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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

House Targaryen unseats the rest of Westeros in Google’s worldwide search

It's not just TV ratings where season 7 of Game of Thrones is setting records

Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in a scene from HBO's Game of Thrones. Helen Sloan / Courtesy of HBO via AP
Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in a scene from HBO's Game of Thrones. Helen Sloan / Courtesy of HBO via AP

Game of Thrones Season 7 has already set television viewing records with the season premiere two weeks ago attracting a record 10.1 million viewers in the United States market, a figure that swells to 16.1m when streaming numbers are added.

Previously, the show pulled in up to 9m viewers – still a figure that would keep most production companies happy.

The show has also set the internet alight. The premiere became the series’ most tweeted episode ever, attracting an impressive 2.4m tweets. The most popular moment in the Twitterverse was the one in which Maisie Williams’s character Arya Stark (spoiler alert) slaughters the entire Frey family and their soldiers in the opening scenes.

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Global online search engine Google has seen plenty of Game of Thrones activity too, although intriguingly, despite Arya’s murderous actions and Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) ascent to the throne of The North, House Stark isn’t among the most searched of terms in the fictional Westeros universe.

For non-viewers, Westeros’ Houses are a competing group of families and their forces, allies and infighting members, who vie for control of the all-powerful Iron Throne, uniting the seven kingdoms of the fictional world of Westeros.

House Targaryen gets the most searches on Google, laying claim to up to 50 per cent (figures up to yesterday).

It has plenty of appeal for Google hunters. The Targaryens ruled Westeros for three centuries and unified the whole of Westeros before Robert Baratheon deposed them and took the Iron Throne back into the mists of the show’s history.

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Current queen of House Targaryen, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), is on a mission to reclaim the throne of Westeros, currently in the hands of House Lannister and the wicked Queen Cersei (Lena Headey).

Daenarys can also boast three full-grown dragons among her forces, numbering well over 100,000 troops, which probably helps to explain some of its Google popularity – she has three more dragons than all of the other houses of Westeros combined.

The ruling Lannisters are second in the popularity stakes on Google, with 21 per cent of searches, but fans of the Starks, who are embroiled in a bitter war against an army of the dead in The North, shouldn’t feel too dismayed.

Ruler of House Stark and King of the North, Jon Snow, is the show’s most Googled character, closely followed by non-other than would-be Queen of the Iron Throne, Daenerys Targaryen.

A Google ‘I feel lucky’ search reveals the question “Will Jon Snow marry Daenerys Targaryen?”. The pair have formed an alliance dedicated to defeating both the walking dead in the North and the Lannisters in the South.

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The prospect of a future union may even have Google’s engineers worried – it could potentially break the internet due to all the Tweets, Google searches, Instagram posts and Facebook discussions.

Intriguingly, although the show is a US production filmed largely in the UK, neither of the countries can lay claim to the title “Most Avid Game of Thrones Googler”.

That honour falls to Kazakhstan, which comes top with a Google “search interest” rating of 100. The UAE beats the US on this falling scale, with a rating of 24, compared to 20 for the US. A further anomaly can be found in the show’s Irish searches – Northern Ireland, where filming is based, helps to earn the UK a search rating of 26; while Southern Ireland, geographically but not politically connected to the show’s native North, beats it with a rating of 35.

The most searched Games of Thrones-related term on Google, according to the site’s own Google Trends tool was “When does Game of Thrones return?”

If you haven’t worked that out, three episodes into the seventh series of possibly the most talked-about TV show in history, then you probably never will.

Game of Thrones is screened on Mondays at 5am on OSN Play and OSN On Demand. It is repeated at 11pm on OSN First HD – Home of HBO