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Who will die next? This is one of the main questions that occupy fans of the US series "Game of Thrones." Computer science students from Munich have developed an algorithm that answers this question.
In a programming course, students at the Technische Universität in Munich developed applications that search the internet for information on "Game of Thrones" and then recycle it. According to the university, the resulting program can determine the probability of which character from the series will die next as the series unfolds.
The students have published the results of their findings in the internet.
Guy Yachdav, a big fan of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" and a PhD student at TU Munich had the idea for the unusual project. "Many have written to us that the project finally shows what can be done with our studies - finally something that doesn't have to do with finance," he says.
How likely is death?
"We tested 24 characteristics - for example, how many relatives of the character are already dead," explains one of the researchers, Tatyana Goldberg. "It turned out: If the mother is already dead, this will increase the likelihood that the character itself dies too."
Another risk factor is the gender of the character. "Men are more likely to die," she adds. And the age of the character plays a major role as well. "Between the ages of 20 and 40 the character is most likely to be killed. If a character has managed to get past the age of 40, he's safe," says Goldberg.
An important criterion is also the importance of the figure, explains the Italian student Christian Dallago. The main source of information for the computer sciences students was the online database "Game of Thrones Wiki," which is run by an acquaintance of the series' author, George R.R. Martin. "He told us that our project is very exciting. But we are not sure that Martin also knows our project."
Predictions for the sixth season
The algorithm that the students have developed has proven true for 74 percent of all recent deaths in the series. If the results continue to be right then the outlook in the sixth season, which starts Monday (25.04.2016), is particularly bad for Tommen Baratheon (97 percent mortality rate) and for Dragon Lady Daenerys Targaryen (95 percent).
"It shocked me that Daenerys Targaryen is supposed to die. But I do not believe that yet. That just can't happen," says Goldberg, who is not only a computer science student but also a fan of the series. But there is some good news as well: The mortality rate for Jon Snow, who appeared to have died at the end of the fifth season, is only 11 percent.
rb/kbm (with dpa)