The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 7 – The Riverlands

qhzx0hp

A fertile heartland region of Westeros, the Riverlands is a frequent scene in Game of Thrones. Mostly because it’s a frequent battle setting in the civil wars afflicting the Seven Kingdoms along with the wars that took place between old nations on the continent before the Targaryen Conquest. As a borderland region between the strong kingdoms, it was once ruled by the Ironborn House Hoare and the Storm Kings at one point. As of Season 7, the region is currently in anarchy after the Red Wedding and the Frey assassinations. During the War of the Five Kings, it pledged allegiance to Robb Stark as King of the North but Roose Bolton and Walder Frey betrayed him at the Red Wedding. Since Arya Stark assassinated the Freys, its political situation remains ambiguous.

kieran-belshaw-riverrun-drawbridgetower-v011a

Location: Along the Trident River and borders every region of Westeros but Dorne. It’s close to the center of the continent.

Size: It’s of considerable size.

Capital: Riverrun (Though the Freys ran the Riverlands from the Twins).

Battle_of_Oxcross

Climate: It’s a mostly temperate region with warm summers and moderately cold winters. Experiences moderate rainfall.

Environment: Dominated by the Trident River and its numerous tributaries, creating a major watershed in Westeros.

Resources: A bountiful region for agriculture. But with the War of the Five Kings and being a general battlefield venue, the landscape can descend into a desiccated wasteland. Though its vast size, significant population, and fertility has made it able to recover from all the wars fought there.

Red_wedding_s3_ep9.png

Population: This is one of the most populous regions in Westeros.

Key Cities: Principal port cities are Seagard, Saltpans, and Maidenpool. Other notable towns include Stoney Sept, Penny Tree, Mummer’s Ford, Wendish Town, Fairmarket.
Culture: Noble bastards take the surname Rivers. Practice Viking funerals.
Religion: Worship the Faith of the Seven.

House-Tully-Main-Shield

Great House: Formerly House Tully, but their rule ended with the Red Wedding when Lord Edmure was taken prisoner after consummating his marriage while his sister Lady Catelyn and her family were killed by Walder Frey. Lord Edmure was later stripped of his land and titles. House Frey then took the region over until Arya Stark assassinated Lord Walder and the male members of his family in a plot of revenge. As of Season 7, the Lannisters have pretty much taken this place over.

Vassal Houses: House Frey (extinct), House Whent, House Mallister, House Bracken, House Mooton, House Blackwood, and House Smallwood.

History: Once known as the Kingdom of the Rivers and the Hills during the First Men, the Riverlands were conquered by the Stormlands who ruled for 200 years before the land was overrun by the Ironborn a century before Aegon the Conqueror’s invasion. Under the rule of House Tully, they assisted the first Targaryen king in a separate uprising.

image1

Current Status: As of Season 7, the Riverlands are currently in anarchy after Arya Stark assassinated the male Freys at the Twins over the Red Wedding. Though a Lannister host has been deployed to try to keep the peace after Ser Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully and many river lords managed to retake Riverrun. The Lannisters responded with a siege.
Best Known for: The Riverlands is the networking region connecting all the major kingdoms. So it’s common for travelers to have surprising chance random encounters. On the flip side, due to lack of natural geographical defenses and a center location, the Riverlands ends up involved in most Westerosi conflicts and are dragged into wars they don’t cause, resulting in their turf becoming a major battlefield. So House Tully had to broker marriage alliances to ensure peace with their rivals.

Home of: Pot Pie, Catelyn Tully, Lysa Tully, Walder Frey, Edmure Tully, Hoster Tully, Roslin Frey, Walder Rivers, Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, and Walda Frey.

mekvcynkrspruv6hh7tc

Landmarks: There’s the haunted castle remains of Harrenhal, but I’d advise against it.

