Why do fans love Game of Thrones? This study has the answer

Contributed by
Aug 22, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT (Updated)

Fans watch Game of Thrones for a variety of reasons, up to and including the hotness of [Daenerys/Ygritte/Jon Snow/Khal Drogo]. But only marketing company Latitude Research has thoroughly investigated the reasons. Although Latitude's research is geared toward companies who want to grow their audience, there's plenty for us to learn about fans of our favorite HBO show.

Latitude conducted a fascinating two-part study, which involved a cohort of 220 Game of Thrones viewers.

First, we asked 20 people to tell us about their routines and rituals around the HBO show – all through self-recorded video. Next, we compiled their responses into a mini-documentary and presented it to a larger audience of fans (n=200) via our cloud application, Lumière. As they watched the collage of input, these fans interactively provided their own feedback regarding the ideas expressed.

What follows is a story of Game of Thrones fans and the characters they enjoy on-screen. This colorful portrait of fandom showcases the connections between people off-screen that can be facilitated by people on-screen, and can be applied to audiences across genres and around the world. 

It turns out that viewers tune in for reasons that include:

  1. An element of the fantastic
  2. Character development
  3. The heroes don't always win

And our favorite reason of all:

  4.  Tyrion Lannister

Then these subjects turned the lens on themselves. When they were asked how to describe a Game of Thrones fan, their phrases included "like medieval scenarios" and "are more intelligent than Twilight or Lord of the Rings fans."

Actually, we're positive that Lord of the Rings fans are as intelligent as Thrones fans, but we're just going to walk away from that Twilight statement.

This fascinating study even looks at the difference between fans of the TV show and fans of George R.R. Martin's books. It's worth the time of anyone who is interested in Game of Thrones and fandom itself. (Note: It's easier to read when downloaded.)

Check it out here.