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Narrative structure of a song of ice and fire creates a fictional world with realistic measures of social complexity

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Show simple item record Gessey-Jones, Thomas Connaughton, Colm Dunbard, Robin Kenna, Ralph MacCarron, Pádraig O'Conchobhaire, Cathal Yose, Joseph 2020-11-26T11:59:01Z 2020-11-26T11:59:01Z 2020
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Network science and data analytics are used to quantify static and dynamic structures in George R. R. Martin’s epic novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, works noted for their scale and complexity. By tracking the network of character interactions as the story unfolds, it is found that structural properties remain approximately stable and comparable to real-world social networks. Furthermore, the degrees of the most connected characters reflect a cognitive limit on the number of concurrent social connections that humans tend to maintain. We also analyze the distribution of time intervals between significant deaths measured with respect to the in-story timeline. These are consistent with power-law distributions commonly found in interevent times for a range of nonviolent human activities in the real world. We propose that structural features in the narrative that are reflected in our actual social world help readers to follow and to relate to the story, despite its sprawling extent. It is also found that the distribution of intervals between significant deaths in chapters is different to that for the in-story timeline; it is geometric rather than power law. Geometric distributions are memoryless in that the time since the last death does not inform as to the time to the next. This provides measurable support for the widely held view that significant deaths in A Song of Ice and Fire are unpredictable chapter by chapter en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher National Academy of Sciences en_US
dc.relation 612707 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries PNAS;117 (46),pp. 28582-28588
dc.subject Ice and Fire en_US
dc.subject dynamic structures en_US
dc.title Narrative structure of a song of ice and fire creates a fictional world with realistic measures of social complexity en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1073/pnas.2006465117
dc.contributor.sponsor Coventry University en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor ERC en_US
dc.relation.projectid 802421 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2992252

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