Graphs of Thrones

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or

A Chart of Ice and Fire

or some other cheesy pun....

That's right, I'm jumping on the Game of Thrones bandwagon, a mere day after the series has concluded its broadcast run on HBO. Many have already examined the "downfall" of GoT in ratings over this past season (there are NINE such posts at present on r/dataisbeautiful at time of writing!). I'll spare you my takes on creativity versus expectations, and instead I thought it would be fun to look at other (relatively) simple ways we can analyze 'Thrones: Natural Language Processing!

So I'm dusting off Python's NLTK package, which I've used many times in the past (my favorite Star Trek example is here). All the code for this project can be found on my GitHub, of course!

First, as ever, we need data! Shout-out to this blog post (in R) from 2017 who linked their source: here! I was able to easily step through all 8 seasons of shows and scrape the HTML for the script (well, at least the dialog). There is one bug in the data: Season 7 Ep 1 was missing - not a big deal, just needs to be deleted from our analysis throughout!

Go look through the code for the details - it's a straightforward use (i.e. I spent 2 hours on StackOverflow....) of urllib, BeautifulSoup, and nltk.

Let's get to some graphs!

Reading Grade Level



Here's a graph that shows basically nothing. (a graph has no meaning? I'm trying here...) In other words the "readability", or approximate grade level the text is written at, stays roughly constant over the whole show (seasons marked by grey boxes). The specific grade number doesn't really matter, what's interesting is despite the show passing the books starting in Season 6, the grade doesn't really change. In other words, the language used doesn't get any simpler or more complex. (Note: that doesn't mean the writing the is same or as good - this is not a forensic or quality analysis)

What's it about?

We can use this library of scripts to look at the occurrence rates of words - like the old "ngram" viewer. For example, here's the occurrence of a few GoT-brand words:
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Despite the amazing women in the cast who arguably hold most of the power throughout the show, GoT is apparently still all about Kings (spoiler: I think "King's Landing" is skewing this graph). Also, the show is usually a Song of Mostly Ice, and a little Fire.


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It's also a show about mothers, some of whom are mothers to dragons, some to just plain monsters...

What happens?

Here we can see that Summer in Westeros apparently ended in mid Season 4. Does that make Season 5 autumn?

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There was a big wedding in late summer. Maybe you remember that? At least the weather was still nice...

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Where does it happen? 

Despite everybody gunning for the Iron Throne down in King's Landing, it's really a show about Winterfell (duh)

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Who?

Let's look at how often the characters show up - note this includes both dialog prompts (i.e. Jon says:) and also people being reference (e.g. "You know nothing, Jon..."). But I'd argue these both count towards a character's impact on a story.

OK, so Stark's are obviously the main characters usually. Interesting – and somewhat disappointingly to me – Dany is never the most mentioned character (!)
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Here we see the various threads of the story being told as characters rise in importance and are - usually - killed. This is classic GoT storytelling... Hodor
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I love this graph, because it shows a dramatic shift in the last 2-3 seasons! Staring in Season 6 it really becomes the Jon Snow and Friends show. This upward bend for all the main characters in the last 3 seasons also might represent a shift in the writing style, that the scripts become more explicit and telling us lots of things, rather than showing.... I'd love to see more on this.
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Who matters? or "It Ends like it Begins"

Looking at the rise/fall of the various cast is a neat way to view the show, but I started wondering if there was a way to examine the broad shifts in how characters were represented.

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In this final graph I show the total occurrence rate per episode of all "Main" characters divided by all the "Supporting" characters. (cast lists defined here). Episode 1 is all about exposition, telling us who the important players are. Very quickly we're thrown into the world of Westeros, and the lead cast usually has about 60% more lines/mentions than the secondary cast. Seems reasonable.

One big outlier is present, Season 2 Ep 9: the battle of Blackwater, which includes lots of big moments for the supporting cast!

But the ending of the show really stands out. The last 2 entire seasons become utterly dominated by the principle cast. I certainly felt this was happening at the end of Season 6, when a TON of secondary (and main) characters have their story lines... concluded. Many people feel this was the last great episode of GoT. While the data can't prove it's "great" or not, Season 6 Ep 10 is clearly an inflection point where the structure of the show changes.

With only 2 partial seasons remaining, it makes sense they had to shift their storytelling style a bit (so many wars to fight!) I can think of two possible interpretations of this graph:

  1. over the final 2 seasons the show distilled the story to just the principle cast, to wrap up story lines more directly – or,
  2. the storytelling/dialog style really did shift, and characters became more explicit about discussing each other, and giving exposition.

With only a couple hours of playing with this data, I can't tell these 2 scenarios apart. But perhaps somebody with a better script library or who want's to include some more complex text analysis will take the ball and run... there' a ton more graphs and useful code on my GitHub repo!

Video: Searching for ET... and Motivation

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Over the past few weeks I've started writing a new paper - and I haven't had this much fun working on something in FOREVER! MUSIC: David Miner https://www.youtube.com/daveminer87 http://bit.ly/2TAwYI4 VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Takstar SGC-598 Twitter: https://twitter.com/jradavenport Academic: http://bit.ly/2bVuz58 Code/Research: http://bit.ly/2IqVatx Blog: http://bit.ly/2GeTTUX IG: http://bit.ly/2IqVaK3

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Behind the Scenes of DESTINATION MOON

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WOW!! I got to attend the "press preview" of the amazing new exhibit Destination Moon at the Museum of Flight (opens April 13, 2019) in Seattle! Here is an exclusive FIRST LOOK at this exhibit, including interviews with curators from the Museum of Flight (Geoff Nunn) and Smithsonian (Kathrin Halpern), and insights from the Museum of Flight's CEO (Matt Hayes). Plus tons of cool space stuff!

I've only scratched the surface of Destination Moon in this video. Of course the centerpiece is Columbia, the Apollo 11 Command Module. This is THE BEST view you'll ever get of the CM, no glass or case covering it! But there is so much more... flight suits, EVA gear, tactile and VR exhibits, and even the real "F1" engines from the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 (they were rescued off the ocean floor!).

If you're in Seattle, GO SEE THIS to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing!


The Museum of Flight
https://twitter.com/MuseumofFlight
https://www.youtube.com/museumofflightNW

Special thanks to @spacefactswax for connecting me with this press preview!



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Video: Congrats Event Horizon Telescope!

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An incredibly cool image has been published: the first actual picture of a black hole! And not just any black hole, but a "supermassive" black hole more than a billion times the mass of our Sun, in the center of M87. Wow! I'm just a spectator like everyone else, but I had a chance to meet one of the EHT scientists a few years ago, and today am so excited for the team! Congrats!! The mission: http://bit.ly/1PxSR2g Read the actual science here: http://bit.ly/2G9IK6q MUSIC: David Miner https://www.youtube.com/daveminer87 http://bit.ly/2TAwYI4 VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Takstar SGC-598 Twitter: https://twitter.com/jradavenport Academic: http://bit.ly/2bVuz58 Code/Research: http://bit.ly/2IqVatx Blog: http://bit.ly/2GeTTUX IG: http://bit.ly/2IqVaK3

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Video: Strange New Worlds (podcast)

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A couple weeks ago I sat down with Michael Wong to record an episode of his awesome podcast "Strange New Worlds". We talk about a mix of Science and Star Trek, and I give my prediction about who the Red Angel is on Star Trek Discovery! Here are some highlights, including my FAVORITE planet in all of the Trek universe.... Michael Wong: https://twitter.com/Miquai STRANGE NEW WORLD podcast: https://ift.tt/2UuB7k8 https://ift.tt/2JXdL2I MUSIC: David Miner https://www.youtube.com/daveminer87 https://ift.tt/2tUfAFu VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Takstar SGC-598 Twitter: https://twitter.com/jradavenport Academic: https://ift.tt/2bVuz58 Code/Research: https://ift.tt/2Xh3C3s Blog: https://ift.tt/2XoQklr IG: https://ift.tt/2TS22q2

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Video: Coffee Tme // Prof. Kelle Cruz

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I sat down with Kelle Cruz (astronomer and professor at the City University of New York, or CUNY) while she visited Seattle recently. We talked about 10 years of the important AstroBetter blog, the Astronomy Rumor Mill, hack days, and her vision for improving the AAS meetings! Thank you Kelle! Check out AstroBetter for more tons of great resources: http://astrobetter.com Learn more about Prof. Kelle Cruz https://twitter.com/kellecruz https://ift.tt/2FhaN3z https://ift.tt/2ukcgky https://ift.tt/2FsRBA7 MUSIC: David Miner https://www.youtube.com/daveminer87 https://ift.tt/2tUfAFu VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Takstar SGC-598 Twitter: https://twitter.com/jradavenport IG: https://ift.tt/2TS22q2 Blog: https://ift.tt/2XoQklr Academic: https://ift.tt/2bVuz58 Code/Research: https://ift.tt/2Xh3C3s

