WARNING – HERE BE SPOILERS!
We’ve had to wait over a year, but the final season of Game of Thrones is upon us and fans will at last learn how the epic fantasy ends (barring sequels, spin-offs, and other miscellaneous future cash-ins).
The first episode of season eight aired on Sunday night, but spare a thought for us poor Europeans, most of who couldn’t watch it until Monday evening, after spending the whole day at work desperately trying to avoid spoilers on the internet.
As you might expect, Twitter went wild with both anticipation and post show analysis, but as this minute-by-minute trendline shows, during broadcast the volume of tweets dipped as most people were no doubt glued to the screen.
We identified around 352,000 (English language) tweets about the show during the hour that it was broadcast, but if you extend the analysis period to include the hour before and after the show, that number rises to 1.4 million.
Looking only at tweets during the show and in the hour afterwards, we can see what fans thought of this episode and what the big moments were. This word-cloud has generic words removed (like the title of the show, and terms like “excited” or “season 8”) so we can focus on the things that really got people excited.
Clearly, the Twitter chatter is all about the key characters, and while this instalment was largely The Jon and Daenerys Show, it was Bran who was ultimately crowned King of Episode One, thanks to his reunion with Jaime Lannister and some world-class stink-eye.
But, when push comes to shove, the best way to understand how people really feel about the characters is to analyse the emojis they used in their tweets. So in this analysis we’ve compared the most common emojis in tweets featuring each of the main character’s names. We couldn’t do this for all of the characters, because this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about and if we analysed every character we’d run out of space on the internet.
So, in order of the highest volume of mentions each character got from the beginning of the show through to the hour after it finished, here’s how Twitter expressed itself…
Bran Stark – 120.5k Mentions
Bran spent most of this episode staring intensely at people and things, but just when you thought he couldn’t possibly stare any harder, Jaime Lannister came rolling into Winterfell Castle and the staring reached a whole new level.
Jon Snow – 77.4k Mentions
Jon is sad because nobody likes his new girlfriend, but at least he got to ride a dragon.
Daenerys – 62.4k Mentions
Oh look, here comes Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, strutting around like she owns the place – who does she think she is, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms?
Jaime Lannister – 36.3k Mentions
“Bran! Long time no see little buddy, how’s it going? Just thought I’d ‘drop’ in lol.”
Sam Tarly – 36k Mentions
Daenerys had some bad news for Sam, but he was all like “Oh, so you like dropping truth-bombs huh? Strap in then, because old Sam’s got some high-explosive factual information for you…”
Sansa Stark – 28.54 Mentions
Sansa pretty much just sulked for an hour, pausing occasionally to throw weak shade at her brother’s new girlfriend.
Arya Stark – 25.5k Mentions
Arya didn’t murder anyone for a whole episode, so we think she’s finally left her insatiable quest for violent retribution behind her, and we’re sure that thing she asked the blacksmith to make for her was just a particularly pointy table ornament.
Cersei – 17k Mentions
Cersei is sad because she wanted to see elephants, but the Golden Company didn’t have any, so to cheer her up a nice sailor showed her his elephant impression.
If we’ve learned anything from this it’s that people use the ‘crying laughing’ emoji way too much.
We’ll do more social media analysis of Game of Thrones as the season continues – if you’d like us to look at any particular areas, just let us know in the comments or on our social channels!
Header Image Credit: C.C. Chapman