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What Country Does Each Kingdom Represent Historically?


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221 replies to this topic

#41 voodooqueen126

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:10 AM

I think it s the post I like the least : the map is way too big compared to UK and people are way too different in Westeros. Even physically.
Martin is a big fan of various books about european history and not only history of british island, he s inspiration is way beyond the history of UK. ( He is for example said to be a big fan of Les rois maudits by Druot a french author ) I think he is less anglo-saxon centered than some of his readers.

I agree that it's too big, for instance the Reach is sort of like France (with the chivalry and the flowers) and Dorne is very Spanish (particularly resembling Spain is say the time of Urraca of Naples when Spain was actually extremely liberal with women). The Vale has Switzerland's neutrality thing going on... but if you go to the extreme of saying that each Kingdom in Westeros represents a European country, except the Free Cities which are the Italian city states then why not go to the other extreme... I was sort of playing around with the idea, especially how Essos looks a bit like the French coastline....

#42 The Bloody Boar

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:18 AM

Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms are Britain.

North of the Wall is Scotland. The North is the North of England. The rest of Westeros is nowhere specific but all England except Dorne is Cornwall, despite the fact that it's become all Spanish and Moorish.

The Iron Islands are a much-reduced Denmark, full of Vikings.

The First Men are Saxons who believe in common law. The Andals are Normans, who introduced many aspects of continental European civilization to Britain, in Martin's world, knighthood and the sept. Celts have no equivalent in Martin's world, unless the First Men can be regarded as a blend of Saxon and Celt.

The Free Cities look like Italian City States. Old Valyria was the Roman Empire. Old Ghis is a non-specific corrupt Middle-Eastern empire. Qaarth is a variation of the same. Asshai is some kind of mystical, mythical Far Eastern empire, but, judging by Melisandre, not ethnically Asian.

The Dothraki are a blend of Mongolian and Native American.

#43 Glyn Tarvoke

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:41 AM

why is everyone thinking that North = one of the UK island, common on, I know it s cold up there but still ... I will more go with the guy saying Scandinavia or Russia.


Taking something another posted, Westoros is geographically close to the British Isles with Ireland placed at the bottom.

Braavos seems a lot like Amsterdam to me. Canals, open society, strong merchant class, fierce fighters, anti-slavery.

Slavers Bay a Mediterranean place, much like Algiers and Constantinople, replete with the slave trade.

The Andals seem a lot like the Norman (Norse) invaders of the British Isles, where you still had pockets of the earlier inhabitants.

#44 Lorent Tyrell

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:54 AM

Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms are Britain.


I don't think this theory is tenable. While it may evoke Britain in its shape, it is way too big and full of too many different people. This idea would be more plausible if Essos was populated by a larger population of European-seeming people. But that is not the case. It wouldn't be much of a medieval-inspired fantasy if the 90% of the European seeming people were British.

It makes more sense to say that most of the European peoples are represented in Westeros.

#45 northern monkey

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:04 PM

Hi All, first post.........

Always thought that Valyria was more representative of ancient Egypt especially with their written language portrayed as strange writings and that the Targaryens were originally from there and they also married brother to sister as did some of the pharaoh's. If the writings are to be considered to be strange then they are not like the current written form that is used in Westeros whereas the Latin alphabet is recognised and used today.

#46 JonHo

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:28 PM

I don't think this theory is tenable. While it may evoke Britain in its shape, it is way too big and full of too many different people. This idea would be more plausible if Essos was populated by a larger population of European-seeming people. But that is not the case. It wouldn't be much of a medieval-inspired fantasy if the 90% of the European seeming people were British.

It makes more sense to say that most of the European peoples are represented in Westeros.

This.

Because if Westeros is Great Britain, how does Dorne fit into that? There is no climate or culture like that in Great Britain.

#47 Kade Blackwood

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:28 PM

I don't think this theory is tenable. While it may evoke Britain in its shape, it is way too big and full of too many different people. This idea would be more plausible if Essos was populated by a larger population of European-seeming people. But that is not the case. It wouldn't be much of a medieval-inspired fantasy if the 90% of the European seeming people were British.

It makes more sense to say that most of the European peoples are represented in Westeros.

Not necessarily. It depends on how big the rest of Martin's world is.

In Tolkien's world, most of the culture we come across is British-ish. In the Forgotten Realms, on the other hand, you have the distinct blend as you do in our world, simply laid out on a different map. I don't see most of Europe in Westeros itself; mostly England and Scotland and the obligatory effects of France, Spain, Ireland and Scandinavia. There are some very distinct cultural things which pop up in the stories which suggest this but we have to remember that this is a British-like world with some influences of various real-world cultures. None of them are necessarily dead-ringers for any particular culture because it's a fantasy realm.

#48 Michael Jon Snow

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:51 PM

I like some of these ideas but I don't think each kingdom is meant to represent anything specific. I think there's bits and pieces taken from all of Western European history and mixed together. Things like the Wall being Hadrians Wall or the Titan of Braavos being the Colossus of Rhodes aren't meant to be taken as "thinly veiled analogies" for real places.

Not that that was the point of this topic but I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't think much about it.


What I was going to say, almost exactly. Except that I think those items are intended to be suggestive of real word places, not analogous to actual places.

#49 Der Anarch

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:07 PM

The Targaryans are the Roman Republic. When in Volantis, we are told 'it is a freehold like old Valyria'. Freeholdism is clearly the Westerosi equivalent of Republicanism. However, no Emperors or Kings are ever mentioned and Volantis retains a semi-democratic government by Triarhcs. Thus, we can assume the Freehold, unlike the Republic, never fell. This is interesting, because were would the Targaryans get the idea to be Kings from, if they came from such a heritage? Methinks their claim of Valyrian descent is not as direct as they want people to think...

The Free Cities are it's successor states. While most people seem to think about Italian City States, they remind me more of Ancient Greeks (the Elephants in particular remind me of the Greek Kingdoms of the Diadochi). The 'love of boys' seems to suggest this as well.

Westeros is European, but not Europe. The language is too uniform (bizarrely so for a Medieval society), and their only seem to be three distinct ethic groups. Andals, First Men and Rhoynar. Family names are almost all English sounding. Is Dorne really supposed to be that Middle Eastern when they have names like Yornwood? The Ironmen are clearly Norse, but they seem to me a recent addition to Seven Kingdoms, and I doubt they'll ever really become part of Westeros. Just like the Irish never became part of Britain.

Slavers Bay is Persio-Babelonyian, with influences from Valyria such as their mimicking of Valyrian military organisation, which we should note is not something the Targaryans have introduced to Westeros.

Edited by Maponus, 10 November 2011 - 03:09 PM.


#50 Symmy1234

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:55 PM

Iron islands- The vikings
Westerlands- Germans
Vale- Switzerland
Dorne- The Moors
Reach- France
Stormlands- Saxons
North- Scandinavia
Riverlands- Italy
The Dothraki- The Mongols
Braavos- Venice
The Disputed lands- Africa- particulaly the central war torn area
Slavers bay- The middle east
Asshai- Hong Kong
Summer Islands- Carribean
Skagros- Madagascar- during the rein of queen ravalonna
Valyria- Rome

#51 Aedan Stormrage

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:24 PM

This is something that I have been wondering since getting into ASOIAF. Martin must have modeled them after some sort of culture in history. Here are my guesses for some of them:

The North=Saxon
Westerlands=Germany
Iron Islands=Vikings(Martin said that himself)
Dorne=Mediterranean
The Riverlands=England
Free Cities=Persia
The Vale=Scandinavian

Any other ideas?


I don't agree with the North. I don't think the Saxons are a good match... I think none have a good one-to-one match, but rather they are all mixtures of 2 or 3 different civilizations. For example, in the case of the North and the Starks, I think we should think in something with more snow and wolves... I would say Scandinavian, even Icelandic, considering that Iceland was first inhabited by Irish colonists. Also remember Dublin was also founded by a mix of Irish and Scandinavian (Danish) people. I would say all this suits them better.

I know the Iron Islands are said to be the Vikings, but I would point out they are rather Vikings + Greek cities. Many forget that the Greeks were great sailors and also that they were fierce, the Dorians founded Sparta. Also they were known anciently as the "Sea People". Also remember the description in the books: a mermaid wife, mermaids were figures in the greek mythology, "They prided themselves on their sacred freedoms", we all know how sacred freedom was to all greeks, they thought it was the only thing they had that was better than all the riches of Persia. Finally, each island had its own king, very reminiscent of Mycenaean kings which came under Agamemnon and Menelaus in the Illiad, furthermore the High King was "chosen". And also check this out, the names are very greek, for example: Theon (greek theos "god, divinity"), Euron (greek eu- "good"), also Victarion is kind of a mix of Latin and Greek such as would be seen in later times. So I would say Vikings + Greek city-states.

I agree with the Westerlands and England after Norman invasion. The Golden lion is very reminiscent of their shield of arms.

I would add that this also goes to Valyria. I don't think they are exclusively and exactly Rome. There are many reasons, for example, the language seems to be more influenced in Greek, the dragon did not represent Rome, the wolf did. Also Rome did end because of a cataclysm, that's Atlantis, and Valyrians had lilac eyes and silver hair, which is not a description of romans. Also they abhorred incest, that was an Egyptian custom. I would say it's a very big mix. Also bear in mind that "valyrian steel" was reminiscent of "damascus steel" with the patterns, so it would point further East, and they do come from Essos. It is a highly complex mix, but no doubts Valyria feels the role in the story that in real life is occupied by Rome and, to a lesser extent, Greece.

#52 Verboten

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:32 PM

I've always associated Dorne with Turkey actually. The warrior queen, the general blend of different cultures and it's strange position as a gateway to Essos while being physically isolated from Westeros make me think of Turkey. Of course there are a lot of other cultures I could draw from but this is the first I though of. Ancient Valyria on the other hand is totally Egypt to me.

#53 Oberyn Sand

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:42 PM

I have the clear answer to all the Westeros debate. WESTEROS IS AMERICA!!111

#54 Aedan Stormrage

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:31 PM

I have the clear answer to all the Westeros debate. WESTEROS IS AMERICA!!111


It is a mix, as I said about the rest.

#55 The Bloody Boar

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:07 AM

Westeros is Britain, just on a considerably larger scale, just as the Wall is Hadrian's Wall, only a lot lot bigger and full of magic.

GRRM said so. It is known.

#56 Aedan Stormrage

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:09 AM

Westeros is Britain, just on a considerably larger scale, just as the Wall is Hadrian's Wall, only a lot lot bigger and full of magic.

GRRM said so. It is known.


Yes, you mean that he said the bit about Hadrian's Wall. The rest is your thing. Again... think of it as a mix of different elements coming together.

#57 SketchBoy

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:34 AM

You guys are all wrong.

Essos is basically Eurasia, and Sothoryos is Africa, right? So Westeros is clearly North America (GRRM forgot about South America): Dorne is Mexico. Everything north of Dorne up to the Wall is the US of A (many kingdoms forming one nation, sound familiar!?) and everything north of the Wall (which represents the 49th Parallel btw) is, of course, Canada.

Or did I just blow your mind? /cool4.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool4:' />

#58 The Bloody Boar

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:19 AM

Yes, you mean that he said the bit about Hadrian's Wall. The rest is your thing. Again... think of it as a mix of different elements coming together.


And where's Hadrian's Wall? Britain. Which also had 7 kingdoms. It's just all scaled up.

#59 ghost the direwolf

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:00 PM

slaver bay is persia + surrounding countries

Asshai = india

free cities = ( Greece, Italy)

Bravos = holland

Dorne = spain

the reach = france
the North = scandinavia
The vale = austria, germany ect
Summer isles = caribean

#60 Negator

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:21 PM

Here is my list:

The North: Scotland. Adherence to old norms, and a fierce, somewhat savage but loyal outlook on life.

The West: England. Cold, political, financially-driven. Perhaps even a touch of Holland.

The Stormlands: Northern France. Think Romanesque cathedrals warding off Viking raids and constantly waring aristocratic factions.

The Reach: Southern France. Think Alsace, or Nice.

Dorne: Spain, with its dry climate, mix with a foreign people (Moors, Rhoynish) and isolation, both geographic and political, by the end of the 15th century.

King's Landing: A mix of London, Rome and perhaps a bit of Constantinople.

Oldtown: Alexandria, a bit of Constantinople.

The Aerie: Romania, with a touch of England. Isolated, arguably bifurcated culture with savages and nobles both.

Riverlands: Holland and Belgium. The lie between combatants and were victimized by Nazi Germany (Lannisters) the same way that Belgium and Holland were.

Free Cities: Renaissance Italy. Weaker of sword arm and nobility, but powerful in terms of wealth, money-lending, science and the arts. Disparate city-states.

Ghiscari: Arabia and North Africa.

Southros: Africa proper.

Dothraki: Mongols

Lahrazeen: Khazars or Tibet.

Quarth: India.

Valyria: Rome and Macedonia with a healthy mix of Pompei and or Atlantis.