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Video: Coffee Time // Julianne Dalcanton

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I sit down for a cup of tea with Chair of the Astronomy Department at the University of Washington, Prof. Julianne Dalcanton. She gives her thoughts on creativity, being critical of one's own ideas, the ever-changing landscape of research... and what makes a great (or terrible) cup of tea! MUSIC: "Everything is true" by Monplaisir From the Free Music Archive https://ift.tt/2TL9mUk License: CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) https://ift.tt/jZBIPz VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Takstar SGC-598 Twitter: https://twitter.com/jradavenport IG: https://ift.tt/2TS22q2 Blog: https://ift.tt/2XoQklr Academic: https://ift.tt/2bVuz58 Code/Research: https://ift.tt/2Xh3C3s

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Video: Airports of the World

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Here is an updated version of my classic post, "Airports of the World", 2019 edition!

This map was created using over 50,000 airports/runways/helipads. It traces our entire world, with landing sites on all 7 continents, but the map also hints at deeper stories. This map is generated from data provided by ourairports.com

I'm excited to also experiment with data visualization stories (as I built this blog on) with my new(ish) vlog format! Check it out!

You can see the original post here: Airports of the World

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Video: Full Lecture: Tabby's Star, the most mysterious star in the Universe!

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I gave a University seminar lecture a few months ago on (I think) perhaps the most amazing discovery from the Kepler mission: Tabby's Star. Here is the full lecture, enjoy!

This undergraduate course, Earth & Space Sciences (ESS) 495, is taught every year and features lectures from scientists across the university working on various earth/space/spaceflight/astrophysics research topics. Students from all majors can get a taste for current cutting edge science topics of research going on throughout the University of Washington - neat!

KIC 8462852, aka Tabby's Star, aka Boyajian's Star

Prof. Tabetha Boyajian's TED Talk on this star

NASA's Kepler Mission Science Center
NASA Kepler on YouTube

MUSIC: David Miner 
Created LIVE on his Twitch Stream

VLOG GEAR: 
Nikon D7500
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR
Takstar SGC-598

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Video: Astro Vlog // Reading ANCIENT HISTORY

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A fun tradition among astronomers is trying to include the oldest citation possible in your work, especially in your PhD Thesis/dissertation/viva. I love this, as it helps keep our published history alive.

Today I asked Astronomers on Twitter to dig out their PhDs and find their oldest references - I was very impressed with what they reported!

My oldest reference was for the Carrington solar storm (1859), but other people's responses were a fascinating walk through history!

 MUSIC by David Miner, created on his Twitch stream!

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Video: Astro Vlog // new gear, new snow!

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More snow means more days working from home, including two days on video chat for a review panel. Plus I got a new camera lens! The CubeSat project I was reviewing: http://bit.ly/2X85CLf MUSIC: David Miner https://www.youtube.com/daveminer87 http://bit.ly/2TAwYI4 VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Takstar SGC-598

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Video: 70-300mm Edmonds sunset test

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Testing handheld shots with my new Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR lens, using a D7500 body. I’m so impressed with how much faster and sharper this VR lens is compare with my 12 yr old telephoto junker. Color grading and some stabilization added in DaVinci Resolve - my first video made using this software! Music: David Miner http://bit.ly/2E9J3yr

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Video: Astro Vlog // SNOW DAY

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EPIC SNOW! Well... 6inches is epic for Seattle.... Reflecting on a couple amazing student papers that have been published, burnout post-AAS, and prioritizing family over work. 2019 looks like its going to be a wonderful and challenging year!

Brett's new paper: http://bit.ly/2TwCHP0
Trevor's new paper: http://bit.ly/2Bg1waz

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Video: Full Talk // UW Astronomy Colloquium

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I was honored to give the weekly astronomy colloquium at my home department (UW Seattle) a couple weeks ago. Here's my full talk, where I discuss current projects, and future endeavors I'm excited about! MUSIC: Recording Candy: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt1Hr9EK375IRgoUfiK0xHg Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2G60P73 Instagram: http://bit.ly/2FTzXYM VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k

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Video: AAS 233 // FULL TALK: Machine Learning

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Here's the full version of my talk in Machine Learning in Astronomy from #AAS233, through the eyes of a normal astronomer! VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k #AAS233

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Video: AAS 233 // SHORT: Tactile Astronomy!

