Game of Thrones as a Data Visualization Game of Thrones as a Data Visualization
I came to know about Tableau a year back when I saw Adam McCann’s amazing viz. on GOT. Ever since then,... Game of Thrones as a Data Visualization

I came to know about Tableau a year back when I saw Adam McCann’s amazing viz. on GOT. Ever since then, I have been intrigued by the possibilities of Data Visualization. So creating this GOT viz. in Tableau one year from then is like coming a full circle.

GOT has no dearth of major characters but the show is brutal in ending their lives sooner than usually expected. The viz is essentially depicting timelines (going vertically upwards from S01E01 to S07E06) for 79 of the major characters in the hit series, from their debuts to their deaths – and there are many of those! Season 3E08 had maximum number of major characters alive (right before the infamous Red Wedding episode) and the number has been on a downward trend ever since as the show heads towards its culmination. The viz. divides the characters among their houses (clubbing the characters of lesser houses into the “Others” on the right half in purple). You can select a line to see character details at the bottom of the chart. You can hover over the skulls depicting death to see how the character died. The second page explains the chart in a bit more detail, pointing out some major incidents in the course of the show like the Red Wedding, the Wildfire Incident at the Sept of the Baelor, etc.

I used the Polygon feature in Tableau to build out this chart. As I have mentioned before, the Polygon feature of Tableau really sets it apart from any other Data Visualization tool out there, purely in visual terms, since you can essentially create anything as long as you can do the math to plot it out.

P.S. – I realized later on that I had left out 1 or 2 characters like Benjen Stark, Thoros of Myr, etc. that could have been included. Perhaps a section for the Dragons like what I did for the Direwolves. But I did not have the heart to do all the calculations I had to do to create this chart in Tableau all over again. Maybe at the end of the series next year!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Harpreet Ghuman

Harpreet Ghuman

I love finding insights from data and use that knowledge to solve business problems that matter. Data Visualization is my passion right now and I am aiming to be among the best Tableau users out there. I believe it is no longer enough just to be good at Data Analysis and you also need to make it easy for others to understand, through a combination of good communication skills and data visualization techniques such as Tableau. I also believe that in today's fast changing environment every other firm uses a different set of tools. Hence, just as important as how many skills you have in your repertoire is how quickly you can learn a new skill. Which is why I believe in constantly teaching myself new skills on all fronts. I worked for 6 years in India for Bharat Petroleum – a Fortune 250 firm, in a Marketing role from 2009 to 2015. And I gained a wide array of skills during those 6 years including communication skills, ability to lead mixed teams, a fervent desire to achieve the target no matter what, apart from others. But Analytics had always been my passion. Whether it was as a child always eager to solve a puzzle or as a Marketing Manager trying to find consumer insights in places where no one had looked before - through self-taught Data Mining & Data Visualization techniques – I had always reveled in analyzing the world around me. Which is why I decided to pursue an MBA in Analytics in 2015. On a non-professional front, I am an active member of the Smith MBA Soccer Team and a lead member of the University of Maryland Bhangra Dance Team. I believe in constantly improving myself on all fronts, including personal as well as professional. Everything in life has potential to be improved and that's what I strive towards in my own life as well.