Archived

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

BloodOfTheWolf

Population of Westeros

81 posts in this topic

There are some logical assumptions that can be made, based on the technology of the world (especially the architecture and the state of the medical arts) that would impact some of the estimates.

One thing to consider is that very few structures reach three or four stories in height... so there is some challenge to the idea of teeming millions in any city. Without taller buildings, the people-per-square-foot numbers shrink dramatically, simply because a person needs so much space to live and work... The population density is very low for any given area in societies with this limited technology, compared to what we can accomplish in modern "super-cities". Consider that most of these cities are walled, and that the practical limitations of walled defenses put some limits on the actual area surrounded. It takes a given amount of time to travel certain distances, given a fast horse is only good if the streets aren't clogged with people.

I do note that it's recorded that Tyrion in his litter takes an hour or so to travel what is nearly the entire width of King's Landing when visiting Chatya's (sp?) on his way to visit Shae, due to the press of people in the streets. Since that crowd would reduce travel speeds from a basic walk (about 3 miles per hour, maybe) to a congested 1 mile per hour or maybe even less, that can be a clue to both the size of the city itself and the population density when most people are out on the streets, and not inside a building.

I'm certainly not an urban planner, to be able to figure all the variables on something like this, but it would seem to me that the actual populations of even the largest cities is likely considerably less than a million souls. That's really a lot of people for the limited areas described.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great discussion so far guys. I was tending to think a lot smaller than some suggestions, with my top number most likely being around 5 million, but who am I to doubt those more expertly equipped that know this stuff. I was under the assumption that there would be more people in the free cities too, for no reason really, but I guess it's highly unlikely and Westeros would most likely be more densely populated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More people would live in rural areas than cities compared to modern societies. Farming would have been much much less efficient without mechanization, so each farmer can handle less land and produce less food surplus. Given that the level of technology in the ASOIAF world is described as roughly medieval, and the climate is roughly western European, 80% to 90% of the population would have to have been full time farmers just to support the food requirements. Also, due to limitation in transportation, communication, and refrigeration, I would think that countless small villages would pop up throughout Westeros to provide communal services like churchs and inns, specialized services like blacksmiths and mills, and as a place for people to meet together for commercial and social reasons.

So it makes sense to me that a relatively low proportion of the people would live in the 5 major cities. So if there are ~1.5 million people living in the 5 major cities, as is established by canon sources, then total population of westeros is probably about 40 million. I'm figuring that 34 million of them are farmers attached their local land, 4.5 million are specialist non-farmers living in villages and towns, and the remainder are living in the major cities.

Medieval society was extremely rural. Agricultural productivity was very low and required the vast majority of the population to be farmers. ASOIAF mostly ignores these people, but they must exist considering that in the food and farming respect the book world is portrayed as being based on the real world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I've found a couple of resources (hiding in my gaming reference links) that may help.

A great bit of research and plausible thinking on population densities for areas in the middle ages can be found here: Medieval Demographics Made Easy

Here are some relevant sections from that work By S. John Ross. (copyright © 1993-2006):

The average population density for a fully-developed medieval country is from 30 per square mile (for countries with lots of rocks, lots of rain, and lots of ice—or a slave-driving Mad King) to a limit of about 120 per square mile, for a land with rich soil, favorable seasons and maybe a touch of magical help.
Some Historical Comparisons: Medieval France tops the list, with a 14th-century density upwards of 100 people/sq. mile. The French were blessed with an abundance of arable countryside, waiting to be farmed. Modern France has more than twice this many people. Germany, with a slightly less perfect climate and a lower percentage of arable land, averaged more like 90 people/sq. mile. Italy was similar (lots of hills and rocky areas). The British Isles were the least populous, with a little more than 40 people per square mile, most of them clustered in the southern half of the isles.

Town and City Population: How Many In Those Walls?

For purposes of this article, settlements will be divided into Villages, Towns, Cities and Big Cities (known as "supercities" in the parlance of urban historians).

