There has been plenty of chatter about how Game of Thrones didn't treat women fairly throughout its eight-season run, and thanks to new data compiled by Certai, a Swedish research group, we have the facts to back up those claims. Certai compiled data from every episode and season and found that women spoke only about 25% of the time, compared to the nearly 75% speaking time male characters had, and when they did speak, they were most likely to use words like "please," according to BBC. What does Kit Harington have to say to that?
Other words women characters commonly spoke were "love," "faith," "husband," and "master." As in "Please love me, and have faith, husband and master." *Insert largest eye roll ever here.*
Men, on the other hand, were more likely to use words like "men," "lord," "king," "wall," and "man." It's not lost on us that two of the words they used most frequently were forms of the word "man."
Women spoke the most in season 7, with female characters getting about 31% of the overall speaking time. The speaking time percentages were significantly lower in seasons 1 and 8, when women had 24% and 22% of verbal communication, respectively. The episode with the most female speaking time was "First of His Name" (season 4, episode 5) — directed by female director Michelle MacLaren — and even then, women didn't even reach the 50% marker.
The limited speaking time is surprising, especially since women played vital roles in the final season. Arya killed the Night King; Lyanna Mormont died slaughtering a zombie giant; Daenerys Targaryen led armies to victory during the Battle of Winterfell and then had one of the greatest character twists throughout the entire series. And yet, the writers and directors still gave men more to say.
The problem wasn't just with speech. Men also had significantly more screen time, clocking in nearly 1,000 more minutes than women, software firm Looker found. Of course, the series didn't seem to have an issue with showing women's naked bodies much more than men's. (If I had a dollar for every breast shot, I could afford my own Weirwood-leaf dress.)
It's time that Hollywood recognizes women's voices and amplifies them through meaningful storylines worthy of their rich characters. And no, we're not saying "please."