Not everybody cares about “Game of Thrones.” But many of those who do are betting they know who’s going to win it.
Season seven of the HBO series, based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, arrives 9 p.m. Sunday, and people — yes, grown up people with jobs and kids and lives, at least presumably — are betting actual money on who will be sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of this season.
Bookmaker.eu, a sportsbook out of Costa Rica, opened odds in June, and the immediate favorite was Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen at +215 (you risk $100 to win $215). Makes sense. She does have ships, a devoted and skilled army, the best advisor and three huge fire-spewing beasts, after all.
But then, by the old gods and the new, a mysterious wrinkle appeared, Bookmaker reports. Wagering erupted involving Cersei Lannister — who currently sits on the Iron Throne after blowing up a bunch of religious fanatics and more than a few of her own subjects — and now the incestuous queen is the favorite at -625. Her nemesis Daenerys has dropped to +450, with formerly dead and not-so-bright warrior Jon Snow coming in third at +600.
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So what changed? Did someone who got a eyefull of script shift the betting? Or do some fans just have faith that Cersei can make Westeros great again? There’s no way to tell.
Looking at the long term, though, the odds shift. Sportsbettingexperts.com conducted a survey of fans, who concluded the ultimate winner of “Game of Thrones” — the show has one more season after this one — will be Daenerys (41.60 percent), with Jon Snow trailing at 34.70 percent. Cersei drops to 6.40 percent. It’s not always good to be the queen.
But polls can be capricious as the gods. Market research firm Ipsos asked American fans who they’d support in the race for the Iron Throne, and Jon Snow eked out a narrow win (26 percent) over Daenerys Targaryen (24 percent). Apparently being dead does not disqualify one for public service. Cersei, for the record, got only three percent of the vote, after her brothers Tyrion (14 percent) and Jaime (six percent).
And if you want to know which House your state is most interested in, Decluttr.com used Google Search data from every state in the U.S. to find out that most Americans seem to support the Starks (or at least, they Google that unlucky family most often).
But Florida, you seem to prefer the Lannisters. Hear you roar! At least you’re not as hapless as Illinois and North Dakota, where viewers keep inexplicably Googling House Greyjoy.