The words spoken in the Lord of the Rings


Project description

July 2016


Data Sketches’ July month


Excel, R, D3.js


Manually added locations to this dataset

In June I got an email from Christian Wisniewski with a sketch that looked a bit like a Chord diagram but with nodes in the center. It seemed very intriguing and since I have a fond history of hacking the chord diagram for other purposes I wanted to try to create my own version of Christian’s idea at some point and when I came across a Lord of the Rings word count data I thought that would fit the layout very well.

To build this layout I used d3’s chord and ribbon functions as my basis but then started systematically making alterations to the chords and adding another level of data through the inner labels.

The colors are based on picking colors from screenshots of that location in the movie (and my own personal feeling on what color represented my memory of that location) and sometimes made a bit more vibrant.

In original dataset, I had information on the number of words spoken by each character by scene and what race that character is. However, I found scenes to be a bit arbitrary. They are attached to the making of the movie, not the movie experience perse. So instead I went ahead and manually added an on-screen location to each of the ±800 rows of data.

I hope you’ll find some new insights. I for one never realized Sam spoke so much. Or that Legolas spoke even less than Boromir

Final result of the LotR visual