The Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin are massive. With so much material to work with, tools to help manage it are appreciated, and fan Shrijit “The Lord” Shaswat has put together a great one: he’s figured out how each 250 characters from the series are mentioned throughout the first five books and listed them from most-mentioned to least-mentioned. The results are quite interesting.
Jon Snow comes in at number one on the list, with a whopping 3009 mentions. Tyrion Lannister clocks in a close second, with 2932 mentions. You might think that Daenerys Targaryen would be third, but she’s actually in fifth place, with 1594 mentions. The third and fourth places are filled by Arya Stark (1767) and Jaime Lannister (1701) respectively.
For those keeping score, that means Jon Snow has roughly twice as many mentions as Daenerys. How is this possible for such an important character? It may be because, for most of the series, the only point-of-view character involved in Daenerys’ plotline is Daenerys herself. Not many other characters have cause to mention her. But plenty of characters can have reason to mention Jon outside Jon himself, among them Arya, Ned, Catelyn, Sansa, Tyrion, Sam and Bran. True, a few more point-of-view characters eventually do get involved in Dany’s plotline, including Quentyn Martell and Barristan Selmy, but their chapters only start appearing late in the game.
The rest of the top ten is full of Starks, with Sansa (1524), Bran (1439), Eddard (1367) and Catelyn (1229) taking spots six through nine. Cersei Lannister completes the top ten with 1180 mentions.
Ned’s appearance at eighth place is fairly impressive considering he doesn’t even make it out of the first novel alive. The Stark kids think back on him a lot.
The rest of the top 50 is fairly normal, although there are a few surprises. Kevan Lannister completes the top 50 with 240 mentions, and Dany’s second husband Hizdahr zo Loraq (who is currently alive in the novels) racks up 267. That’s more mentions than characters like Walder Frey (226) and Rhaegar Targaryen (216), who loom much larger in the story.
Even more surprising is the bottom six, who are all tied with 43 mentions apiece. This lot includes Rhaegar’s wife/hostage, Lyanna Stark, another character important to the story but who’s not often talked about — she gets even fewer mentions than Hot Pie (198) and Mord (45), the jailor at the Vale.
Check out the whole list here, and to see where your favorite characters clock in. It’s a fun way to pass the time until Winds of Winter comes out. Or the world ends.