What to Avoid: Stay out of ruined castle remains of Harrenhal. Though the largest castle of Westeros built by the Ironborn during their occupation, the Targaryens invaded the very day upon its completion and hosted a royal family barbecue inside (with dragon fire). Since then, any family who attempted to lay claim or quickly occupy it has quickly descended into ruin. Also, watch out for opposing militaries. Also stay out of the Twins since that’s the scene of the Red Wedding.

For Those Who Want to Visit: This is an easy place to stop by since it’s often frequented by travelers, especially at the Crossroads Inn. So feel free to spend some time within its many taverns along the roads that facilitate many chance encounters with your favorite characters. That is, if they didn’t die yet in the series. Oh, and if you save some inn employee or owner’s life, you may even get free food for life. Also, proceed with caution to the Hollow Hill which is the hideout for the Brotherhood Without Borders.

Harrenhal1

Advertisements

The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 6 – The Vale of Arryn

Eyrie_S4

Surrounded by the Mountains of the Moon, the Vale of Arryn is isolated from the rest of Westeros and is only accessible during the warmer seasons. Anyway, the Vale is where the Andals landed and spread out during their invasion. Ruled by House Arryn, it is currently ruled by a sheltered and creepy child as of Season 7. Since his father was assassinated at the beginning of Game of Thrones while Littlefinger put his mother through the Moon Gate after she caught him making advances on Sansa. Under Lysa’s regency after Jon Arryn’s death, the Vale followed a strict neutrality policy during the War of the Five Kings until the last stages. After he killed her, Littlefinger pretty much ran the place until Sansa and Arya executed him at Winterfell.

vale2

Location: South of the North but north of the Riverlands.

Size: It’s fairly large if you look on the Westeros map.

Capital: The Eyrie, located beyond a long and treacherous road at a high mountain top. Has no regular executioner since it kills wrongdoers with the Moon Gate and sports open air prison cells with holes in the floors.

Climate: It’s quite temperate most of the time. Though the winters can be quite harsh.

Environment: The Vale is dominated and mostly covered by the Mountains of the Moon and its offshoot chains.

Resources: Well, the valleys are known to support agriculture. Other than that, there’s not much else.

The-vale-bloody-gate-game-of-thrones-the-mountain-and-the-viper-01-1280x720

Population: Home to many barbaric hill tribes between the mountain fortresses and fertile river valleys, a problem that the Lords of the Vale haven’t really done much to combat it since they all have a seeming blindness to anything going on in the region and a very distinct sense of pride and honor regarding their mountains.

Key Cities: The port city of Gulltown. Towns include Wickendon and Sisterton.

Culture: Noble bastards have the surname of Stone.

Religion: Worship the Faith of the Seven.

House-Arryn-Main-Shield.png

Great House: The House of Arryn, currently headed by a Lord Robin who’s only a kid. But the Vale Lords hold intense pride for their homeland has blinded them to any flaws within them. Whenever danger comes knocking at their door, they’re more than content to simply hole up in their mountains and ride it out relatively unscathed. In fact, their geographical defenses have kept the Vale Lords isolated from matters of real concern like making peace or destroying the Hill Tribes, feeding an unjustified sense of superiority and security. Lord Jon Arryn was the exception, however, since he took part in Lord Robert’s Rebellion and served as his Hand of the King. Until he got assassinated.

Vassal Houses: House Baelish (extinct), House Royce, and House Waynwood.

History: Once known as the Kingdom of Mountain and Vale before the Targaryen conquest, the Andals first landed in the region and spread out from there during their Westeros invasion. Though as settlement patterns became established, the Reach became the major Andal population and cultural center. Nonetheless, combined with the Vale’s isolated mountainous terrain, noble families from the area are said to have the purest Andal bloodlines within Westeros.

Lysa-Arryn

Current Status: Aligned as part of the Kingdom of the North until Jon Snow bent the knee to Daenerys.

Best Known for: Being nigh impregnable compared to most of the rest of the kingdoms and mostly neutral on Westeros affairs.

Home of: Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, Jon Arryn, Robin Arryn, Hugh of the Vale, Yohn Royce, Vardis Egen, and Mord.

untitled

Landmarks: Other than the Bloody Gate, I’m not sure.

What to Avoid: It’s best not to hike up the mountains since they’re home to hostile hill tribes.

For Those Who Want to Visit: The only way inside is The Bloody Gate, so named because during the Age of Heroes, 12 different armies beat themselves bloody against it trying to get in, all without success. Not to mention, the Vale is only accessible during the warmer months. Yet, once inside, watch out for the resident hill tribes who are dangerous to passing travelers. But their lack of organization and advanced weaponry means they pose no threat to the rest of the 7 Kingdoms.

Petyr-Baelish-and-Robin-Arryn-lord-petyr-baelish-37179752-500-333-50725496-b089-45d2-893d-02355d2d8266

The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 5 – The Iron Islands

Pyke

Home of the maritime raiding Ironborn, the Iron Islands is among the smallest and least populous region of Westeros. Located off the continent’s west coast, these small, rocky, windswept islands don’t support a lot of resources. This explains why the Ironborn have resorted to raiding and pillaging as a way of life for much of their history until Aegon the Conqueror put a stop to it. Well, at least within Westeros. Nonetheless, they are exceptional sailors and would be a military force to be reckoned with if they had the numbers and discipline. But before the Targaryen Conquest, they once controlled the Riverlands under House Hoare for 3 generations, which they conquered from the Stormlands. And unlike most of Westeros, they worship the Drowned God.

gameofthronesday2013

Location: A small collective of islands west of the Neck and northwest of the Riverlands.

Size: It’s the smallest of the 7 Kingdoms.

Capital: Castle Pyke on the island of Pyke.

Climate: Rain-lashed and cold with frequent storms.

Environment: The islands are small and rocky with poor soil and hardly any naturally resources.

Resources: Other than iron mines, there’s not much else. Hell, if there were a lot of natural resources, they wouldn’t be raiding.

Pyke_GoT.png

Population: Call themselves Ironborn. Despite their Golden Age being over, they still yearn for their pillaging ways. Have a reputation for being the most rebellious and troublesome people of Westeros. Still, it’s among the least populous regions of Westeros so there aren’t many of them.

Key Cities: Islands include Pyke, Great Wyk, Harlaw, Blacktyde, Orkmont, Old Wyk, Lonely Light, and Saltcliffe. Red Harbor is the region’s main port.

big_1489297628_image

Culture: Noble bastards take the surname Pyke. Take pride in the “iron price” as an echo for their pillaging ways the Targaryens forced them to give up. Or at least give up raiding around Westeros. Were also known to take captive slaves to work in their few agricultural fields since the Ironborn can’t afford draft animals. A youth isn’t considered a man until he kills his first enemy. Have open attitudes toward sexuality since they’re a maritime culture (though it might be more along the lines of “love the one you’re with.”) Also a very male-dominated society (though they may take exception to Yara).

Religion: Worship the Drowned God, which is in an eternal struggle with the Storm God and focuses on resurrection. Have a kind of baptism ceremony of initiation for infants and a similar ceremony to anoint kings. Priests are known as Drowned Men.

House-Greyjoy-Main-Shield

Great House: House Greyjoy, who were appointed as rulers by the Ironborn under Aegon the Conqueror’s direction. As of Season 7, currently subject to a dynastic dispute between King Euron and Princess Yara.

Vassal Houses: House Botley, House Harlaw, and House Goodbrother.

Greyjoys_HBO-e1441288960368

History: The Ironborn were once fierce pirates and plunderers who raided the mainland for gold, glory, and prisoners to work their fields and tend their docks. At one point, they were the most feared people of Westeros. Legend states that one of their ancient kings slew a sea dragon. Before the Targaryen Conquest, it was once known as the Kingdom of the Iron Isles, They once ruled the Riverlands, which entailed beating the shit out of the stormlords. They then successfully defeated and drove back the Andals, subsuming them into their society and not the other way around as in the rest of Westeros. Harren the Black once had his massive Harrenhal castle built as a monument to his subjugation of them. But Aegon the Conqueror landed and reduced the castle to smoking ruins thanks to dragons. He then pushed the Ironborn back to their islands and allowed them to appoint House Greyjoy as their new rulers. Though Balon Greyjoy tried to reverse this by rebellion but the Baratheons beat them into submission. While Ned Stark took in his son Theon as his ward and hostage. Balon also exiled his younger brother Euron who became the most feared pirate in Westeros, terrorizing the seas from Oldtown to Essos.

Current Status: As of Season 7, it’s in the middle of a dynastic dispute between King Euron and Princess Yara.

Screen-Shot-2017-07-31-at-1.22.54-PM-1501521836-640x355

Best Known for: The Ironborn are known to be fearsome warriors and are unparalleled in the seafaring arts. Individually, they can be the strongest warriors in Westeros. But they’re too individualistic to fight cohesively as a group. Also, cannot bear to admit defeat and insist on paying everything with the “iron price,” taking it by force or negotiating for what they need.

Home of: Theon Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, Euron Greyjoy, and Balon Greyjoy.

Landmarks: Not that I can name.

What to Avoid: Note there are frequent storms here and that the Ironborn are a hostile lot.

For Those Who Want to Visit: You might want to stay away from this place entirely.

yara-greyjoy

 

The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 4 – The Stormlands

untitled

Known for its destructive and erratic weather patterns, the Stormlands is home to the Baratheons who are descended from Aegon the Conqueror’s illegitimate half-brother Orlys Baratheon. Later, they overthrew the Targaryens and ruled Westeros for nearly two decades. Or at least Robert did. But once he dies, King Joffrey assumes the throne and kicks off a major succession crisis between him and his uncles Stannis and Renly who are at each others’ throats. Of course, as of Season 7, anyone with the name Baratheon is dead. While the only remaining person from that family tree is a bastard blacksmith son of King Robert named Gendry. A temperate rainforest, it’s also home to the old Targaryen palace of Summerhall. Not to mention, one of our favorite knights in shining armor Brienne of Tarth is also from this region.

Stormlands-Game-of-Thrones-01-2012-04-23

Location: On the southeast coast of Westeros but north of Dorne.

Size: Of moderate size.

Capital: Storm’s End, though not in its original structure. Since increment weather had repeatedly destroyed it under the Storm Kings. After the Storm King fell in battle during Targaryen Conquest, King Aegon the Conqueror gave it to his half-brother Orlys Baratheon.

renlys_camp

Climate: Warm and temperate but with lots of storms and significant rainfall.

Environment: It’s a rocky, storm ravaged land as well as a temperate rainforest. Is the most densely forested of the 7 Kingdoms since it has 2 major forests with the Kingswood bordering the Crownlands and the Rainwood. Has low mountains in the center and high mountains in the south. The Isle of Tarth is the only place in this region not ravaged by frequent storms.

Resources: Well, they have a potential for lumber since it’s one of the most forested places in the realm.

Hkvy2VK

Population: Supports a moderate population.

Key Cities: Includes several islands most notably, Estmont and Tarth.

Culture: Noble bastards take the surname Storm.

Religion: Under the Storm Kings, once worshipped the Storm God. After the Targaryen Conquest, adopted the Faith of the Seven.

House-Baratheon-Main-Shield

Great House: Formerly House Baratheon, which is extinct as of Season 7. Currently it’s in the midst of a succession crisis.

Vassal Houses: House Tarth, House Errol, House Estermont, House Wylde, House Swann, House Connington, House Caron, House Dondarrion, and House Morrigen.

History: Was originally the Storm Kingdom before the Targaryen conquest and once ruled the Riverlands before the Ironborn pushed them out. During the conquest, Aegon the Conqueror defeated the last Storm King and made his illegitimate half-brother Orlys Baratheon Lord Paramount, giving him the Stormlands, Storm’s End, and the last king’s daughter to rule.

maxresdefault.jpg

Current Status: Since all the legitimate Baratheons and their heirs are all dead, it’s in the midst of a succession crisis. The only Baratheon remaining is a blacksmith’s apprentice named Gendry who’s one of Robert’s bastards.

Best Known for: Savage and frequent storms from the Narrow Sea.

Home of: Brienne of Tarth, Robert Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, and Renly Baratheon.

brienne-5

Landmarks: Summerhall is a ruined castle built by the Targaryens as a summer palace and vacation home. Destroyed by fire killing Aegon V, his heir, and friend Ser Duncan the Tall. Said to be caused by an attempt to hatch dragon eggs.

What to Avoid: Well, the storms for one.

For Those Who Want to Visit: Tarth is known for its great beauty and isn’t as much affected by storms as the other Stormlands.

robert-baratheon

The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 3 – The Crownlands

S05E06_-_King's_Landing

As the capital region of Westeros, the Crownlands is a prevalent setting in Game of Thrones, particularly if It’s King’s Landing. A place of palace intrigue, it is home to the Iron Throne that so many are willing to kill for. Yet, it also includes the Targaryen ancestral home of Dragonstone. Created by Aegon the Conqueror since it was where 3 of the major kingdoms met, the Crownlands are the newest region of Westeros since they were once part of the Riverlands. So it’s no surprise that both areas seem culturally similar. Anyway, for most of 3 centuries, the Targaryens ruled the area and Westeros until Robert’s Rebellion overthrew them. House Baratheon ruled the next two decades until King Robert died in a “boar hunting accident.” After that, King Joffery and King Tommen ruled but they’re basically Lannisters. But after Tommen committed suicide following the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, Cersei Lannister assumed the throne as Westeros’ first reigning queen and House Lannister became the most powerful region in Westeros at last. But given that being on the Iron Throne will put you in the hot seat, it will only be a matter of time until Cersei falls in the upcoming Season 8.

56666aa4744cbbd13232191959e9ebbd

Location: Situated close to the Narrow Sea and above the Stormlands and stretching from Blackwater Bay.

Size: It’s about moderate size.

Capital: The Red Keep at King’s Landing, built by House Targaryen.

Climate: Mostly temperate.

Environment: Environment is similar to the Riverlands with plains and river valleys and consists of 3 main areas the mainland, the islands, and Dragonstone. Though Cracklaw Point is forested with hills and bogs.

Resources: Other than agriculture and tourism, there’s not much else.

maxresdefault

Population: This is rather densely populated given the importance of King’s Landing.

Key Cities: Of course, there’s King’s Landing which is the capital city of Westeros as well as its largest city. Actually it’s overpopulated. Notable townships include Duskendale and Rosby. While notable islands comprise of Dragonstone, Driftmark, and Claw Isle.

3x08_Великая_септа

Culture: Noble bastards take the surname Waters. Since it’s the newest region in Westeros, it doesn’t have much of a distinct cultural identity than this.

Religion: Worship the Faith of the Seven. Headquarters of the Faith Militant and the Great Sept of Baelor (well, formerly). High Septon is based here as well.

game-of-thrones-great-hall-cr-hbo

Great House: House Lannister now that Cersei has declared herself Queen of Westeros in her own right. Before then, it was House Baratheon during the reign of King Robert. While before then, it was House Targaryen who united the Seven Kingdoms and ruled for centuries before Robert’s Rebellion.

Vassal Houses: House Stokeworth, House Ryker, and House Rosby.

History: Once contested territory between the Riverlands, the Iron Islands, the Reach, and the Stormlands. The Crownlands were created by Aegon the Conqueror through his conquest of Westeros. So this land section was set aside for his castle.

game-of-thrones-the-dragon-and-the-wolf-cersei-jamie-lannister-07

Current Status: Basically run by the Lannisters since the death of King Robert Baratheon. Though Dragonstone is now a base for Daenerys Targaryen.

Best Known for: Considered the capital region of Westeros.

Home of: Qyburn, Varys, Gendry Waters, Joffey Baratheon, Myrcella Baratheon, Shireen Baratheon, Tommen Baratheon, and Davos Seaworth.

game-of-thrones-7-dragonstone-zamok-krepost-gory

Landmarks: The fortress castle of Dragonstone has been the Targaryens’ ancestral home in Westeros and was usually occupied by the heir to the Iron Throne. In King’s Landing there’s the Great Sept of Baelor (now destroyed), the Guildhall of the Alchemists with the pyromancers.

What to Avoid: Keep away from the Faith Militant at all costs, especially if they’re royal pawns. Also, stay out of Fleabottom. You might want to stay out of the Red Keep, too.

For Those Who Want to Visit: You might want to obey the law at all times. Since the King’s Landing legal system usually holds trials as a mere formality and often determines effective guilt before then. Also, though King’s Landing may have a pretty skyline, it’s a wretched hive underneath with rampant poverty. Anyway, feel free to watch a tournament or see a play. In addition, if you’re into that sort of thing, Littlefinger’s brothel looks kind of nice.

dany-coucil-full

The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 2 – The Westerlands

Casterly-rock

Second, we venture to the Westerlands, home of the Great House we love to hate, the Lannisters (though with the exception of Tyrion). Thanks to their hills being filled with mines of gold and other precious metals, they’re said to be the wealthiest family in Westeros while their bannermen are also said to have plenty of wealth. So they can amass a large army. But the mines eventually run dry that the Tyrells had to pay half the wedding bill and the family’s taking loans from the Iron Bank. Nonetheless, while we see a lot of the Lannisters on Game of Thrones, we don’t see much of the Westerlands. But while it’s small in size, it’s densely populated. As of Season 7, the Lannisters are the most powerful family in Westeros. But we must acknowledge that power is fleeting when you play the game of thrones as Tyrion managed to capture Casterly Rock for Daenerys.

game-of-thrones-season-7-episode-3-23

Location: West of the Riverlands. North of the Reach.

Size: One of the smaller regions of the 7 Kingdoms.

Capital: Casterly Rock, now captured by Tyrion Lannister with Daenerys’ Army of the Unsullied.

Climate: Somewhat temperate.

Environment: Surrounded by natural defenses like thick forests, low mountains and hills, and the sea at the region’s back. Home to wild mountain lions.

1f019849e94ba5de06d31d5f0adb67d666e558ec_00

Resources: Its mountains are home to mines of gold, silver, iron, and other precious metals that have made the Lannisters and their vassals immensely wealthy. Though as of Season 7, these mines have already run dry after the War of the Five Kings (or at least the ones owned by the Lannisters). Since they’ve had to secure a marriage alliance with the Tyrells who footed half the wedding bill and have taken tremendous loans at the Iron Bank of Bravos.

Population: Has one of the larger populations of Westeros.

Key Cities: The port town of Lannisport is the Westerlands’ largest city and main source of trade. A notable village is Oxcross.

Culture: Noble bastards take the surname of Hill.

Religion: Worship the Faith of the Seven.

House_Lannister

Great House: House Lannister, considered the richest family in Westeros (though the real richest family on the continent is most likely the Tyrells. Nonetheless, the Lannisters are definitely the most powerful by a longshot). Yet, after the War of the Five Kings, their mines have run dry. Since they’ve had to take tremendous loans from the Iron Bank of Bravos while they secured a marriage alliance for House Tyrell who footed half of the royal wedding bill. While the death of Tywin has put the family in a delicate position while Tyrion’s exile has left no suitable heir for Lord Paramount and Warden of the West. Also has a reputation for incest.

Vassal Houses: House Clegane, House Payne, House Lefford, House Reyne (extinct), House Mabrand, House Westerling, House Lefford, House Crakehall, House Swyft, House Sarsfield, House Serrett, and House Tarbeck (extinct).

History: Legend states that Lannister patriarch, Lann the Clever successfully swindled House Casterly out of their castle of Casterly Rock. Was known as the Kingdom of the Rock before the Targaryen Conquest.

Lannisters

Current Status: For the first time in history, Casterly Rock has fallen to a foe. Utilizing a secret passageway constructed by Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys’ Unsullied armies infiltrated and captured the castle. Whil the Lannisters have deliberately left Casterly Rock underdefended so they can focus more on capturing Highgarden, which they did. But Daenerys’ forces smashed the Lannisters in the Battle of Goldroad so they’re in charge of the capital. But the Lannisters still rule the rest of the place.

Best Known for: Said to be the richest of the Seven Kingdoms. Also has the best equipped army in the realm with heavily-armored soldiers and cavalry.

Home of: Tyrion Lannister, Podrick Payne, Gregor Clegane, Cersei Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Jamie Lannister, The Hound, and Bronn.

thumb-1920-637672

Landmarks: The ruins of Castamere which was owned by House Reyne. Until Tywin Lannister suppressed a rebellion and destroyed the castle. Another is the ruins of Tarbeck Hall raised when they joined the Reynes.

What to Avoid: When you hear “The Reynes of Castamere” head for the hills since it means the Lannisters will send their regards. Also, don’t piss off the Lannisters. Not to mention, you might want to beware of lions in the mountains.

For Those Who Want to Visit: Know that the saying “A Lannister always pays his debts,” can also be about seeking revenge. So be nice to them (though that may not mean they’ll be nice to you). Can be accessed through the Riverlands from the Golden Tooth. Possesses a number of navigable rivers as well.

Tyrion-Cersei-Jaime-Lannister-game-of-thrones.jpg

The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 1 – The North

game-of-thrones-westeros-map

Based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the long-running HBO series Game of Thrones is filmed in many exotic locations, mostly in Europe and the Middle East. Since the continents of Westeros and Essos are home to various kinds of people with their own customs on lands of various terrain. While Essos seems to have more variety, Westeros is home to the Seven Kingdoms. So here I give you a guide on all the places in the characters’ known world. This information is taken from the hit HBO show as of Season 7 so there will be plenty of differences from A Song of Ice and Fire books which I never read. Then again, George R. R. Martin still has a couple of books to write so I don’t think I’m missing much. The first several posts will concern the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros while the others will focus on the places in Essos.

maxresdefault

First, we go to the North, home to our favorite Great House in Westeros, the Starks at Winterfell. Of course, during the series, this family goes through hell with Ned’s beheading, the Red Wedding, and the Bolton takeover. But after the Battle of the Bastards, the Starks have re-taken the North with Jon Snow as its king. Bordered by a swamp called the Neck, it’s a rather hostile place of forest, ice, and snow. As the only region to resist the Andal invaders, the Northmen the Old Golds of the Forest of the First Men. But they still remember the Long Night and the White Walkers. And they know when winter comes, the White Walkers may pass the wall and wreak havoc onto humanity.

the-north-winterfell

Location: Stretches from the Sunset Sea to the Shivering Sea as wells from the Wall to the bogs of the Neck.

Size: The North is the largest region in Westeros by area, big enough to house the other six kingdoms in Westeros.

Capital: Winterfell, which is situated atop hot springs and has existed for millennia. While winding tombs below the castle contain Stark king and lord remains as well as record the ancient family’s history.

Distant_Winterfell

Climate: It’s the coldest region in Westeros since some areas experience snow during the summer, especially close to the Wall. While snowfall increases as your move further along the Kingsroad. And this is in any a fantasy world where the seasons can last for years. When it’s winter, it’s especially harsh. Yet, the southern areas enjoy comparatively mild temperatures.

Environment: The nothernmost areas in the region could consist of subarctic tundra as well as the Wolfswood forest (the largest in Westeros) along with rivers and plains. The Neck is a swamp which serves as a natural barrier to the North proper. Only House Reed and the area’s crannogmen can properly navigate through its treacherous landscape and fierce creatures. While many have died trying to find their way through it unaided.

Resources: Aside from agriculture in the Neck, there’s not many resources here.

image

Population: Due to the forbidding climate and environment, the North isn’t known for having a dense population. In fact, it’s one of the most sparse. People usually have dark hair and white skin akin to the First Men. Neck inhabitants are called crannogmen while Wildlings inhabit the northernmost areas.

Key Cities: The port town of White Harbor is the North’s primary source of trade and the only place that can be considered a city there. Barrowton is another notable town.

nedandtree

Culture: Place a high value on honor while believing in White Walkers and the Long Night as undeniable truth. Noble bastard children have the name Snow. Are particularly zealous about cultivating and preserving their resources since surviving winter is often a life-or-death struggle. Have fewer wars amongst themselves since cooperation is essential for survival. Practice strict observance of guest right and the laws of hospitality. Don’t hold tournaments (though participate in those in the southern areas) and have little regard for southern political intrigues.

Religion: Worship the Old Gods that the First Men adopted from the Children of the Forest and pray underneath the weirwood trees dotting the land. Because the Andals found little foothold in the North, its warriors aren’t regularly designated as “knights” since “knighthood” is a code of values associated with the Faith of the Seven.

house baratheon banner Awesome haus stark game of thrones wiki fandom powered by wikia

Great House: House Stark (though there was a stint when the Boltons ruled between the Red Wedding and the Battle of the Bastards) Ruled by Warden of the North Jon Snow and Lady Sansa Stark. The Starks have also been the dominant family in the North for thousands of years. Believe that he who passes sentence should swing the sword.

Vassal Houses: House Bolton (extinct), House Karstark, House Reed, House Mormont, House Umber, House Glover, House Cerwyn, House Hornwood, House Tallhart, House Manderly, House Dustin, House Flint, House Forester, House Dormund, House Whitehill, House Ryswell, and House Glenmore.

History: According to legend, the Kingdom of the North was established by House Stark’s founder Bran the Builder who built the Wall as a shield against the possible return of the White Walkers. Stark rulers were known as Kings of the North before King Torren submitted to Aegon the Conqueror who made him Lord Paramount of the region. Though Torren got criticized for this, bending the knee is the main reason why House Stark managed to survive for this long. Since nobody stood a chance against dragons.

Stark-Family-Tree-6

Current Status: Has recognized Daenerys as its sovereign while still ruled by House Stark. Still, though Jon Snow may no longer be King of the North, he has a strong claim to the Iron Throne as a Targaryen. In addition, he and Daenerys will most definitely get married and have a child in Season 8.

Best Known for: Hardened warriors and honorable leaders. Also, for being the only region of the Seven Kingdoms that holds the traditions of the First Men.

Home of: Jon Snow, Meera Reed, Jorah Mormont, Ramsay Bolton, Ned Stark, Osha, Bran Stark, Robb Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Rickon Stark, Jojen Reed, Benjen Stark, Lyanna Mormont, Jeor Mormont, Old Nan, Osha, and Hodor.

game-of-thrones-jon-snow.jpg

Landmarks: Well, there are weirwood trees. Then there’s the ruined castle of Moat Cailin in the Neck, which was built by the First Men but has been unoccupied for centuries.

What to Avoid: Stay away from the Boltons since they have an infamous reputation for torture on all occasions (though they’re extinct so you need not worry even at the Dreadfort). Also, watch out for White Walkers.

For Those Who Want to Visit: Take warnings of winter and White Walkers very seriously. Make sure take a fur coat along. Also, be nice to the Wildlings. Further you stay away from the wall, the better.

Game-of-thrones-Jon-Snow-Dragon-and-the-Wolf