Game of Thrones is known for its multiple storylines and ensemble cast that would go on their own individual adventures. There is no lead character; everyone plays a part in the larger tapestry of the show. That is one of the things that makes it so interesting. Still, even in an ensemble there will be one who would stand out above the rest. While we still have no idea who would actually take a seat in the Iron Throne, we actually now have data to confirm who takes the crown for most important character. And to no one's surprise it is none other than Tyrion Lannister!
According to data studied by analytic site Looker, everyone's favorite imp wins out in the number of episodes, appearing in a total of 54 and has also clocked in the most screen time at 293 minutes! It is also worth noting that Tyrion is also the most well traveled character in the show. He has interacted with Jon Snow and the Night's Watch in The Wall, and has gone on to Essos to meet Daenerys and her dragons. Speaking of which, it seems that those three characters mentioned are the trinity of the series. Next to Tyrion, Jon Snow and Daenerys are tied for third place with the largest number of episodes with 49, each. Jon edges out the Mother of Dragons in terms of screen time. He is way ahead with 268 minutes compared to her 221.
But if Jon and Daenerys are third in episode count, who comes in at number two? Well, it seems that the twisted wine-sipping-septon-bombing Cersei Lannister ranks second with 52, but overall she is still at number four, because her screen time pales at 201 minutes compared to the two.
Next on the list though is a pleasant surprise. Sansa Stark is fifth on episode count, tied with her sister Arya Stark with 47 each. Sansa gets more screen time at 199 minutes, compared to Arya's 189. It is easy to underestimate Sansa since she was largely docile and a background character for the first few seasons. It was only later that she came into her own, while Arya has had her journey from the start separate from everyone else.
There are also a few other surprises. As it turns out, despite dying in the first season and only appearing in 16 episodes, Eddard Stark clocks in an impressive 99 minutes of screen time, which ranks him at number twelve! This is probably the reason why his death would prove extremely shocking! For all intents and purposes, he was "the lead" in season one. His death immediately disabused us of that notion, and it set the precedent that no one in the show is safe.
We still have two seasons left. Will Tyrion be able to keep his dominance? Or is the show going to give us another heart attack by killing him off, or someone else on the top of the leader board? We'll just have to wait and see.
Game of Thrones will premiere its seventh season on July 16 on HBO.