Monday, June 22, 2015

Map Monday: If Westeros Were Europe by Joe Satran and Tiara Chiaramonte

A side effect of Game of Thrones becoming such a phenomenon is that people have become more interested in the history of Europe in the Middle Ages. So much so that the folks at Huff Post created this map featuring the real world equivalents of the kingdoms of Westeros:
I found this map to be very creative. They based their deductions off of a George RR Martin quote that compared Westeros to Western Europe and when it came to places like The Reach or Dorne, they were pretty spot on when linking them to France and Spain respectively. That being said, we shouldn't necessarily ignore Westeros' connection with British history. Perhaps the different regions of Britain and their unique history deserve a closer look.

For example, while The North does have a lot of similarities with Scotland, after experiencing the North-South rivalry in England first hand, its not hard to imagine The North just being northern England. In fact, considering The Wall is based off  Hadrian's Wall, which separated the Roman province of Britannia from the lands of the Picts/Scots to the north, it is easy to imagine that the lands Beyond the Wall is more like Scotland than Greenland, especially with the Wildling "clans".

That's not all. Did you know the most thunderstorms in Britain happen in South East England? In fact judging from the Wikipedia map, doesn't South East England look more like the Stormlands than Wales? When you consider Wales' unique culture, language and history, it may make a better stand in for Dorne than Spain. That's not to say that Joe and Tiara's map isn't well done. Far from it in fact. Its just we shouldn't forget how many different places and periods of history George RR Martin pulled from when creating his epic fantasy.

If you want to submit a map for the next Map Monday, email me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com with your map attached and a brief description in the body of the email.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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