Which Game of Thrones character has received the most screen time? A animated bar chart race

7 seasons. 67 episodes. An epic story, 55 hours in the making.

Game Of Thrones has been gracing our screens for 8 years now, spanning seven seasons, seven kingdoms, and hundreds of characters.

But in all these seven seasons, which character has received the *most* screen time (so far)?

The animated bar chart above will show you exactly this.

For each episode, you'll see the top 10 characters by “cumulative screen time” (total screen time in all preceding episodes).

(Watch out for when characters are killed off!)

The 8th final season of the show will be released in three weeks time (April 14th 2019)…

…use this video to “catch up” with the series so far ;)

Data Methodology.

The original source code for the animation came from @johnburnmurdoch of the Financial Times.

The original data source came from @j_lancaster’s massive data dump which can be found on his GitHub page.

When I looked inside @j_lancaster’s json file, I saw that it contained data for every episode within each season, and every scene within each episode.

And crucially, for every scene, there existed data for:

  • the length of that scene in seconds (e.g., Season 1 - Episode 2 - Scene 35: “64 seconds”)

  • the list of characters in that scene (e.g., Season 1 - Episode 2 - Scene 35: “Jon Snow, Eddard Stark, Robb Stark”)

This meant that if we tagged each scene with the names of the characters who appeared in it, we could get a pretty good estimation of screen time per character (e.g., for Season 1 - Episode 2 - Scene 35: Jon Snow, Eddard Stark, Robb Stark received an estimated 64 seconds of screen time each.)

(Caveat: as scenes typically don’t feature just one character in shot at all times, the screen time figures used in this visualisation are to be treated as estimates - though, pretty decent estimates at that!)

When we pivot, merge, join, concatenate and accumulate this data for every character, in every scene, in every episode, in every season of Game of Thrones, what we end up with one single csv file (it was pretty large) containing estimated screen time data for:

  • 7 seasons

  • 67 episodes

  • 3000+ scenes

  • 500+ characters

In other words, we broke down ~55 hours of Game of Thrones footage by season, episode, scene, and character.

The data wrangling was done in house by Jack Merlin Bruce using Python and Jupyter Labs (using a combination of Python’s json and pandas modules).

And finally, it was a case of co-opting @johnburnmurdoch's wonderful D3.js source code to fit our own dataset 🤙

In Westeros, characters jostle and battle for control of the Iron Throne.

In this animated bar chart, characters jostle and battle for the top position.

By Jack Merlin Bruce

Data Visualisation Designer @ Type A Media

P.S. Bonus points for whoever can work out which infamous Game Of Thrones scene these emojis refer to:

⛰ => 🐍:  💪💆‍♂️🤯🤕☠️