Archived

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

BloodOfTheWolf

Population of Westeros

81 posts in this topic

I guess I am looking for equivalent cities to Gulltown in the real world, the only Alpine country with sea coast (unless you count Italy which I dont...) is Slovenia...

the coastal city of Koper has a population of 24,996, Izola has a population of 14,549, and Piran has 4,092 although it once had up to 12,000 inhabitants...

So those are the closest cities/ towns to Gulltown in real life and their populations are quite a lot smaller than 50000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, guys I've came with my own estimations, based in historical data for Europe, and the information we have from the books, of course.

Based on the size of the Wall, I got 4,900 km between the wall and the Dorne's shores (the distance between Lisbon and the Urals, Russia). Therefore, the size of the Seven Kingdoms is between 7,000,000-7,500,000 km². The population, 50,000,000, As divided:

North --- 3,000,000 km² --- 6,000,000 inhabitants --- 2 inh/km² density

South --- 4,200,000 km² --- 44,000,000 inhabitants --- 10,5 inh/km² density

--- Vale --- 600,000 --- 3,500,000 --- 5,8

--- Riverlands --- 600,000 --- 8,500,000 --- 14,2

--- Westerlands ---- 500,000 --- 6,000,000 --- 12

--- Crownlands ---- 200,000 --- 5,000,000 --- 25

--- Stormlands --- 600,000 --- 5,000,000 --- 8,3

--- Reach --- 900,000 --- 13,500,000 --- 15

--- Dorne --- 800,000 --- 2,500,000 --- 3,1

And the Iron Islands, 40,000 km², 400,000 inhabitants, 10 people/km² density.

What do you think? Did I get it right?

I will go with that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I am looking for equivalent cities to Gulltown in the real world, the only Alpine country with sea coast (unless you count Italy which I dont...) is Slovenia...

the coastal city of Koper has a population of 24,996, Izola has a population of 14,549, and Piran has 4,092 although it once had up to 12,000 inhabitants...

So those are the closest cities/ towns to Gulltown in real life and their populations are quite a lot smaller than 50000.

Yes, if Gulltown has a population of fifty thousand people it would be very large by medieval standards. Actually it should feel large for modern people too, given that the only way of getting around in there is riding or walking, which is way slower than taking a bus or car. Even though the city would be built way "tighter" than present day European and (especially) American cities, one the size of Gulltown would still take up quite the space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some facts:

1) The 1% is a myth. 1% refers to a small, largely veteran, professional, or well equipped army. That's the core of an army. A medieval army could (and in some cases, like the War of the Roses) raise up to 5 to 7% of their population under arms, absoluetly pushing it. These men were needed to harvest, and the more you took away, the less food you would have. That's the purpose of a campaigning season. Take as many men after planting as you can and most will melt away and be back for harvest. In Westeros, their campaign season could last years depending on the summer. Simply put, your looking at 5% give or take some of the Westerosi population under arms for a few territories, given the description of what kind of men were raised for later armies (the North and Westerlands are scarping the barrel at the point were at).

2) King's Landing 500 000 population is a myth to. Read the chapter carefully. That 500 000 is 20 000 of Tywin's army, 50 000+ Tyrell Army, and refugees from the riverlands and crownlands. Overall, probably looking at 300 000 for the normal population, at peace time (which is what matters for these calculations). Maybe 350 000. So, if by that you all presume the other cities are subquently smaller, then its KL (350 000), Oldtown (250 000), Lannisport (150 000), Gulltown (100 000), and White Harbour (50 000). Simple guess based off an old city formula I read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on the size of the Wall, I got 4,900 km between the wall and the Dorne's shores (the distance between Lisbon and the Urals, Russia). Therefore, the size of the Seven Kingdoms is between 7,000,000-7,500,000 km².

What do you think? Did I get it right?

Didn't Martin say Westeros was as big as South America (or perhaps even bigger)? According to wiki that area is 17840000 square km.

North --- 3,000,000 km² --- 6,000,000 inhabitants --- 2 inh/km² density

South --- 4,200,000 km² --- 44,000,000 inhabitants --- 10,5 inh/km² density

--- Vale --- 600,000 --- 3,500,000 --- 5,8

--- Riverlands --- 600,000 --- 8,500,000 --- 14,2

--- Westerlands ---- 500,000 --- 6,000,000 --- 12

--- Crownlands ---- 200,000 --- 5,000,000 --- 25

--- Stormlands --- 600,000 --- 5,000,000 --- 8,3

--- Reach --- 900,000 --- 13,500,000 --- 15

--- Dorne --- 800,000 --- 2,500,000 --- 3,1

And the Iron Islands, 40,000 km², 400,000 inhabitants, 10 people/km² density.

What do you think? Did I get it right?

Stormlands are described as nothing but rock and trees and rain by the author, it isn't as big as the Crownlands for example.

