It's officially been one week since HBO aired its final episode of Game of Thrones, and if you're like other disappointed fans out there, you're probably still trying to make sense of that unexpected ending. Though some aren't pleased with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (and even started a petition begging HBO to remake the last season), there's some interesting data that might hold some explanation for why viewers were far more interested in the earlier seasons of the hit series.
Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson shared a chart on Twitter that tracks the average number of words the characters spoke per minute in each Game of Thrones episode, starting from Season 1. Based on the data, measured by OpenSubtitles.org and charted by Github user mrquart, the number of words in each episode declined throughout the show's seasons.
You can see the graph fall from approximately 60 in the first season to less than 40 in the last. Meanwhile, season eight's "The Long Night" episode, which contained the longest and most expensive battle scene in TV history, had the least dialogue with an average of just 15 words per spoken per minute.
As Robinson clarified in a reply to her original tweet with the chart, the data itself isn't a reflection of quality. "... This isn’t INHERENTLY bad, obviously. I just like the earlier dialogue-heavy stuff so much personally," she wrote. "... You don’t really need to see this lovely graph if you’ve looked at the scripts themselves—the difference is stunning."
So if you think that the chattier scenes of earlier seasons were a little better, this might help support that. One user pointed out that the writers ran out of material after season five from author George R. R. Martin's original books, so things shifted from "being conveyed via words" to, on its own, a more visual approach. Also, as some fans brought up, the show's average word count could have also decreased in part because of all the battle scenes in later seasons, where there's not a ton of talking going on.
Of course, fans were quick to chime in about it:
Despite the Game of Thrones' lack of dialogue, fans clearly still kept tuning in: In fact, more than 13.8 million viewers watched the final episode live, making season eight's finale the most-watched of any of the show's seasons.
Originally Appeared on Glamour