Did you ever consider why you care more about one “Game of Thrones” character over another? According to a new study from MIT, a lot of it might have to do with the character’s face, meaning you’re probably much more superficial than you thought.
OK, it’s not necessarily because Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is more attractive than Bronn (Jerome Flynn), but you’re thinking in the right neighborhood. According to a study by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), the reason some characters are easier to keep track of than others is because there are certain characteristics on people’s faces that make them more or less memorable to others.
According to MIT News, researchers used a sampling of some 60,000 images to create an algorithm that determines which parts of a person’s face need to be altered to make that image stick better in the brain. The group behind the study is hoping to parlay it into technology that allows people to alter their own photos to make them as memorable as possible. However, to do that it, they first needed to identify what does and does not make a face stick in human being’s memories. Once that algorithm was developed, it was simply a matter of crunching the numbers on the characters in the popular HBO series before they discovered the top 12 most memorable on the show -- and the results are surprising.
1. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
2. Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer)
3. Tywinn Lannister (Charles Dance)
4. Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
5. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
6. Bronn (Jerome Flynn)
7. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
8. Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
9. Ned Stark (Sean Bean)
10. Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane(Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson)
11. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
12. Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson)
Interestingly enough, many of the most popular characters on the show also happen to have some of the most technically memorable faces. One of the more surprising mentions on the list is Jaime Lannister, who placed No. 4. Not necessarily because of the actor’s performance or his character’s storyline aren’t of note, but simply because his look has changed more than almost any other character on the list. [SPOILER ALERT] After premiering on the series as a typical prince charming-type, Jaime was taken captive by the Starks and went without a bath or shave for a good portion of Seasons 2 and 3. In Season 4, however, he returned to his clean-shaven look but, this time, with short hair.
Meanwhile, Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane is another surprising addition to the “memorable faces” list as the character has been portrayed by three different actors during “Game of Thrones” five seasons. While Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson was the most physically memorable (he is the second strongest man in the world after all) he hasn’t had a whole lot of screen time. He was previously portrayed by Ian Whyte and Conan Stevens on the HBO fantasy drama.
What do you think of the MIT-approved top 12 most memorable faces on “Game of Thrones”? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.