Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

BloodOfTheWolf

Population of Westeros

81 posts in this topic

Just wondering and not sure if the answer has been provided or if it has been discussed before, but what is the population of Westeros? We get a rough estimation of each house's armies, etc. sometimes in the books but I am wondering your opinion on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King's Landing is the largest city in Westeros and has a population of about 500,000.

The Reach is said to have the largest army, around 50,000.

The other former kingdoms are believed to be able to command 25,000 - 40,000 soldiers depending on size.

Westeros also has a pretty high mortality rate given the long winters.

Overall I'd guess a total population of about 5 million.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. First post, though I've been a long-time lurker.

Some information on population can be found here. http://iceandfire.wikia.com/wiki/Westeros

Total Population of Westeros: 75 million

The population is divided by the provinces as follows (Note: these numbers are estimates):

The North: 15 million

The Vale: 10 million

The Stormlands: 15 million

The Reach (including Riverlands): 25 million

The Westerlands: 15 million

The Iron Islands: 2 million

Dorne and the southern provinces: 10 million

Following the reference to medieval Europe, Westeros is representative of, the population is likewise based upon medieval Europe during the High Middle Ages. The population around this time period is estimated to have peaked around ~110 million before the outbread of the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) from Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa, and Levant. The North most widely represent the northern Feudal kingdoms- likely Denmark, Rus, and Novgorod in which their populatation were loosely spread around individual settlements. The Vale is representative of the southern Balkan colonies, or Hungary during the 1200s. The Stormlands are highly respective to medieval Italy and their large cities and trading centers in which were "urban, sprawling cities filled with life".

The Reach likewise is analogous to medieval France, Flanders and even Germany under the Holy Roman Empire. Not only were its lands fertile and agricultural sprawl, but in terms of culture, feudalism was most highly regarded in medieval France. France was also one of the heavily populated realms due largely to its agricultural sprawl

The Westerlands are very similar to medieval England- most likely during the Reign of Henry the Young or Richard the Lion-Hearted. England grew to be one of the wealtiest medieval kingdoms during this time period (late 12th century) due to its fast silver mining expansion. Culturally and geographically, its mountaneous terrain most likely represents that of the Westerlands itself

The Iron Islands are a mixed combination of various medieval cultures but most significant of them are the Scottish-Norwegian Kingdoms of upper Scotland and Denmark. Greyjoy culture as seafarers and warriors are reminiscent of the medieval vikings during this time period.

Dorne and the south are likewise that of the Levant, more likely Upper Egypt under the Ayyubid reign.

Other estimates I've heard included 40 million which sounds a bit more credible. In general no more than 5%-10% of the population could be mobilized for warfare in medieval times. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/54890-population-in-the-seven-kingdoms/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. First post, though I've been a long-time lurker.

Some information on population can be found here. http://iceandfire.wikia.com/wiki/Westeros

Other estimates I've heard included 40 million which sounds a bit more credible. In general no more than 5%-10% of the population could be mobilized for warfare in medieval times. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/54890-population-in-the-seven-kingdoms/

Applying real world historical information to Westeros population estimates just seems like a bad idea. Europe at the various times mentioned would have had dozens of cities. Westeros has five. It also doesn't seem to take into account the mortality rates of winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

75 million is too much certainly. And why Rivelands and Reach are counted only as one? Makes no sense. That number also ignores the Crownlands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Applying real world historical information to Westeros population estimates just seems like a bad idea. Europe at the various times mentioned would have had dozens of cities. Westeros has five. It also doesn't seem to take into account the mortality rates of winter.

Westeros has few identified cities. As a continent the size of south America, it likely has far, far more. I'd say that if Europe had 110 million pre-plague, Europe covers 3,930,000 sq mi (wikipedia), and SA covers 6,890,000 sq mi, Westeros should have a far higher population. Now, we can't simply multiply 110*~2, because (for example) the North is far more extensive then equivalent regions in Europe. However, Westeros should certainly have more than 75 million citizens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Westeros has few identified cities. As a continent the size of south America, it likely has far, far more. I'd say that if Europe had 110 million pre-plague, Europe covers 3,930,000 sq mi (wikipedia), and SA covers 6,890,000 sq mi, Westeros should have a far higher population. Now, we can't simply multiply 110*~2, because (for example) the North is far more extensive then equivalent regions in Europe. However, Westeros should certainly have more than 75 million citizens.

Well we only know about 5, from KL with its 500k to White Harber, which is considered to be a small city or a large town. So for Westeros to have a population that high we'd need to see at least dozens and dozens of towns with populations in the thousands. Which we just haven't seen up to this point.

I mean Winterfell is the capital of the North and it's relatively desolate at the best of times. I understand it's a fortress, but even so a capital in such a population dense continent would certainly have a larger population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well we only know about 5, from KL with its 500k to White Harber, which is considered to be a small city or a large town. So for Westeros to have a population that high we'd need to see at least dozens and dozens of towns with populations in the thousands. Which we just haven't seen up to this point.

I mean Winterfell is the capital of the North and it's relatively desolate at the best of times. I understand it's a fortress, but even so a capital in such a population dense continent would certainly have a larger population.