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My favorite booth at AAS 233 was by GLAS Education, showcasing astronomy education materials for the blind and visually impaired. This has long been super important work for Astronomy, and it's so wonderful to see new innovations and ideas explored! http://bit.ly/2D8FwzT This is a short video based on my daily vlogs from the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in beautiful Seattle in Jan 2019. All week I'll be showing talks, posters, swag, vendors, people, and trying to give a taste of what it's like to attend the largest annual professional astronomy meeting in the world! Be sure to subscribe for more great videos about being a professional astronomer! MUSIC: Sussurram Meu Nome (Single Version) by Cairo Braga http://bit.ly/2SN7XZF From The Free Music Archive CC by NA http://bit.ly/18BcYvD VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k #AAS233

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Video: AAS 233 // it's OVER... whoops!

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Day 4 of AAS 223, the final day of the conference, and the famous annual Hack Together Day!

This year we had record interest in the #HackAAS event, even after a long week of science and networking. Also watch as I drop things AND forget to turn my camera on...

Last-year's AAS Hack Day Vlog

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Video: AAS 233 // Creativity

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Day 3 of AAS 233 and I'm thinking about creativity. So many amazing posters, graphs, hand-outs, side projects, plus the SDSS booth gives away some of their plugplates - wow! I talked Kepler data visualization with Ethan Kruse, writing a blog with Julianne Dalcanton, was inspired by a plenary talk by my friend and grad-school classmate, Aomawa Shields, and so much more. What a day! This is the fourth of my daily vlogs from the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in beautiful Seattle in Jan 2019. All week I'll be showing talks, posters, swag, vendors, people, and trying to give a taste of what it's like to attend the largest annual professional astronomy meeting in the world! Be sure to subscribe for more great videos about being a professional astronomer! Ethan Kruse's famous "Kepler Orrery" video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DnDeBa0KFc Cosmic Variance articles by Julianne Dalcanton: http://bit.ly/2RgWJzM First Song: http://bit.ly/2R8kzhd Second Song: http://bit.ly/2RjXAjq VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k #AAS233

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Video: AAS 233 // I ALMOST ruined it

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Today I saw talks on stellar flares (woo!) contributed to a discussion about SETI/"Technosignatures" and the Astro 2020 Decadal Survey, and *very nearly* angered some of the people I admire most! I'm also thinking about careers, networking, jobs... all those life things that come up at each AAS meeting! This is the third of my daily vlogs from the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in beautiful Seattle in Jan 2019. All week I'll be showing talks, posters, swag, vendors, people, and trying to give a taste of what it's like to attend the largest annual professional astronomy meeting in the world! Be sure to subscribe for more great videos about being a professional astronomer! First Song: http://bit.ly/2R8kzhd Second Song: David Miner & Recording Candy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC514L6wOQJ_QFFz8mWYljPQ VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k #AAS233

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Video: AAS 233 // Rise of the MACHINES

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The first full day of #AAS233. I'm thinking about technology/gear/building things, visiting the always fun poster hall, and I give a talk about machine learning in astronomy! A seriously packed day! This is the second of my daily vlogs from the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in beautiful Seattle in Jan 2019. All week I'll be showing talks, posters, swag, vendors, people, and trying to give a taste of what it's like to attend the largest annual professional astronomy meeting in the world! Be sure to subscribe for more great videos about being a professional astronomer! First Song: http://bit.ly/2R8kzhd Second Song: http://bit.ly/2Ff60C7 VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k

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Video: AAS 233 // HOMECOMING (Day 0)

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AAS 233 - Day 0. Registration, the NSF Postdoc symposium, opening receptions, and running into many friends. It's good to be home. This is the first of (hopefully) my daily vlogs from the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in beautiful Seattle for 2019. All week I'll be showing talks, posters, swag, vendors, people, and trying to give a taste of what it's like to attend the largest annual professional astronomy meeting in the world! Also, shout-out to the at least 6 students(!) who told me they'd enjoyed my last video on 10 AAS Tips - that made my 2019 so far! My Last Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt9PT0sh80M First Song: http://bit.ly/2R8kzhd Second Song: http://bit.ly/2GYf4Np VLOG GEAR: Nikon D7500 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Takstar SGC-598 GorillaPod 5k

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AAS 233 // My Top-10 tips for new folks

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With AAS 233 starting in just a couple days here in Seattle, here's a few tips for having a fun and successful week at your first astronomy conference.

What to wear? What should I bring? Which talks to go to?!  I remember having so many questions my first time... This will be my 12th winter AAS meeting (whoa!), so if you see me walking around w/ my camera - stop by and say hey!

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