Big Data comes to Game of Thrones
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Game of Thrones trailer to "Battle of the Bastards." Photo credit: HBO

Game of Thrones trailer to "Battle of the Bastards." Photo credit: HBO

Israeli log analytics company Logz.io sheds some light on what the Twitterverse really thinks about Game of Thrones

Apart from Donald Trump and #OscarsSoWhite, Game of Thrones might provoke some of the most intense debate and emotions on the internet. As the end of the season draws near, the penultimate episode of season 6  – “The Battle of the Bastards”, or “Bastardbowl” as the internet irritatingly insists on calling it – will feature a climactic battle between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, two illegitimate sons from feuding families. Regular watchers of the show know how deep the bad blood runs between these two, but what do the millions of viewers that tune in to (or illegally stream/download) each episode really think about some of the most pressing geopolitical issues Westeros faces?

  • Will Jon Snow or Ramsay Bolton win Bastardbowl?
  • Which dangerous magical creature is the biggest threat: Dragons or White Walkers?
  • Who is more popular: brooding Jon Snow or Westerosi heart-throb par excellence, Jaime Lannister?

To answer these questions and others, Logz.io – an Israeli log analytics company – has tapped into its powerful suite of data analysis and visualization tools, shedding some light on what the Twitterverse really thinks about Game of Thrones.

GoT + Big Data = Love

Logz.io, which launched in October 2015, offers the open source ELK stack as a scalable cloud service to both large and small enterprises. More than 700 companies in over 55 countries use it, including British Airways, CNN, and Dyne. The ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) is a widely used suite of open-source data analysis and visualization tools that are at the heart of Logz.io’s SaaS platform. The company offers the ELK stack along with different levels of storage, productivity, and security functions as a package to companies that need a flexible cloud-based tool for collecting, analyzing, querying, and visualizing the massive amounts of log data generated each day.

However, Logz.io’s Product Evangelist Daniel Berman wanted to showcase the versatility and power of ELK as a data analysis tool and leveraged Logz.io’s platform to create an interactive Game of Thrones Dashboard that displays what Twitter has to say about Game of Thrones.

Beyond here, there be dragons

By injecting real-time Twitter data into Logz.io’s ELK suite and querying it with chosen keywords, we can get some interesting insights into what the Game of Thrones Twitterati are talking about in real time. For example, users seem to be quite unconcerned about the White Walkers, with Dragons getting five times more mentions. This is ironic considering how some have argued that Game of Thrones is really about the world’s failure to take collective action in the face of cataclysmic climate change, represented in GoT by the White Walkers. Apparently, the Tweeting masses are paying as little attention to this problem as the bickering noble families of Westeros are, distracted by their own infighting and the immediate threat of Daenerys Stormborn and her Dragons.

Another interesting insight is that although Jon Snow handily bests Jaime Lannister for the title as Westeros’ hottest swashbuckler (by more than 3 to 1),Twitter doesn’t appear to have much faith in his ability to defeat Ramsay Bolton and take back Winterfell. On Thursday, Game of Thrones fans were evenly divided between Snow and Bolton as the winner of Bastardbowl, a 3% drop for Mr. Snow from the day before.

One might think that Jon Snow’s victory should be secure, considering how it wouldn’t make any sense for Benioff and Weiss to go through all the trouble of killing Jon Snow, lying for 2 years about whether he was actually dead, only to kill him off again before the end of the season. However, gratuitously butchering good guys and allowing evil to prevail (yes, yes George RR Martin, we know, all men must die) appears to be a particularly enjoyable hobby for the old and new gods of Westeros and Essos. As such, the Twitterati’s apprehension over Jon Snow’s fate is probably well-founded.

Big Data + #TheDonald ≠ Love

Apart from opening a window into popular opinion on Game of Thrones, Logz.io has used the same method to show what Twitter really thinks about the only person less likable than Ramsay Bolton: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Their Animosity Index shows that of the two U.S. presidential candidates, The Donald (or Cheeto Jesus) attracts by far the largest percentage of vitriol, measured by the number of times the words ‘fuck you’ are tweeted to each candidate and each candidate’s share of the total percentage. This is perhaps foreseeable, but it feels good to have one’s faith in humanity restored occasionally.

Although creating useful and entertaining Big Data visualizations is a fine pursuit on its own, Logz.io has had tremendous success in the short time since its founding. Named one of Israel’s 50 most promising startups of 2016 by Calcalist, it has raised $8 million from investors Giza Venture Capital and 83 North, and founders Tomer Levy (CEO, former co-founder of Intigua and Checkpoint alum) and Asaf Yigal (VP Product and former co-founder of Currensee) have doubled the number of employees since the beginning of the year. They are looking to hire an additional 30 people by the end of the year.

Featured image credit: HBO

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