Female characters in Game of Thrones 'speak about three times less than male characters'

Eleanor Rose
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Female characters in Game of Thrones 'speak about three times less than male characters'

Female characters in Game of Thrones 'speak about three times less than male characters'

Female characters speak three times less than male characters in Game of Thrones, new research has claimed.

Game of Thrones drew criticism after Daenerys Targaryen's plotline took a turn in the final episodes (HBO)

The study, carried out by research group Ceretai for BBC 100 Women, found that about 75 per cent of all speaking time in the blockbuster fantasy series was devoted to men.

Only 25 per cent was allotted to women, which is lower than the industry average. According to research by the USC Annenberg, which has analysed diversity in 900 films, the average share of female speaking time in film is 30 per cent.

The research comes after Game of Thrones drew fire in its final series for its portrayal of women, particularly Daenerys Targaryen and the show's only regular woman of colour Missandei, whose plotlines took turns for the worse in the final episodes.

Brienne of Tarth, the first woman in Game of Thrones to be made a knight (HBO/Helen Sloan)

Swedish firm Ceretai used an algorithm that can tell the difference between male and female voices on video to examine speech in the series. It analysed time allocated to male and female character speech across all eight seasons.

The study found that women spoke 24 per cent of the time in season one, increasing to 31 per cent in season seven. But season eight was the worst for female characters, with only 21 per cent of speaking time devoted to them. The finale, which aired Monday in the UK, gave an even lower share of only 20 per cent to women.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark (HBO)

Lisa Hamberg, co-founder of Ceretai, told the BBC that the research was intended to raise awareness of a lack of diversity in the series and TV more generally. "We are not doing this to make people stop watching, but to make them aware of the fact that it's an unfair representation of the world," she said.

The algorithm is only 85 per cent accurate, so the true figures may be somewhat higher or lower than the research suggests. However, according to the BBC, the data nevertheless suggests a marked imbalance of male and female speaking time.