Game of Thrones has been bringing cinematic action sequences to the small screen from the very first season, and Season 7 has already seen multiple battles so epic that they seem practically designed to get viewers' hearts racing. As it turns out, however, the action scenes aren't the ones that are getting fans the most excited. According to measurements of viewers' heart rates, the dialogue and drama scenes are what really get pulses racing.
The measurements come courtesy of an Apple Watch app called Cardiogram, which monitors the heart rate of users. The app offers a Cardiogram Habits feature called "What Game of Thrones does to your Heart Rate" and specifically reminds users to turn on continuous heart rate recording on their Apple Watches right before episodes are about to begin on HBO. Three hundred people have had their heart rates measured during of Game of Thrones this season, and the numbers are in for the first four episodes to reveal the top five moments that got hearts racing everywhere.
The scene with the highest average pulse rate was admittedly an action sequence, although it was also a sequence that packed a big dramatic punch. It came in "The Spoils of War," when Jaime Lannister spurred his horse into what was basically a suicide charge to kill Dany when she was tending Drogon. The scene featured one major character attempting to kill another, while a third watched from afar. The average heart rate was 91 beats per minute.
The rest of the top five most exciting scenes in Game of Thrones Season 7 didn't involve battles at all. The first runner up was the very first scene of the Season 7 premiere, when winter came for House Frey thanks to Arya wearing the face of Walder Frey to murder all of those responsible for the Red Wedding. Heart rates clocked in with an average of 83.2 beats per minute.
The third and fourth place scenes are tied with 83 beats per minute. As it turns out, Euron Greyjoy's proposal to Cersei in "Dragonstone" was equally as exciting to Cardiogram users as Ser Davos and Jon Snow's meeting with Dany in "The Queen's Justice." AppleInsider reports that fifth place took place in "Stormborn," when Dany took it upon herself to interrogate Varys about his real motives.
All things considered, it seems that viewers are more concerned about characters in the quieter scenes than in the epic battles, which actually makes a lot of sense. While the battles tend to have massive death tolls, the victims are usually nameless soldiers whose sole purposes are to get roasted or skewered or decapitated. Major characters' fates are more likely to be sealed based on a conversation. Besides, huge plot twists can happen in very small scenes, so it's imperative to pay close attention to everything. We have to sit on the edges of our seats if we don't want to miss anything.
The next episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 will air on Sunday, August 20 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Season 7 is shorter than the first six seasons, so there are only two episodes left before we're in for another long hiatus. For what you'll be able to watch during hiatus, take a look at our fall premiere guide.