🚨 Warning: Episode 1 & 2 Spoilers Ahead 🚨
The long awaited Game of Thrones has finally returned! If you’re a fan of the HBO show but don’t watch a new episode immediately, you likely stay clear of the Twitter world, for the net is dark and full of spoilers. So how did GoT fans react to the first two episodes on Twitter?
To answer that question, we downloaded 100,000 tweets for each trending hashtag or keyword related to Game of Thrones after a new episode aired. The hashtags and keywords we looked into included: #GameOfThrones, #WinterIsHere, #ThronesYall, Arya, Ed Sheehan, Sansa, Jon Snow, Daenerys, Cersei, Theon, Melisandre, Olenna, Greyworm, Ser Jorah, Euron, Nymeria, Hot Pie, Sand Snakes, and Gendry.
Let’s begin our deep dive, starting with episode 1: Dragonstone!
Nothing too crazy happened during the first episode… Except for the fact that Arya Stark wiped out an entire family!👏💪💀
We see positive emojis in reaction to Arya’s mass murder of the fam who betrayed her fam, as expected.
Yes, Game of Thrones was 🔥lit🔥 thanks to Arya. How are people using 😭 loudly crying face? Is the sentiment close to “I’m so proud of you, Arya!!” OR “OMG! Arya is turning into a monster!”
Arya is a hero; it is known. You go girl!👊
Ed Sheeran made a wild appearance alongside Arya, so naturally, we thought Ed Sheeran would be trending on Twitter. Instead, “Ed Sheehan” made a splash on the Twittersphere.
While our battery continued to die, we had to investigate!
😂 face with tears of joy leads the way for “Ed Sheehan”. Were people making fun of this trend or were they actually misspelling his name repeatedly?
Looks like quite a few people don’t know how to spell Ed Sheeran… 😳 Maybe this contributed to Ed Sheeran’s decision to temporarily quit Twitter!
Moving onto the more recent, and arguably more exciting, episode 2: Stormborn!
Many things happened in this episode. Young lovers, much anticipated reunions, girl power, deadly diseases getting cured, family betrayal, and, of course, death.
Let’s start with our first reunion: Arya and Hot Pie!
Lots of love here! ❤️ Do GoT fans think Arya and Hot Pie may make a fab couple?
“Can’t believe I thought you were a boy, you’re pretty!”
Maybe a handful think they’d be the ultimate OTP, but for the most part, GoT fans just ❤️ Hot Pie!
Second reunion: after 6 long seasons, Arya FINALLY reunites with her long-lost direwolf, Nymeria, but the reunion didn’t last long.
Many fans voiced that Arya and Nymeria’s quick separation was not expected, and that was reflected in the emojis used alongside Nymeria, with the exception of 😂.
While the majority of tweets echoed the following sentiment…
… a few fans decided to react with a more positive approach: humor! Here are a few highlights:
Beyond the heartwarming and heartbreaking reunions and badass moments from Arya Stark, there are many other characters on the TV show! In fact, there were quite a few girl power moments. As much as we may dislike Cersei, a queen is actually ruling Westeros. Other women are holding positions of power, from Daenerys Targaryen at Dragonstone to Sansa Stark in Winterfell. There’s even a scene with a handful of women warriors at battle. R.I.P. ⚰️
Also, Daenerys Targaryen gets a female role model: Olenna Tyrell, AKA the Queen of Thorns.
Fans have always loved her sarcastic way [where 😂 comes in], but her wisdom is what got her trending on Twitter post-episode 2. As expected, with her line “You’re a dragon. Be a dragon.”, we see two dragon emojis in the top 15 ranking, among other emojis echoing the YAS Queen theme. 🙌👏
And how could we forget this painful moment?!
Theon Greyjoy is reminded of his days as Reek and doesn’t bother trying to save his sister. How did the twitterverse react? It’s complicated.
While many made fun of what happened [😂✌️], others were angry, throwing shade, and ready to hate Theon once again [😡😒😤😑😠].
Quite a few sympathized with Theon, given his horrific past of psychological and physical torture [😭😩😢😔]. You don’t just get over that, and it doesn’t help to be in an environment that triggers that experience.
With that in mind, the reactions in emojis to both episodes were quite different.
While Dragonstone [episode 1] primarily set the stage for the season, with a few moments that got us excited for what’s to come, Stormborn [episode 2] had a handful of tear jerking moments. This is clear in the comparison chart above, which shows more positive face emojis associated with Dragonstone than with Stormborn.
Only 2 episodes in, we’ve seen diverse reactions to many moments in the show. Knowing the unpredictability of Game of Thrones, though, these emotions are going to expand and amplify real quick. 😰
Best of luck GoT fam! If you’d like me to explore reactions to a particular GoT moment later this winter [❄️😏], tweet at @anahitabahri! 👀
By Anahita Bahri
Anahita Bahri is an MS in Statistical Practice student at Boston University and Data Scientist Intern at Spotify. In addition to Game of Thrones, Anahita has a passion for music [❤️R&B], data science, journalism, design, steak frites, football ⚽, and, of course, emojis! 😻