CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Algorithm predicts fans have not seen the last of a certain 'Game of Thrones' character

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Now science has given us the odds on both.

Spoiler alert: If you have yet to watch the season 5 finale of "Game of Thrones" and have also managed to avoid a year of headlines about the fate of one particular character, read on at your own peril.

The rest of us have been subject to months of speculation that Jon Snow may not be completely dead, despite being run through with cold, hard steel by most of the Night's Watch when we saw him last. Now, a machine learning algorithm designed by a team at the Technical University of Munich has analyzed data on all the characters in Westeros, both dead and alive, and concluded that it's very likely that Snow is actually a survivor.

The project, dubbed "A Song of Ice and Data," basically scrapes info from the online Wiki of Ice and Fire encyclopedia, which focuses largely on the series of books by George R.R. Martin, but also covers the HBO show they inspired. Using this data source, two dozen features of each character are statistically compared to try and figure out which features make a character most likely to die.

In other words, if a character who has yet to die in the storyline shares a lot of these features with a character who has already died, the algorithm assigns the still-living character a high probability of eventually biting it.

And by its calculations, the algorithm finds that Jon Snow's character only has an 11 percent chance of dying. That's quite low, especially when compared to the poor boy-King, Tommen Baratheon, who has a 97 percent chance of dying. I'll never understand why everyone wants that creepy Iron Throne so much.

Stannis Baratheon, Daenerys Targaryen, Davos Seaworth and Petyr Baelish round out the five characters statistically most likely to die. On the other side of things, Sansa Stark has only a 3 percent chance of dying, followed by Snow, Cersei Lannister, Mace Tyrell and Roose Bolton as the top survivors to bet on.

The good news is that in the massive world of Westeros, there's no shortage of characters. In fact, the statistical analysis looked at a total of 2,028 characters that play some part in moving the plot forward in the books. The HBO show also crams a lot of faces into each hour, with over 33 characters in each episode on average and almost 4 (3.88, to be exact) new characters introduced in each installment.

If you think you know better than some fancy computer who will die next on the show's season 6 premiere this Sunday, then you might also be the kind of person to check out our "Game of Thrones" quiz. We promise you have pretty close to a 100 percent chance of surviving it.

Close
Drag
Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF