Good news for Jon Snow fans: our new survey of 400 UK TV enthusiasts suggests the bastard of Winterfell, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and wearer of ill-advised manbuns is in line to become ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
Some 42% of respondents indicated their belief that the undead myrmecophile will win the hot seat by the time the final season wraps up in May – and around the same number indicated that this was also their preferred outcome. At 20%, Daenerys Targaryen came in a distant second, with the Night King coming in third at 19%.
Now, the Night King is essentially a very laboured metaphor for climate change, so it was not only surprising that 19% of our respondents thought he would win the Iron Throne (he doesn’t seem to covet it, really), but that 14% wanted him to: a pretty bad review for Queen Cersei, who, with 7% of preferences, is now officially an inferior choice to a personified ecological catastrophe.
Watch the throne
Beyond the question of who ends up on the most uncomfortable chair in Westeros, we asked our respondents to detail how they watch and think about Game of Thrones.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people like it. Overall, 42% believe Game of Thrones is the best show of the 21st century so far.
As for why it’s so successful, 58% attribute it to the plot (which, most seasons, is usually a bunch of episodes where rich people have heated conversations next to maps, followed by a horrible bloodbath where a bunch of your favourites die), 51% cite the acting, and 49% are especially fond of the scriptwriting.
Only 19% think the show’s CGI contributes to its success – and, as a video animation company, we can tell you from experience that it makes more difference than you might think.
As far as the next month goes, Game of Thrones is highly-anticipated: 22% are looking forward to it more than Easter or Brexit (though 53% are looking forward to Easter more) – and 20% are planning some sort of celebration to mark the show’s end. Only 7% are most looking forward to the birth of the royal baby, which makes sense, as a pair of strangers having a baby isn’t really anybody’s business.
Game of Thrones is often lauded for its political themes, so we asked some political questions.
Some 19% admitted that they thought about Game of Thrones more than our impending divorce from the EU over the week prior to taking the survey, and we can’t blame them. Daydreaming about dragons and ice zombies is undoubtedly more pleasant than worrying about fishing quotas, trade tariffs, and whatever iteration of the meaningful vote we’re currently on.
When drawn on which character would be an ideal candidate to negotiate Brexit, there were some surprising answers.
An astonishing 41% said Jon Snow, who has displayed no political acumen whatsoever in his seven seasons on the show. In all fairness, while he may not seem like the most obvious choice, his strategy for the Battle of the Bastards – charge recklessly and thoughtlessly towards a more powerful and better-prepared opposing force and hope for the best – is not too far removed from our current reality.
Tyrion Lannister earned a distant second place with 22%, while Cersei Lannister and Daenerys were on 12% each: an appropriate result for two queens whose most recent hearts and minds campaigns have both involved vast quantities of fire. Let’s hope Theresa May doesn’t use them as inspiration.