Secrets behind 'Game of Thrones' unveiled by data science and network theory

Something a little different, and too fun not to shate. :smiley:

Fluffy description:


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This is really cool. @Kristel and @ccreyes take a look at this.

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This is really interesting. Especially the effectiveness of keeping things “realistic” in a fantasy novel

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It seems that after years/decades of High Fantasy popularity, the nitty-gritty of GoT was primed for huge success.

“Nitty-gritty” fantasy has been around for several decades. Glen Cook’s Black Company series immediately comes to mind, as does the shared world of Thieves’ World. I can vaguely remember slogging through the first couple of GoT books when the first came out, but they did nothing for me, and I quickly came to detest the TV series.

I’ve read a bit of Glen Cook - LOVED the Black Company and wish I could find some more. Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire books were also very good (in my opinion). Talk about a flawed protagonist!!

Edit - sorry, I forgot to address your first point, I got too excited. Yes, the “low fantasy” has been around for a very long time, but I think that was the main appeal for the HBO series. Most of the myriad of fans were probably not deeply into fantasy in the first place.

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The defintions of “high” and “low” fantasy tend to be varied and often conflicting. Wikipedia defines “high fantasy” as “defined by the epic nature of its setting or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, or plot” – which GoT certainly fits. It is also ‘high’ fantasy in that it concentrates on the ruling houses, rather than the front lines, as Black Company does. This also renders it far less ‘nitty gritty’.

I think what appealed in it was a combination of its ‘epic’ (i.e. High Fantasy) setting contrasted with the (to an unrealistic extreme, in my opinion) bloodthirsty and back-stabbing plotlines – it was rather like a high fantasy version of (the TV super-soaps) Dallas or Dynasty, but on Crystal Meth.

I’m not familiar with Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire books I’m afraid. It has since occured to me that Low Fantasy goes back even further, to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, which were written between the 1940s and 1980s. I tried them early on, but again they did little for me, but they are obviously an early marker in the genre.

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I’m not much of a literature guy, so I was probably working on a faulty concept. I had pictured “high fantasy” as emphasizing a clear set of virtuous protagonists and evil antagonists, along with the epic themes.

I think its more a fact of conflicting definitions muddying the water.

Yes, and I’ve seen similar usages here and there. I think the pure form of the genre you describe died out fairly quickly, and even later ‘heroic quest’ genre series tended to give their ‘heroes’ flaws and vices in order to humanise them. The later series listed in Wikipedia’s ‘High Fantasy’ article are clear examples of this. The protagonist of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is described as “an embittered and cynical writer, afflicted with leprosy and shunned by society”. The protagonist of The Begariad is an often-whiny boy, his eventual wife is a spoiled brat, the quest’s leader is a hard-drinking, petty-thieving, hard-work-shirking, lying scoundrel, etc.

Ah yes, I had forgotten Thomas Covenant. He was definitely a little flawed, but I would have still considered the series high fantasy for the morality he strived for. This is a great conversation to bring to mind how much I enjoyed a lot of these books.

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@cwhenderson and @Tim

Cook’s Black Company series went on too long, IMO. The final books give some closure, but are not nearly so engaging as the first 6(?).

I recommend skipping The Silver Spike. It’s good, and wraps up the fate of a few important characters, but is not necessary to the continuing story. I can’t explain this opinion, spoilers.

Ha! I usually limit myself to what i can access through the library, but I may have to make an exception in this case. I really enjoyed what I’ve read of the Black Company books and now you have me curious! Darn you, Dan!!

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I heard some time ago that they were making a TV series based upon the Black Company, with Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as The Lady. No news on it recently however.

If they do, then they’d better get the card games right!

Ah the infamous Tonk.

It does however seem sufficiently similar to poker, and the mechanics of it (as opposed to the social aspects) get sufficiently little mention of it in the books, that I think it shouldn’t be much problem. Due to the compression necessary for turning the written into the visual, it’s likely that we won’t see too much of the game itself anyway – it’ll be something happening off in the background of more important action and/or what characters are doing when summoned for some emergency.