Werthead

Atlas of Ice and Fire

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I really like the extrapolated map of Sothoryos in the latest one. It would totally fit if Planetos' "Africa" equivalent was literally like a bigger, upside-down, very roughly Africa-ish shaped continent - complete with a massive, continent-sized desert sitting astride Planetos' "horse latitudes"/desert belt in the southern hemisphere. And it would explain why nobody has found the southernmost edge of it, because the combination of sailing past an inhospitable death maze of a rain forest followed by a massive desert coastline would just be too much for the equivalent of pre-modern sailing ships (few or no friendly ports, unless there were rare ports along the desert coastline that the Summer Islanders keep secret). It would mirror the difficulty in sailing around Africa IRL. 

Odd that the velociraptors in the Green Hell haven't migrated northward, considering how deadly they are. I guess the Brindled Men are keeping them in check. 

It feels like the Valyrians could have more aggressively burned back the jungles with their dragons. 

Edited by Summer Bass

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Geographic Map 25: Asshai, the Shadow and Beyond

This - finally! - concludes the Geographic Map section of the Atlas.

My next plan is to narratively map the events of the novels themselves, chapter-by-chapter. I'm going to abandon this detailed idea: the maps I'm dealing with are simply at too big in scale to use for some of the chapters. More logical will be a narrative sequence of maps charting the course of characters and events from the books. I'm going to take a break for a while whilst I figure that out.

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Good stuff! I've really enjoyed the series. 

There must be something like Sothoryos' plagues going on with Ulthos, because it's really not that far from Yi Ti if tons of ships are already circuiting the Jade Sea to Asshai (and the Yi Ti have done colonization efforts on islands in the Jade Sea). You'd think it would make for an attractive target for Yi Ti colonization, especially since Yi Ti is already a tropical land. 

I love that the eastern edge of the Maesters' knowledge is a barrier made up of Siberia, a big cold desert, the Vale of Shadows, and vampires. I wonder why far eastern Essos is so cold compared to western Essos. Mossovy is at or less than the latitude of Braavos, but it reads like a pretty frigid, subarctic forest. It's almost like Eurasia IRL, with areas in far northeastern Eurasia being colder than their European counterpart areas at the same latitude in northwestern Eurasia. 

I'm hoping we get a flashback to Asshai in a Melisandre POV chapter. It'd be interesting to see how it compares to Yandel's description of it. 

 

Edited by Fall Bass

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Posted (edited)

Hi,
these maps look great! But they only seem to confirm my suspicion, that there's sth. wrong... Maybe it has been discussed elsewhere before, but: The Arbor exports wine to all the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, there must be many vineyards on the island - hills and valleys in a certain distance from the salty soil of the shoreline. Think not just the city of Bordeaux, but whole Acquitaine.
The same island has owned the biggest fleet of Westeros for centuries, further building warships for other armies. This means they must have a lot of wood - huge forests to provide for the shipyards. 
And thirdly, there needs be good farmland to nourish all those dock workers and sailors.
I would conclude, the Arbor should be as big as Ireland, but all maps show it more comparable to Malta (at the most)... What do you think, is this a slip of GRRM?

Also, another question: The culture of the Iron Islands is obviously modelled after the Vikings. But if you look at it, they are (almost) on the same longitude as the Riverlands... The stormy, cold, weather of the islands seems a bit out of place. They are not really secluded (like Scandinavia in our world) either, you would think they should have been conquered long ago to stop them from raiding. Why did Martin not place them further North, off the Frozen Shore for example?

 

Edited by Umber Jack

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@Umber Jack

We've had a wine aficionado inform George of some of these details, including their opinion that the Vale, not the Arbor, would produce the finest wine in Westeros. But the details are all set, so I suppose one must suppose that the interior has vinyards far enough from the sea to explain the rare and costly vintage of golden wine, while between fishing and exports and involvement in shipping the Arbor is able to sustain both its ship-building and its populace. 

I'm not sure why George did not place the Iron Islands further north, but I think the less pleasant conditions can be explained through the fact that the islands have poor soil quality and the climate is dictated in part by colder currents from the North, say, both explaining the apparent richness of sea life and the paucity of agriculture. Agriculture and soil quality would also be impacted by widespread deforestation.

 

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On 12/03/2018 at 2:14 PM, Umber Jack said:

Hi,
these maps look great! But they only seem to confirm my suspicion, that there's sth. wrong... Maybe it has been discussed elsewhere before, but: The Arbor exports wine to all the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, there must be many vineyards on the island - hills and valleys in a certain distance from the salty soil of the shoreline. Think not just the city of Bordeaux, but whole Acquitaine.
The same island has owned the biggest fleet of Westeros for centuries, further building warships for other armies. This means they must have a lot of wood - huge forests to provide for the shipyards. 
And thirdly, there needs be good farmland to nourish all those dock workers and sailors.
I would conclude, the Arbor should be as big as Ireland, but all maps show it more comparable to Malta (at the most)... What do you think, is this a slip of GRRM?

Also, another question: The culture of the Iron Islands is obviously modelled after the Vikings. But if you look at it, they are (almost) on the same longitude as the Riverlands... The stormy, cold, weather of the islands seems a bit out of place. They are not really secluded (like Scandinavia in our world) either, you would think they should have been conquered long ago to stop them from raiding. Why did Martin not place them further North, off the Frozen Shore for example?

 

The Arbor is much, much bigger than Malta. It's about 170 miles long and around 70-80 miles wide. More than half the size of Ireland, maybe almost two-thirds the size.

Whether that's big enough to answer all those queries is another issue. My personal belief is that the Redwynes allied with the Hightowers and got their wood from the mainland. Just because the Redwynes are a major naval power now doesn't mean they always were (look at how the modern Velaryons are a pale shadow of their former selves), so their naval strength might have only come about recently-ish as a result of that alliance.

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I'm far from an expert on wines, but there are plenty of wine produced in Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, or even Cyrpus; all of them about the size of the Arbor or smaller. It is clearly big enough to produce the necessary wine to supply the reduced number of nobles and wealthy people in Westeros that could afford such luxuries.

I'd say that the strange thing is not that the Arbor produces wine. The question should be why other places such as the Vale, the Riverlands or the Reach do not. Perhaps it has to do with the weather. A vine takes three or four years to produce grapes. If they died during winter, that would preclude the possibility of a wine industry in Northern latitudes.

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Vitamin C is literally vital, so people had to somehow have access to that even long winters. Or I assume that people living in places where those are problem use most possible sources of wine to make jams, juices or just somehow froze them instead of making wine.

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On 14.4.2018 at 4:35 PM, Werthead said:

Whether that's big enough to answer all those queries is another issue. My personal belief is that the Redwynes allied with the Hightowers and got their wood from the mainland. Just because the Redwynes are a major naval power now doesn't mean they always were (look at how the modern Velaryons are a pale shadow of their former selves), so their naval strength might have only come about recently-ish as a result of that alliance.

Considering that the Redwynes were once kings they could actually still have vassals on the main land of the Reach - or have strong business ties there, giving them access to wood and other resources.

And it seems indeed very likely that the Redwyne fleet wasn't always as large or impressive as they is today. During the Dance we have a short remark that the Arbor declared for Aegon II, yet Otto Hightower did not turn to Lord Redwyne as a new Master of Ships but to Dalton Greyjoy - and when the Ironborn declared for Rhaenyra he turned to the Three Daughters for help, not Lord Redwyne.

Unless the Redwyne support for Aegon II was only lukewarm/nominal it is very likely the Redwyne fleet was no match for the Velaryon fleet in those days. And what little we know about the Regency later on also implies the Redwynes were a non-factor there - Lady Johanna Lannister turned to the lord admiral of the Reach, Leo Costayne, to get the Westermen to the Iron Islands and not Lord Redwyne.

In that sense it is not unlikely that the Redwyne fleet grew and grew during the Targaryen years because they the Arbor prospered during that era. In addition, other naval powers waned in those days - the Velaryon, Lannister, and Targaryen fleet was destroyed repeatedly in the last years.

In fact, the major blow against Velaryon strength at sea may have been the storm in the night of Dany's birth. What we know implies that it destroyed the entire Targaryen fleet in the harbor of Dragonstone - and most of those ships would have been Velaryon ships. Ships are not easily replaced, implying that the restored royal fleet Stannis and Joffrey destroy on the Blackwater wasn't necessarily as large as the royal fleet under Aerys II.

And a King Robert wouldn't have granted the Velaryons as many ships as they owned under the Targaryens. After all, Robert gave Dragonstone to Stannis, and made him his Master of Ships, making it very likely that he did not only command but also own the bulk of the Baratheon navy.

What's really odd is that the Hightowers don't have a vast fleet, considering that they control a huge harbor and are likely even more involved in international trade than the Redwynes are - who apparently only/mostly export wine.

Edited by Lord Varys

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