  • Villages range from 20 to 1,000 people, with typical villages ranging from 50-300. Most kingdoms will have thousands of them. Villages are agrarian communities within the safe folds of civilization. They provide the basic source of food and land-stability in a feudal system. Usually, a village that supports orchards (instead of grainfields) is called a "hamlet." Occasionally, game writers use the term to apply to a very small village, regardless of what food it produces.
  • Towns range in population from 1,000-8,000 people, with typical values somewhere around 2,500. Culturally, these are the equivalent to the smaller American cities that line the interstates. Cities and towns tend to have walls only if they are frequently threatened.
  • Cities tend to be from 8,000-12,000 people, with an average in the middle of that range. A typical large kingdom will have only a few cities in this population range. Centers of scholarly pursuits (the Universities) tend to be in cities of this size, with only the rare exception thriving in a Big City.
  • Big Cities range from 12,000-100,000 people, with some exceptional cities exceeding this scale. Some historical examples include London (25,000-40,000), Paris (50,000-80,000), Genoa (75,000-100,000), and Venice (100,000+). Moscow in the 15th century had a population in excess of 200,000!

Large population centers of any scale are the result of traffic. Coastlines, navigable rivers and overland trade-routes form a criss-crossing pattern of trade-arteries, and the towns and cities grow along those lines. The larger the artery, the larger the town. And where several large arteries converge, you have a city. Villages are scattered densely through the country between the larger settlements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my top number most likely being around 5 million

The problem is that this immediately appears to be too low. In WW2 roughly 10% of a country's population could be mobilised as troops, since greater mechanisation and mass-production can supply them. In the Middle Ages this figure is more like 1%. With a population of just 5 million, that means that Westeros as a whole could support only 50,000 troops. Yet the Tyrells alone, at full mobilisation, have twice that amount of soldiers. And some people might say that even 1% is too generous, it might be more like 0.5% or less.

Going through the city population figures and the number of soldiers and people they need supporting them, the figure that keeps coming up is 40-50 million, which I suspect is as close to accuracy as we're going to get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking in those terms, I'm pretty sure I am very wrong and that the 40 million estimation might be a little more accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone. A very interesting discussion. I would just like to start by saying that, like any science fiction work, A Song of Fire and Ice, althoug extremely realistic in apearence, falls also victim to errors and miscalculations.

First of all, I believe it is accurate to confront Westeros dates to those of Medieval Europe, because Westeros is portrayed exactly like the Medieval Europe. Second of all, the distances are simply just too big. A kingdom the size of Westeros could not possibly be governed through Medieval Europe’s meens. It is a problem of logistics. The lines of communications are just too long.

We do have the crows, that deliever messages, much like the pidgeons of Medieval Japan, but that is not nearly enough in my opinion. In time of peace, with gouvernours that respect the central authority, this image of a united Westeros could be feasible. But the political sceene that is depicted in Westeros resembles more that of the German Empire after the 30 years war. We have rebellious nobles, warlords, freemen (both north of the wall, and in the mountains of Eyrie; not to mention the storys about the brotherhood of the Kingswood and other legends like that), multiple kings, high lords that can’t control their smaller vassals (like the Tarlys can’t control the Freys) and so on.

Imagine for example if the North would rebel against king Robert. The king would need first of all to heare about it. Considering the messages sent by crows, that would probably take weeks. Then, to confirm the news and gather reconissence, he would need at least a month. Then he would probably gather a council, and ask for general mobilisation. The neck protects the North, and the Starks can count on at least 20000 men. So the king would need at least 50000 and a powerfull fleet to land troops beyond the neck. He also have to keep enough troops home to protect his rear and ways of communications.

Remember that alliances are an important part of Westeros World. So, the king can count on the Lannisters and Storm’s End, but the North can probably convice the Tulys of the Riverrun and Eyrie. Even if these provinces do not rebel, they are at least suspicious, even more given the fact that the royal army would have to enter their territorys in order to attack the North. The Reach and Dorn are old ennemys, so it is possible that they would choose different sides. Even if this is not the case, the possibility should be taken in account, diplomacy involved and troops left to assure the stability of the zone.

Now, gathering an army is a very difficult task, even in our days, but even more in the medieval periode. Of course the cavalry has a high autonomy, but the Westeros armys are mainly formed from mailed infantry. Furthermore, the king can’t use only the troops from his most loyal houses, because that will leave him very week in his home region. He will need to gathere troops from different houses, in order to organize a joint effort and assure that all are equally weeken by the effort.

So each great House will probably concentrate their troops, and then send it to the king’s concentration point (probably king’s landing) forming a big but etherogen force. That will take months. For example, from Sunspear to King’s Landing are around 2000 km, if we observe the existent maps. Admitting that an infantry army can make around 20 km / day (a forced march around 30/day) that meens the dornish regiments would arrive in about 100 days and would need a few days to reform and rest before proceeding north.

So after about 6 months, the king would have his army and is ready to proceed north. Of course, in the real world, the campaign season would only be 7-8 months, but this is a magical world, were the summer lasts for years. So we will rule that out.

Between Kings Landing and Moat Cailin is a distance of around 2000 km. So another 3 months delay. But, unless he is stupid, Lord Stark would have conquered by now The Twins, if not obtained it by diplomacy, like he does in the book. As we know, The Twins is a formidable fortress, so the siege could take months. So a year would pass before the king would camp around Moat Caillin. That is, if Riverrun and Eyrie do not join the rebellion (wich they well might, prolonging the war indefinetly). A year of feeding and paying a very expensive army, in wich there was little or no fighting at all. How time do you think would the king spend conquering Moat Cailin (wich was never conquered) and fighting his way through another 2000-3000 km of enemy land ? Do you think that in this time he would be able to keep his authority south? (to ensure his lords loyalty in these difficult times he would need to make large sacrifices that would weak him considerabilly even if he wins the war north)

About the population estimation – considering the armys of the Great Houses, we see other discrepancys. I do not think that 5-10% of the population could be mobilized in the middle ages. Frederic the Great was able to mentain an army representing around 10% of his population, but that was 1750 and by comparison, France and Austria had a standing army representing around 1% of their population. And that was the Modern Era.

Let’s presume that the 1% population/army report is an accurate report (wich it may not be, but just to form an ideea). We know that at the start of the war, the forces were these:

North: 18000 men

Frey: 3000 men

Lannister: 30000 men (10000 under Jaime and 20000 under Tywin)

51000 men until now

The dates we have about Riverrun are very curious. We know that, besides The Reach, it is the most inhabited region of Westeros. Yet in the book I counted only 15000 men in Tully’s army. It may be that the war caught Riverrun by surprise and could not mobilize its forces, or it may be a grave demographical error by George Martin. From my estimation, Riverrun should be able to field an army of around 45000-50000 men.

65-95000 soldiers until now

Renly manages to field 100000 men, the biggest army in Westeros. He has the support of The Reach and Storm’s End. Observing the territorys, and the dates we have, I would say te raport would be 70/30 in favour of The Reach

165-195000 so far

We know that the dornish prince is a very valued allied by all sides, and he can field 50000 men.

215-245000 untill now

We do not know the size of Eyrie’s army. It supposed to be an important army, but given the fact that more then half of Eyrie is rocky, uninhabited land, and the most density is in a narrow valley, I estimate its army to 10-20000 men.

That is 225-265000 so fare

By these estimations, Westeros’ population number around 22,5-26,5 million people. To this we add 500000 of the King’s Landing and probably around the same number from the Crown’s Lands, 40000 savages north of the wall, around 10000 freemen in the mountains of Eyrie (3000 of wich are fighters) and probably 300000 men in the Iron Islands ( considering their territorys, number of their fleet and army). 2 more millions at the most.

So my final estimation would be around 25-30 millions.

Sorry for the long post :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, another interesting thing: how Tywin is able to march from Stone's Mill to King's Landing (around 800 km) reunite with the Tyrell's army and catch Stannis from behind in matters of days? The march would need at least a month (i would say 2 given the fact that Tywin is defeated at Stone's Mill, the moral of the troops is low, the junction with Ser Loras would need time to reorganise the troops, rest for the men, and plann the attack). Yet in all this time, an experimented commander like Stannis has no reconissence, and can't spot an army of 100000 men untill they apeare from the smoke of the city.

Sorry guys, i just don't buy that. It's simply too....science fiction. :))

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.

Sorry, had to quote this.... What the hell have you been smoking? The entirety of Westeros having equal population to high medieval England? Complete and utter bullshit.

My estimate:

Reach - roughly like France, so 18-25 million.

Westerlands - about half of France, 9-12 million.

Riverlands - about half of France, 9-12 million.

The North - absolutely huge. Even with scarce population, 6-10 million sounds a likely figure.

Crownlands - a couple of large cities and relatively fertile. 4-5 million.

Vale - fertile, some 40% of France. 7-10 million,

Stormlands - sparsely populated, but large. 2-4 million.

Dorne - sparsely populated, smaller than the Stormlands, has arid climate. ~1 million.

Iron islands - small, but densely populated. 100 - 200 thousand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On what basis do you make your estimation?

Also, you greatly underestimate Dorne. Before the conquest it is said it was a traditional ennemy of The Reach. How can a state with a population of 1 million be a rival to another state with a population of 25 mil. They too had dragons?

Also, Dorne can raise around 50000 soldiers, while Reach can raise around 70-80000.

And why is Stormlands sparsely populated? It is the province that established a new dynasty - the Baratheons - not by rights of legitimity, but by the right of the conqueror. It is not a puny province. In fact it is very powerfull.

But what i found most curious is the fact that you compare every province with medieval France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, Dorne can raise around 50000 soldiers

This is a lie, as was made clear by Doran Martell.

But army numbers have nothing to do with total population. I am basing my estimate on the climate and size of Dorne. It's kinda like the western emirates in North Africa - relatively poor and sparsely populated, but still capable of putting up a fight. That, and when you pay attention, you'll notice the Dornish rely on guerilla tactics, skirmishing in the mountains, using largely missile weapons. And they live in arid mountains. Even the Targs had difficulty conquering Dorne, not because of their strength, but because of the terrain and skirmishing tactics of the Dornish.

As for the Stormlands, well, from what we know the region is not particularly fertile, and has only a few large castles. No cities, which to me is a tell-tale sign of a small population. Again, population doesn't determine army sizes.

As for the France part, that's because I found them most applicable, and we know what their population was. You can't just go around making up figures without a point of reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the army number kind of determines the population. It's a matter of taxes. In the middle ages, the real power of a Lord was the number of his subjects that provided taxes that filled the treasury. And i don't find anywere the fact that Dorne was sparsely populated, but i do find that Dorne had an important fleet (that meens comercial fleet too) and the dornish wine was widely spred. So even if it was not fertile (wich i don't know if it was) they still had an important commerce - much like ancient Greece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the army number kind of determines the population. It's a matter of taxes. In the middle ages, the real power of a Lord was the number of his subjects that provided taxes that filled the treasury. And i don't find anywere the fact that Dorne was sparsely populated, but i do find that Dorne had an important fleet (that meens comercial fleet too) and the dornish wine was widely spred. So even if it was not fertile (wich i don't know if it was) they still had an important commerce - much like ancient Greece.

Not at all like ancient Greece. In ancient Greece we see a great many urban centers, which tell us of a relatively large population. Dorne is specifically said to only have 2 cities of any notable proportion. As for the population, it is specifically stated several times that Dorne is the least populous of the seven kingdoms. Again, I suggest you look at real life equivalents for estimates, instead of just making up numbers in your head. In this case the equivalent is north Africa/maybe Granada. Of course, Dorne could have a higher population, but the mountainous, arid climate doesn't make for many inhabitants.

Also, the point about lords - of course, I know. In fact, the relatively low number of important bannermen is telling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy attempting to give a sensible answer to this kind of question.

We have so many methods by which we can draw parallels. First, city populations.

I've seen it said that King's Landing 'Only' had a population of 500,000. This being used to suggest that Westeros must have a relatively small population. By the standards of Medieval cities 500,000 is pretty massive. London in 1377 is estimated as having a population of just 23,000 and yet still being the largest population centre in England by an order of magnitude (York comes a distant second at 7000). In a similar time frame Paris, the most populous city in Medieval europe, was estimated to have as much as 200,000 inhabitants.

The fifth most populous English city at the time was Norwich with just 4000 inhabitants (if Norwich is to London as White Harbor is to King's Landing then White Harbor had a population of 85,000).

500,000 is absolutely massive for a Medieval setting. We can consider the 2nd to 5th most populous centres to have a population slightly lower than this total (probably about 400,000 if we draw a parallel with England again). If we consider that in 1800 (pre industrial revolution) just 3% of the European population lived in urban centres we can estimate the total population of westeros as at the very least 30,000,000 (I say at the very least because urban migration started long before 1800, if we consider England again, the top 5 cities had a total pop of around 43,000 while England had a population of about 3,000,000).

So by this metric we get a population of 30,000,000 to 60,000,000.

Or we can judge it by army size. This is even more difficult, given historical propensity for over-estimating military strength (for example the total military force estimated for the two sides of the War of the Roses is given as 600,000 by contemporary sources. This represents every single male between the age of 15 and 40 in England being in one of the two armies). This is generally regarded as a gross exaggeration, even by OTHER contemporary sources. A more realistic number would be in the region of 50,000. But remember that this is a war in England. A tiny island nation with a (then) population of 3,000,000. If we consider 50,000 as a 'normal' mobilisation number for a population of 3,000,000 then we can say that 1.5% of the population has been mobilised for this civil war. If we have a total 'standing' army of 200,000 - 250,000 in Westeros for the civil war then we find the population to be in the region of 13,000,000 to 17,000,000.

So by our second metric we get a population of 13,000,000 to 17,000,000.

However, it is worth pointing out that a similar civil war has already happened in this generation. This would perhaps deflate the well-bodied military ready population by as much as 50% (if war of the roses casualty levels are anything to go by). This could inflate the actual population to 26,000,000 - 34,000,000.

Next we can consider historical population densities and land-mass size. This is less an estimate of Westerosi population, and more an indication of... well... poor research on GRRM's part.

To consider The North as an analogue of the Russian Steppes seems to me to be a flawed assumption when attempting to measure population sizes. From our understanding of Northman culture it is largely sedentary; people have their homesteads and practice subsistance farming to get by. By comparison, however, the Russian Steppes were home to a purely nomadic people. This suggests a couple of things; one that the population of the North could be more dense than eastern russia (Nomadic populations require far more acreage per head than subsistance farmers) and two that the quality of land in the North is generally better than in Siberia. The very fact that Northmen bother with arable crops suggests that the land can sustain a far greater population than siberia.

The difficulty, of course, is factoring in the winters.

Lets consider some examples perhaps closer to the cultures we're looking at:

Medieval Scotland had a population density of around 6.3 per square km.

Medieval England and Wales had a population density of around 20 per square km.

Medieval France had a population density of around 25 per square km.

If we say the North has an area of ~ 5,000,000 sq km (probably a low estimate given wall to Dorne is meant to be 3000 miles) that gives us ~ 30,000,000 population in the North alone.

South of the neck is more like England and France (so lets go with england for the sake of conservatism), and is, lets say, another 5,000,000 sq km, that means it's home to ~100,000,000. Not counting Dorne which can be thought of as similar to turkey/middle east in terms of geography (and approximate size), giving us a population of 5-7,000,000 (roman syria).

We can perhaps halve or even third those numbers to account for early middle age - high middle age differences but we're still left with a very large population for the size of armies they are able to field.

At the end of the day it seems Westeros was based heavily on the Middle Age British Isles, but while the size was grossly scaled up for reasons of fantasy 'epicness' the army sizes and force compositions were left largely 'as is'.

I'm inclined to think that the total population, as intended by GRRM, is likely to be in the region of 30,000,000 (approximately equal to the entire population of europe in the early middle ages) with the world giving the impression of one that should perhaps support more like 100,000,000 (approximately equal to the entire population of europe in the high middle ages).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

I think the post has been already deleted from the forums, but I have it copied in my hard drive, so I'm going to copy some of Ran's quotes here. Bear in mind that it dates back to 2007, so perhaps ADWD or the information he's receiving for TWOIAF would modify some of the assumptions.

40 million, give or take 10 million, is the figure I and others have come up with using several different techniques for estimating population -- comparison to military figures, comparison to roughly equivalent regions of medieval Europe, and so on.

One method I've used to come up with the 40 million figure, +/- 10 million, is expanding figures such as http://www.fordham.e...pop-in-eur.html and applying them to the different regions of Westeros. The North would have a similar population density as Scandinavia, for example, and the Stormlands not that much better. The Reach would get France. I believe I gave the British Isles for most of the other regions. It's a pretty fair figure I think.

The old rule of thumb (created, I think, by Edward Gibbon) is that a you could put about 1% of its population into the field at optimal conditions during much of Europe's history until after the Middle Ages, and obviously this is taking into account the fact that supply was the key restriction on military size. As far as we know, Westeros and Medieval Europe suffered the exact same logistical issues, so we can apply that rule of thumb.

North could be more then that [the 20.000 men of Robb's army / 1% = 2 million]. Robb had only very limited time to call banners and the territory of the North is vast so it would be difficult to gather all available troops for a short time. Besides the population is not only spread over vast territory but is relatively poorer than tat on the South so the number of troops per population would be less event than in England. During 100 years war English armies at one place never numbered over 20000 while the whole population was about 3.5 millions. The you could safely put estimation if the North population somewhere around 4 millions not 2.

A kingdom the size of Westeros could not possibly be governed through Medieval Europe’s meens. It is a problem of logistics. The lines of communications are just too long.

I'm not sure about this. The Roman Empire ruled vast territories for centuries, and Charlemagne was able to consolidate a huge empire on his own. Who knows how much would have lasted if it weren't for the Frankish obsession with dividing the inheritances.

Also there's the dragons. Westeros has been unified for 300 years, and during the first 200 the Targaryens had a super fast method of transport and communication, which also worked as a strong deterrant to secede.

So my final estimation would be around 25-30 millions.

In your estimation you are not counting with some "armies", which would get you to the 40 millions figure.

As Ran said in the post above, Robb summoned his banners in a hurry. In fact, in future books we see how between Bolton, Manderly, Karstark and the Northern clans the North is able to summon about another 20k soldiers. You are also missing the army of the West that Robb defeated at Oxcross, the Hightowers (very significant lords of the Reach who didn't join Renly), other lords that remained neutral (such as the Swanns), etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the sake of calculations, I think it is important to note that North supposed to(according to some) count for about one half of landmass of Westeros.

That is a half of the landmass that every some time freezes solid not just for a couple months but for years. Nothing grows, I wagers most animals migrate south... at least to southern parts of the North. Brids fly away.. and so on. Can't grow things, a lot of game is gone or hibernating.

Also, I have a feeling that most adult population favors males in number(do to winters, for example)... so even looking at the north's army size might be skewed(overestimating pop size based on army).

The 5 mentioned cities of Wsteros are near the sea(unlike medieval Paris, for example), I think it can be reasonably concluded that half of the dietary needs of these cities is/was supplied by products of the sea. Therefore, basing population size estimate on the size of the cities could lead to overestimation.

Furthermore, I do not believe that rural parts of the country can not really support any large towns comfortably(hence, only 5 cities... and near seas only). The reason for it is distance... slowly delivering food that spoils is not only not very practical but for most goods might not even be possible.

Just to underline distances... remember when Theon went after Torrhen's Square in order to lure Winterfell's garrison away? That is about 150(?) miles.. which is about 240km. ((of course, this distance depends on the source you use)) When it comes to Westeros I like this map... http://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/e/e7/Map_of_westeros.jpg

And during all these travels, Theon was pretty much unnoticed unless he really wanted to be. I think Asha? or Theon? was describing west side of the North as pretty much uninhabited as is too.

I think the majority of population(as suggested by the books too) lives around Highgarden, and King Landing itself. All the rest having very sparse populations whether do to climate or terrain(mountains, deserts, etc).

What would be my guess at population sizes? Not sure, I do not think Winterfell itself had much in excess of 1 000(based on actual happenings from the books), How many people were left in Winterfell after garisson went to help Torrhen's square? 50?(maybe 100?) The entire north? Could have as little as .5million. And Dorne(mostly desert and mountains) perhaps just as much?

On other hand areas loyal to Highgarden, and King's landing could carry many millions... warm, fertile ground... perhaps 15-20 millions total, with rest spread out among Vale of Aryn, Riverlands, Stormlands, lands loyal to Lannisport... lets say another 15million?

I think that would add up total to about 36million, which is just short of 40m suggested by Ran, I think.

The numbers I came up with are based on descriptions from the books, some medieval statics which do to some reason I do not think necessarily apply, as well as on the scale(size)/terrain features suggested by the map I mentioned before which can be found here: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/e/e7/Map_of_westeros.jpg

I guess we could add a rouge element of one million(or half a million?) do to wildings, clansmen and such. I think I should add 1/4 million to estimation of the north population putting forth assumption it would be mainly spread out on the far south side of the north.

Anyways, those are my thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to make the point: The Summer Islands must have plenty, if they are all observant of their religion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the arguments the 40 million number seems appropriate. Especially considering the 1% rule for the armies, comparisons with Europe and that Westeros is probably smaller than stated. You'd expect more cities and towns based on that in comparison to late medieval Europe though. However that makes some sense in light of the differences of Westeros to Europe.

First of all the comparatively huge population of King's Landing as the administrative capital of an autocratic kingdom with such a big population isn't surprising. Constantinopel and the capitols of the Chinese and Arab empires in the middle ages were even bigger. Oldtown is supposedly pretty big too but it has a long history and the Reach is rich and populous.

The lack of smaller sized cities and towns is more surprising, a Europe analogue should have more Gulltowns and Maidenpools. However the aristocracy is perhaps even more dominant in Westeros than in medieval Europe and pretty hostile to merchants. For the past three centuries it has also been a single kingdom which means there isn't as much scope for overcoming that hostility. I haven't seen any idication of the sort of city freedoms that existed in medieval Europe in ASoIF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites