Fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire have heavily invested in the fantasy world the author has created. Rich in history, lore, and culture, the Lands of Ice and Fire that feature in both the books and HBO’s Game of Thrones have become an obsession for many. And what better way to further understand this world than with a map?
Maps have often been of vital importance to fantasy fiction. For example, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien are famous for their maps, with many editions of The Lord of the Rings featuring Middle-earth on the cover or coming with an expandable internal map.
George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire is no different, with regions such as Dorne, The Reach, The Lands of Always Winter, and the lands across the Narrow Sea all being uniquely different. However, it’s easy to get confused over how all these places relate to each other. A map can help to orientate the reader and give them a sense of place.
Game of Thrones even featured a map in its iconic opening credits!
Incredibly detailed map of Westeros and Essos
As well as serving an essential practical purpose, maps can be incredibly aesthetically pleasing. Hand-drawn or computer-generated fantasy maps can be works of art in their own right, and many readers enjoy poring over them, spotting details and hidden references.
Adam Whitehead, an English writer and personal friend of George R.R Martin, created several maps of the World of Ice and Fire. Wanting to share them with fellow fans, he made a reference website that maps out the world of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. The website, called Atlas of Ice and Fire, also features maps from many other major fantasy works.
In 2019, Whitehead created his masterpiece: An 8 MB, 10,000 pixels wide map of the World of Ice and Fire. Up to date with information from Fire & Blood, it is the most complete map inspired by George R.R. Martin’s work, surpassing even those that formed part of the official Lands of Ice and Fire release.
The detail on the map is astounding, with individual buildings, fortifications, and landmarks all being shown. Readers are advised to zoom in on the image to get the full effect.
Undoubtedly, as House of the Dragon progresses, new landmarks will be added, and old ones will change, but for now, this map is the most accurate and detailed representation of the World of Ice and Fire that exists.
House of the Dragon continues on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.