Death is to Game of Thrones what cookies are to cream.
Each season features character endings more unexpected and brutal than the last. But new study, published in the journal Injury Epidemiology, aims to decipher just how likely characters are to die on the show. The study recorded data on 330 characters, like their social status and religious beliefs, from each episode of the show so far, taking note of the circumstances of their death.
We all remember the “red wedding” and Joffrey’s untimely death before his own nuptials, but what factors influence a character’s death?
Study author Reidar Lystad said:
The risk of death is high among characters in Game of Thrones.
By the end of the seventh season, more than half of the characters had died – 186 out of the 330 characters we included in this study – with violent deaths being the most common by far
According to the study, switching allegiance makes you more likely to survive, whereas sticking to your beliefs increases chances of death. Females and “highborns” were more likely to stay alive than male characters or poor characters. With this in mind, iconic queen of Westeros Cersei Lannister could be the last one standing.
For the men, Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister all have increased chances of survival due to their social status and allegiance-swapping tendencies.
Remarkably, one in seven main characters were found to have died within the first hour of being introduced. The quickest death occurred in just 11 seconds. The average character lives for just 29 hours and just two deaths were from natural causes.
Though, if one thing’s for sure in Westeros, expect the unexpected. Because the outcome is likely to be far different from what most of us anticipate. Though, judging from this study, it seems like Cersei was right when she said: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die”.