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New Study Finds the Most Common Way People Die in ‘Game of Thrones’

Hint: Car accidents are not a leading cause of death in Westeros.

HBO

Heart disease and cancer may be the leading causes of death in America but, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Westeros, it turns out you’re much more likely to die due to a beheading or a literal stab in the back. A new study from Macquarie University in Australia analyzed the deaths from all 67 episodes of Game of Thrones to discover what type of person most commonly died and how exactly people in Westeros tend to kick the bucket.

The study, which was aptly published in the journal Injury Epidemiology, found that 73.7 percent of all GoT deaths were due to injury, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has watched more than five minutes of the HBO show. Burning came in a very distant second, causing 11.8 percent of fatalities, likely due to Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion and their pesky habit of burning people alive with their fire breath. Next came poisoning (RIP Joffrey, you cold-hearted bastard), which accounted for just under five percent of deaths. To the shock of no one, natural causes is not a popular way to die in Westeros, as only two characters, Maester Aemon and Old Nan, have passed on peacefully over the course of the show’s seven seasons.

But the study didn’t just look at how people died, it looked at what kind of people were more or less likely to meet their makers. According to the study, your best bet of staying alive is being a woman of nobility, as men and common folk tend to be the ones who shuffle off their mortal coil. It also appears that loyalty doesn’t really pay dividends in Westeros because characters who switched allegiances (think Tyrion Lannister) proved to have better survival odds than anyone foolish enough to stand by their convictions and remain loyal.