still surprised us. When looking at the top 30 speakers by line count in Game of Thrones scripts, men speak 29% more lines than women.
But even more surprising, is that dead male characters have more lines than female characters who are still alive. By the end of season 6, Ned Stark still has more lines attributed to him than Yara both Ygritte combined.
No matter how we sliced it, male characters consistently had more words than their female counterparts. They’ve spoken 0.7 more words per line, 2 more words per scene, and 4.3 more words per minute than female characters.
So what were all those words that men were saying but women weren’t? And vice versa?
When we analyzed the words more likely spoken by a specific gender, we found some curious results.
Male characters tended to have more masculine-centered words in the analysis, like “men,” “man,” “king,” and “lord.” However, female speakers were likely to use proper nouns like “loras” and “joffrey,” which lines up closely with another popular word for female speakers: “husband.”
While we found “men,” “time,” and “come” in our male words analysis, the leading female words were “leave” and “please.” And it was a quite a delight to discover that female speakers used the words “stupid,” “liar,” and “oysters” more than men.
Our favorite find here? The starkest (pun intended) difference is the appearance of “arya” in the female word list. We hope it’s a foreshadowing of what’s to come.
Even if you don’t watch the show or read the books, you might have heard how GoT is a very sexy and violent show. We personally have still not gotten over the death of a certain dad in season 1.
Thanks to our scene-level data, we can now compare deaths to sex, and what kind of sex these characters are having. So what did the data tell us?
Turns out how you die inGame of Thrones is (kind of) gendered for the top 30 speakers. Male characters tend to die a more bloody death (so much stabbing!), while female characters tend to die in more creative ways like poison, wildfire, and Moon Door.
The “type of sex” data revealed just how medieval-inspired the story and the Game of Thrones world is. Not only were female characters more likely to be involved in romantic (love) sex, but they were also more likely to be in sex scenes that are categorized as rape. Male characters, on the other hand, are more likely to have paid sex, as well as fun and “served” sex. We’ll leave it to you to figure out who is having which type of sex.
Interestingly find in this data — the data only associates “incest” with a female character, even though we know it takes (at least) two to tango.
Want to dive in yourselves? Start exploring our Game of Thrones Gender Analysis dashboard. We can’t wait to see what you find!
|Female characters||Male characters|
|Cersei Lannister||Tyrion Lannister|
|Daenerys Targaryen||Jon Snow|
|Sansa Stark||Jaime Lannister|
|Arya Stark||Petyr Baelish|
|Brienne of Tarth||Samwell Tarly|
|Catelyn Stark||Davos Seaworth|
|Margaery Tyrell||Theon Greyjoy|
|Yara Greyjoy||Tywin Lannister|
|Lysa Arryn||Sandor Clegane|
Disclaimer: Game of Thrones belongs to HBO and is not affiliated with Looker in any way.