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It appears that R + L = J is not the most important mathematical equation you need to wrap your head around when it comes to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Mathematicians from Minnesota have now figured out just who the most important man (or woman) in Westeros is. Nope, it isn't the golden haired mother of dragons Daenerys Targaryen, nor is it mopey Lord Commander Jon Snow, and it certainly isn't resting bitch face Cersei Lannister...so just who should we all be backing?
The Stark name still carries a lot of weight in the Seven Kingdoms; apparently it is the fiery red-headed Sansa who we should be watching. Certainly Sansa's transformation has been one of the most notable. Her season five Black Swan-era took her far away from her girlish days of crocheting under weirwood trees. As Petyr Baelish said to his on-screen crush:
You're not a child any longer.
The Maths Behind The Maths
The reason for the importance of the oldest Stark girl? Sansa has witnessed pivotal moments throughout the story's history: present at the execution of her father, married to Tyrion Lannister, present at Joffrey's assassination and now married to the heir of the northern House Bolton. Sansa has effectively been securing ties across a warring country without even knowing it! Behind those timid eyes, Sansa has seen it all and knows most of the key players in Westeros.
Andrew J. Beveridge and Jie Shan from Macalester College used the process called Network Analysis to pull apart the many MANY pages of the books. The graph shows that Tyrion and Jon are the most important characters (thus far), but Sansa's growth will be a huge part of coming storylines. Whilst Season 5 was definitely a low point of Sansa's time, we are told to look out for her in Season 6 where she will come into her own further. Beveridge and Shan said:
Other players are aware of her value as a Stark heir and they repeatedly use her as a pawn in their plays for power. If she can develop her cunning, then she can capitalize on her network importance to dramatic effect.
Perhaps she could use some cunning lessons from Baelish, but it is great news for Sophie Turner wouldn't you say? Well not quite; the X-Men: Apocalypse star revealed that she might not want her GoT counterpart to stick around for much longer. Turner told The Wall Street Journal:
I don’t want to survive...If you’re on ‘Game of Thrones’ and you don’t have a cool death scene, then what’s the point?
Some people are just never happy, eh?! You become the main character and want to be bumped off *cough* Jon Snow *cough*, but how would Sophie want to be killed off? Shadow Demon? Burned at the stake? Wedding murder? Only time will tell how the Stark saga plays out, but in the meantime Game of Thrones returns to our screens later this month and as we all know...Valar Morghulis.
(Source: Popular Science)