See how Westeros was different on the original Game of Thrones map

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

As far as fantasy lands go, Westeros may be as well-known as Middle-earth at this point. Even casual fans can probably tell you the basic geography: The Wall and Winterfell are in the North while King’s Landing is in the south; maybe they can throw in some other big place names like Harrenhal or the Eyrie as well.

A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, came out in 1996. But Martin was working on the idea for years before. And we know that because he stores some of his materials at the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University, where they’re available to the public. There’s an unused version of A Dance With Dragons in there, as well as a map of Westeros made in 1993. And we have a photo of it!

These pictures were taken by Clint Stevenson and shared on Twitter. Take a look below:

In the original map of Westeros, Harranhal was in the Vale

The original shape of Westeros is pretty much the same as it is now, and several of the important locations are where they would always be, including the Wall, Winterfell and King’s Landing.

That said, there are a few differences, including:

  • The city we know as Sunspear in Dorne on this map is labeled “Ironport.” Maybe Martin originally conceived the Dornish as having close ties to the Iron Islands or something? They are both notably recalcitrant nations.
  • The Arbor, a wealthy island off the coast of the Reach, is labeled “Rhoyne.” Maybe in the early versions of the story, Nymeria landed there with her 10,000 ships, rather than in Dorne.
  • Harrenhal is on the map…but not in the Riverlands. Instead, it’s in the Vale, where the Eyrie is now.

What else is that treasure trove at Texas A&M, I wonder?

Next. 8 stories from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere we need adapted onscreen. dark

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h/t Los Siete Reinos