Well, that's the north. The north is definitely supposed to be desolate. But south of the neck we really need to consider that we don't have the full map of Westeros. We have the elementary school version, which has labels for London and Paris, but not Glasglow or Lyon. I think a good comparison could be made between the castles and the cities of Westeros. We know that there are hundreds of castles in Westeros, what with all the bannermen we hear about each having a castle, but so far we only get labels on maps for the ones that are important to the story. All that we really need to know is that there's a capital, Sunspear is near a cool Arabian-looking city, the Manderlys are cityfolk, not Castlefolk, The Lannisters control a bustling trade center, and Oldtown is where the Maesters come from. We really don't need to know that Redmuck's main industry is brickmaking, or that Greystone is famous for its central square filled with statues of the early Targaryen kings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably out of topic now, but who has the higher population? Westeros or all the Free Cities?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably out of topic now, but who has the higher population? Westeros or all the Free Cities?

My guess is Westeros. But maybe not during winter.

I think we would probably get a somewhat good estimation, if we applied the rule of the thumb, that about 2% of the population in the Middle Ages lived in urban centres, we could somewhat deduce the population of Westeros. Though we would probably need to know the population of some of the smaller towns too, like Winterfell. Though I would guess we would get close to something like 1 million denizens in cities, which would mean that the population in Westeros would be 50 million.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably out of topic now, but who has the higher population? Westeros or all the Free Cities?

If you only count the actual free cities, it'd probably be Westeros (just by sheer size difference), but it appears that the nine Free cities have a bunch of smaller cities they rule over (a non-spoiler detail from ADwD). Judging by their description as being so much richer than Westeros, I'm guessing they'd probably have the larger population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably out of topic now, but who has the higher population? Westeros or all the Free Cities?

my guess is the free cities. "the free cities" + dothraki sea is about the size of asia...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me the free cities are each about the size of Kings Landing, so I'll say the free cities should be more populated when put all together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Braavos and Volantis are described as being quite large.

The Reach is the most populated of the Seven Kingdoms, and I believe the population of the crownlands was estimated in Six Hundred Thousand in A Storm of Swords.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can estimate the population from the size of Armies.

Sun-Tzu said that it takes the labor of 7 families to put 1 soldier in the field. Figuring a family size of 5 on average you get 35 people per soldier.

So the North Masses 1.4 million

The Reach 3.5 million

etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an extensive prior discussion in which, IIRC, Ran postulated about 40 million (and since he's co-writing the world book, I tend to believe that more than other estimates). Westeros is larger than Europe, but suffers from climactic problems which keep the population much lower than it should be (particularly in the North).

Westeros has few identified cities.

Nope, Westeros has only the five cities. Word of GRRM: King's Landing (500,000), Oldtown (about the same), Lannisport (maybe 300,000), Gulltown and White Harbour (both likely 50,000 or less). Below that it's a big drop down to the likes of Stoney Sept, Maidenpool and Duskendale (probably significantly less than 10,000 each). It might not be realistic, but it's what we have to deal with.

Probably out of topic now, but who has the higher population? Westeros or all the Free Cities?

Likely Westeros, even if the Free Cities had a population of 1 million each (which is highly unlikely; maybe Volantis comes close to that and Braavos if you're very optimistic, but likely not the others). We know that Volantis had smaller towns under it (and I believe that it's said that the three big ones would be called cities in Westeros) and it's mentioned that Norvos has some smaller villages under its authority, but beyond them there doesn't seem to be much more in the way of populated centres, likely down to the Dothraki and the threat of war in the Stepstones and Disputed Lands.

Slaver's Bay, including the Ghiscari areas, is likely more populous than the Free Cities. And once you get to Asshai and the Far East, the population levels likely shoot through the roof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an extensive prior discussion in which, IIRC, Ran postulated about 40 million (and since he's co-writing the world book, I tend to believe that more than other estimates). Westeros is larger than Europe, but suffers from climactic problems which keep the population much lower than it should be (particularly in the North).

Nope, Westeros has only the five cities. Word of GRRM: King's Landing (500,000), Oldtown (about the same), Lannisport (maybe 300,000), Gulltown and White Harbour (both likely 50,000 or less). Below that it's a big drop down to the likes of Stoney Sept, Maidenpool and Duskendale (probably significantly less than 10,000 each). It might not be realistic, but it's what we have to deal with.

Huh, I guess that's that. If you happen to have the links to those discussions on hand, I'd love to have them. I'm sure there'd be some other interesting gems of surprising knowledge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can estimate the population from the size of Armies.

Sun-Tzu said that it takes the labor of 7 families to put 1 soldier in the field. Figuring a family size of 5 on average you get 35 people per soldier.

So the North Masses 1.4 million

The Reach 3.5 million

etc

Actually, Sun Tzu's quote actually pertains to the unique system of China, which had families grouped into blocks of eight. The idea was that each block would supply a soldier exclusively from one family, and the rest of the block would supply that soldier. In Medieval Europe, as mentioned above, it's closer to 9 people per soldier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites