Game of Thrones Companion

Bill Tsikerdanos, Hongyu (Chloe) Xie, Isabel Restrepo, Jesse Shedd, Pedro Silva, Sanat Rath, Sruthi Padala, Vipul Thakur, Abhishek Nandakumar

The transition from novel to television creates the issue of compressing story into episodes limited by time and budgets. HBO’s translation of Game of Thrones is a rich tapestry of characters and narratives; however, the viewer can lack back story, geographic awareness, and an understanding of character relationships. This second-screen companion app orients viewers to the world of Westeros by mapping families throughout episodes. Greater character understanding is achieved by the mapping of character relationships, both during characters present in each scene or within the episode.

Silva, Pedro, Yasmin Amer, William Tsikerdanos, Jesse Shedd, Isabel Restrepo and Janet Murray. “A Game of Thrones Companion: Orienting Viewers to Complex Storyworlds Via Synchronized Visualizations.” In ACM TVX15. Brussels Belgium: ACM, 2015.


The character map displays the characters physically present in each scene in the inner circle, while those that are mentioned are located in the outer ring. Central characters are marked with directional rings, indicating that they may be dragged into the central location. Color indicates which characters belong to which families.


By dragging a character into the central location, an interactor may view that character’s relationships with the other characters. The distance between characters corresponds to friendship and animosity, with those the central character loves being closest while their enemies are located farthest away. Key aspects of a relationship may be denoted by an icon, while tapping on a character will display more in depth information about the relationship.


Tapping upon the filters in the right hand corner, an interactor may utilize the app to see a full relationship map (through removing the scene filter) or just a character’s familial connections. In the family view, an interactor might view all the characters in a given person’s family, as well as the strength of their family relationships.


Removing the scene and family filters, an interactor can see a character’s entire relationship map. This view allows an interactor to examine friendships and enemies from a more overhead view, getting a grasp for a character’s place in the overall world of Westeros.