She belongs to a political family who used to be in power. She’s leading the odds to take the reins of power again. And she’s a blonde.
No, we’re not talking about Hillary Clinton: The powerful woman in question is Daenerys Targaryen, the platinum-haired dragon queen on “Game of Thrones.”
The next season of the HBO sword-sex-and-sorcery series, based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, begins this weekend. This season, for the first time, the show goes beyond what Martin has written, which means what happens is anyone’s bet.
PredictWise, the prediction market aggregator created by Microsoft Research’s David Rothschild, includes the outlook for “Game of Thrones” alongside its charts for the presidential campaign (which currently looks good for Clinton) and prognostications for hockey’s Stanley Cup (with the Washington Capitals as the top-ranked contender).
As of today, Daenerys is given the best chance of sitting the Iron Throne when the TV series ends, which seems likely to happen in 2018. PredictWise gives her a 28 percent chance, compared with 19 percent for Jon Snow (who is supposed to be dead, dead, dead, dead, dead) and 9 percent for wine-loving Tyrion Lannister (played by Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage).
If you’re looking for a long shot, go with Brienne of Tarth, who has a 1 percent score on PredictWise.
PredictWise’s scores aggregate market-based expectations that a particular outcome will come to pass. Those expectations may come from specialized prediction markets such as PredictIt and Hypermind; blends of political polls, such as HuffPost Pollster; or straight-up sites about gambling, such as OddsChecker.
The “Game of Thrones” outlook is based on the odds from OddsChecker. And although PredictWise focuses on the Iron Throne, there are other ways to gamble on GoT. For example, Betfair lets you wager on who’ll die during the upcoming season (sorry, Jorah Mormont) or whether Tyrion will drink something alcoholic during the first episode (bottoms up, Peter).
Martin hasn’t even started writing what’s expected to be the final book of the series, tentatively titled “A Dream of Spring.” But it’s said that he knows how it’s going to end, and that the showrunners for the HBO adaptation know as well. So I suppose there’s the possibility of some insider trading as the TV finale approaches.
Based on Martin’s willingness to kill off even seemingly central characters, perhaps the smartest choice for the eventual occupant of the Iron Throne is “none of the above.” Let’s check back in 2018 and see if I’m right.