Nov 15 2010 2:41pm

George R.R. Martin’s Westeros vs. Europe

George R.R. Martin’s Westeros compared to Europe

Ever wondered just how large Westeros really is? Adam Whitehead at The Wertzone has posted up a comparison between the continent of Westeros from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and the continent of Europe.

The result? BIG. The fantasy kingdoms would stretch from northern Africa up past the northern edge of Europe. (The map above is slightly inaccurate in this regard, which Whitehead explains.) Fittingly enough, the established climates in each area of Westeros fit this area nicely if the planet in Martin’s series is Earth-sized.

For larger version of the above map, as well as a gorgeous rendition of Westeros, visit Whitehead’s blog at the above link.

Chris Long
1. radynski
This whole thing confuses me quite a bit, and it seems like they're trying to make it fit where it wasn't meant to. It always seemed like Westeros was a mirror representation of Great Brittain. There are some differences here and there, but overall it matches extremely closely.
Elio García
2. Egarcia
GRRM on the question of Westeros's alleged similarity to Great Britain:

Some readers have likened Westeros to England because they see some general similarities in its shape, and in its location off the west coast of a larger landmass. The latter is true enough (I don't see the former, myself), but Westeros is much much MUCH bigger than Britain. More the size (though not the shape, obviosuly) of South America, I'd say.

As far as the size of the planet, GRRM has stated that he thought of it as somewhat bigger than our Earth, and was inspired by Jack Vance's Big Planet though not THAT large.
Sara H
3. LadyBelaine
I must say, I am pleased and reassured by the overlay map up there. It sort of puts matters in perspective as to why the North is sorta of this large, nordic hinterland that is basically only one vast polity (as if all of Scandinavia was a vast, inhospitable region) plus the rest of the seven kingdoms then fall roughly congruent to European kingdoms.

It almost makes me wish for a large collection of islands along the scale of the British isles that comprises another kingdom off the continent of Westeros. Something like as if the Arbor was the size of Ireland, and only lightly under the control of Highgarden. Or something ;)

I am also pleased by the "tilt" for some reason, it just makes Westeros look more "organic" and geologically possible (plus places Dorne over the Mediterrenean coast/nation so it sorta matches how I see our spicy, tempestuous sexy Dornishfolk). The straight up and down we see in the books looks very forced like GRRM had a long box to fill. It's all craggy and nooky, with bays and inlets and well though-out but still looks weird to me (don't even get me started on Randland :) )

Ran, is Westeros slanted on its axis like that in the books, or or is it long and tall, almost perpendicular to the equator?
4. Conchir
England? If you turn a map of Westeros upside down, and draw a line along The Twins, dividing it in two, you get a very close representation of Ireland. Try it
5. Frankie
Of course it's inspired by England - a wall in the North to keep out the "wildlings"? "King's Landing", a capital in the South West & the continent with "Johnny Foreigner" off further to the South West? A struggle for the throne like the Wars of the Roses? and the HBO series summed it up quite nicely by using Yorkshire/Lancashire/Cumbria accents for the Northerners. The problem is of course, that all of this is lost on a US audience that generally knows nothing about the history of England & thinks that anyone speaking English not sounding like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins must be Australian!
6. ciaran r
thats uncanny, except for dorne which wreaks it a bit
7. isomorphismes
I thought it's very clear, Carth is on the Bosphorus strait. Winterfell is near Glasgow. King's Landing is London. Well none of them is as obvious as Carth being the beginning of the Islamic world.
8. isomorphismes
Egarcia, so Robb Stark marches in one season from Colombia to Argentina? That's absurd.
9. Griffin Kearns
isomorphismes: "Egarcia, so Robb Stark marches in one season from Colombia to Argentina? That's absurd."
More like the southern tip of Colombia to Bolivia; a much more manageable distance.

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