Narrative structure of A Song of Ice and Fire creates a fictional world with realistic measures of social complexity

  title={Narrative structure of A Song of Ice and Fire creates a fictional world with realistic measures of social complexity},
  author={Thomas Gessey-Jones and Colm Connaughton and Robin I. M. Dunbar and Ralph Kenna and P{\'a}draig MacCarron and Cathal O'Conchobhair and Joseph Yose},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  pages={28582 - 28588}
Significance We use mathematical and statistical methods to probe how a sprawling, dynamic, complex narrative of massive scale achieved broad accessibility and acclaim without surrendering to the need for reductionist simplifications. Subtle narrational tricks such as how natural social networks are mirrored and how significant events are scheduled are unveiled. The narrative network matches evolved cognitive abilities to enable complex messages be conveyed in accessible ways while story time… Expand
1 Citations

Figures and Tables from this paper

Complicating the Social Networks for Better Storytelling: An Empirical Study of Chinese Historical Text and Novel
It is found that the social network in Romance is more complex and dynamic than that of Records, and the influence of the main characters differs, shed light on the different styles of storytelling in the two literary genres and how the historical novel complicates the social networks of characters to enrich the literariness of the story. Expand


Temporal Network Analysis of Literary Texts
It is shown that temporal networks are more appropriate than static ones for studying stories, as they capture features that the time-independent approaches fail to yield. Expand
Cognitive and Network Constraints in Real Life and Literature
Storytelling has played a major role in human evolution as a mechanism for engineering social cohesion. In large measure, this is because a shared worldview is an important basis for the formationExpand
Clique Size and Network Characteristics in Hyperlink Cinema
This work used network analysis to test the hypothesis that new kinds of media might permit us to break through the natural cognitive constraints that limit the number and quality of social relationships the authors can manage in the conventional face-to-face world. Expand
Universal Properties of Mythological Networks
As in statistical physics, the concept of universality plays an important, albeit qualitative, role in the field of comparative mythology. Here we apply statistical mechanical tools to analyse theExpand
Why are good writers so rare? An evolutionary perspective on literature
Evolutionary approaches to literature can take one of two directions. One is to ask what functions story-telling serves. The second is to ask what role cognitive mechanisms play in the production ofExpand
A Networks-Science investigation into the EPIC Poems of Ossian
Despite attempts, from the outset, to position Ossian alongside the Homeric epics and to distance it from Irish sources, results indicate significant network-structural differences between Macpherson’s text and those of Homer. Expand
Network analysis of the Viking Age in Ireland as portrayed in Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh
Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (‘The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill’) is a medieval Irish text, telling how an army under the leadership of Brian Boru challenged Viking invaders and their allies inExpand
Extraction and Analysis of Fictional Character Networks
This survey aims at presenting and organizing the scientific literature related to the extraction of character networks from works of fiction, as well as their analysis, and identifies the limitations of the existing approaches and the most promising perspectives. Expand
The small world of shakespeare’s plays
This work outlines a methodology for investigating the hypothesis that successful dramas will portray fictional social networks that have the same properties as those typical of human beings across ages and cultures and examines ten of Shakespeare's plays. Expand
Inference or Enaction? The Impact of Genre on the Narrative Processing of Other Minds
The study showed that narrative is not solely either the origin or the product of their intuitions about other minds; instead, different genres will have different—even opposite—effects on how the authors understand the mind states of others. Expand