The characters in Game of Thrones have experienced a wide variety of twists and turns over the seasons.
From the first discovery of Cersei Lannister betraying her husband Robert with her own brother in the pilot to the explosion of the Sept of Baelor at the end of Season 6, Game of Thrones can seem to be nothing but a bunch betrayals.
But just how *many* betrayals have we seen over the years? Turns out a veritable web of them is what holds the entire enterprise together. As the good people at Venngage learned when they began running the numbers, the sheer amount of characters who have betrayed each other is intense.
They define betrayal as: "An act of going against one's word, or an act of breaking the trust of a family member or ally." According to their research, there have been 77 individual acts of betrayal over the last six years. (That's 12.8 percent betrayal every season.)
As they point out, they are using only the TV show, so these are just the acts of betrayal that have happened on-screen -- not counting long cons that have yet to come to life or betrayals that remained on the page in order to streamline the story.
Check out the remarkable gif:
As they note, the highest number of betrayals actually happened in that very first season, even though some, like Littlefinger's set up of the Stark family to crash and burn, did not become known until Season 4. But they also learned those who betray do so because it helps their cause to gain power. Turns out chaos isn't a ladder. Betrayal is.
We examined every act of betrayal in the last six seasons (again, to our knowledge – there was a lot to keep track of) to see who betrayed who and what the outcomes of their betrayals were. What we found was that in the Game of Thrones, to deceive is, usually, to come out on top. The characters who by the end of the sixth season have the most power have also committed the most acts of betrayal. Most of their victims are dead and their houses decimated.
Fans who want the full breakdown of their research can check out the Google spreadsheet here.
Game of Thrones Season 7 returns to HBO on July 16, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET.