Created during July 2016

The Words in the Lord of the Rings

In more than 11 hours of the Lord of the Rings trilogy all characters combined speak approximately 32,000 words. The 9 members of the Fellowship alone take up about 17,000 of these words, a bit more than half. In this visualization you can find out how many words a member has spoken at each different location throughout the trilogy. Did you realize how much Sam truly spoke. Or that Legolas said even less than Boromir!

The complete image of the 'Words of the Lord of the Rings'
The locations have also been translated into their Elvish (and 1 Dwarfish) forms
Hovering over a character highlights only the strings connected to him

For the first month of data sketches our topic was movies and I quickly settled on the Lord of the Rings. I came across a fantastic dataset that counted the number of words spoken by each character, in each scene, of all 3 extended editions of the movies. I was intrigued to visualize how many words each character of the Fellowship had spoken at each location. However, in original dataset there was sadly no information about location. Therefore, I manually added an on-screen location to each of the ±800 rows of data using the movie scripts found online and my own memory.

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. And while thinking of the LotR dataset I thought it could fit really well with version I vaguely had in my mind.

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. You can read more about the data, design & coding on the data sketches July write-up.

An A4 print of this piece is available in my online shop. It’s printed with high quality (archival) ink and rich, textured, gorgeous paper.

The A4 print available to purchase
Hovering over a character highlights only the strings connected to him