Obituaries, Trump and Game of Thrones Dominated Wikipedia Searches in 2017

There are several ways to interpret the list of most-searched English-language articles on Wikipedia for 2017, which the search site released last week.

On one hand, 2017 was like other years. For example, in 2016 deaths also was the top-searched article as visitors looked for information about those who’d passed.

It’s also certainly predictable that a world leader such as President Donald Trump would be high on the list, although searches for his name declined precipitously over time. (By the way, first lady Melania Trump came in at #37.) And the royalty is irrelevant today, right? Not according to Queen Elizabeth II’s ranking on this year’s Wikipedia list. (Her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh,came in at #44 with 10 million searches.)

Yet notice the amount of television and movie entries on the list of top searches as well as those beyond the top 10, such as the film It (#12), #15 Gal Gadot (star of Wonder Woman), the film Logan (#16), the TV series Riverdale (#18) and the entry “2017 in film” (#19, with 13 million hits). An interpretation could be that English-language Wikipedia users sought escape from reality with TV series like Game of Thrones (GOT) and films.

Another view could be that in one case it wasn’t escapism as much as a necessity for knowledge. With the plethora of characters and plot lines in GOT, Wikipedia was a must-visit to understand the series.

Note that adding the searches for GOT with GOT (Season 7) eclipse President Trump.

Also note the appearance of Meghan Markle, who came to global prominence relatively late in 2017.

Number 10’s 13 Reasons Why was an intriguing drama about teen suicide that ran on Netflix. No matter what one thought of the series as a work of drama, it grabbed the attention of multiple demographics, including teens, their concerned parents and educators.