I can't give numbers myself because I'm not an expert on formulas calculating medieval populations. But I'd say that the 7K can be ranked population wise as this:

I) The Reach

II) Riverlands

III) Westlands

IV) Crownlands

V) The North

VI) The Vale

VII) Stormlands

VIII) Dorne

IX) Iron Isles

I think population wise, the Crownlands, the Vale and the North have similar population numbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't Martin say Westeros was as big as South America (or perhaps even bigger)? According to wiki that area is 17840000 square km.

Stormlands are described as nothing but rock and trees and rain by the author, it isn't as big as the Crownlands for example.

I can't give numbers myself because I'm not an expert on formulas calculating medieval populations. But I'd say that the 7K can be ranked population wise as this:

I) The Reach

II) Riverlands

III) Westlands

IV) Crownlands

V) The North

VI) The Vale

VII) Stormlands

VIII) Dorne

IX) Iron Isles

I think population wise, the Crownlands, the Vale and the North have similar population numbers.

I'd rank the North first or second. Even if the population density is ten times lower than the Reach (unlikely), it covers at least five times it size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some facts:

1) The 1% is a myth. 1% refers to a small, largely veteran, professional, or well equipped army. That's the core of an army. A medieval army could (and in some cases, like the War of the Roses) raise up to 5 to 7% of their population under arms, absoluetly pushing it. These men were needed to harvest, and the more you took away, the less food you would have. That's the purpose of a campaigning season. Take as many men after planting as you can and most will melt away and be back for harvest. In Westeros, their campaign season could last years depending on the summer. Simply put, your looking at 5% give or take some of the Westerosi population under arms for a few territories, given the description of what kind of men were raised for later armies (the North and Westerlands are scarping the barrel at the point were at).

So England had hosts totalling 150-200 000 men marching around the countryside during the Wars of the Roses? Sure...

I do agree that the 1% thing isn't set in stone or anything though, more like a reasonable estimation. Differing cultures, economies, fighting styles and how serious the conflicts were, could no doubt change how many men of the society in question that would be fighting. However, anything above like 2-3% of the population of a state being troops sounds suspicious to me, unless we start moving into the Early Modern period which Westeros definitely isn't in, or talk about small groups of people fighting very close to where they live (tribal warfare or something). The reason being that 1. logistics quickly starts becoming a problem unless you have very well developed infrastructure and control and 2. That mass producing military equipment isn't possible for a civilization lacking industry, so it'd quickly become very expensive to outfit armies unless you want your troops to use shit for gear. Anyway, warfare especially during the Middle Ages tended to be characterized by smaller groups of well equipped, well trained, mobile and professional or semi professional troops, rather than vast peasant hordes wielding spades, knives and sharp sticks, or whatever.

It's like yes, the USA could also scrap its entire navy, air force, nuclear weapons program, tanks, fire its soldiers etc and just invest the entire defence budget into equipping every joe in the country with some assault rifle, a bunch of tools, some crates with ammunition, grenades and Campbell soup, a star spangled banner cloth he could sew on his clothes so he'd see who he should and shouldn't be shooting at, and maybe an RPG, a machine gun, or some anti-tank mines for each guy in ten. Training optional. Each neighborhood also gets an open topped truck they'd use for transporting themselves in inbetween fights. Classic modern militia style.

Yeah, then America might get a military numbering 50 million men instead of 2,5... but what would it be good for? It'd be less effective than a smaller, properly dimensioned and organized military in every respect, no matter its numbers.

2) King's Landing 500 000 population is a myth to. Read the chapter carefully. That 500 000 is 20 000 of Tywin's army, 50 000+ Tyrell Army, and refugees from the riverlands and crownlands. Overall, probably looking at 300 000 for the normal population, at peace time (which is what matters for these calculations). Maybe 350 000. So, if by that you all presume the other cities are subquently smaller, then its KL (350 000), Oldtown (250 000), Lannisport (150 000), Gulltown (100 000), and White Harbour (50 000). Simple guess based off an old city formula I read.

This I agree with. As for Gulltown, Lannisport and White Harbor I think they may well be even smaller than your estimations. They'd be big cities by medieval standards regardless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The War of the Roses had thousands of casulties, and yet the armies just kept on coming. Time plays a part, but so does the need for men. I dont recall a man shortage ever being recorded though, so I'd dial it back a bit. Speaking for the North alone (where I have specific examples) alot of their Infantry were jsut common people drawn out from farms with whatever weapons and armour they had, though being the North, liekly had a good deal of spears and bows for hunting during winter.

And yes, Medieval warfare did favour smaller more professional armies, but theres many quotes from at least the North, the Crownlands, the Riverlands, and Westerlands where they have green boys and old men under arms to fight wars. (Tywin's Cousin host destroyed by Robb, Mor Umber's army, Ser Hogg and a few other lowly crown lords, and the Riverlands go without saying). They'd never raise the 7% as one host, but use it to replenish the host for casulties (asI imagine Tywin did considering his losses never seem to change the number of men);

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The War of the Roses had thousands of casulties, and yet the armies just kept on coming. Time plays a part, but so does the need for men. I dont recall a man shortage ever being recorded though, so I'd dial it back a bit. Speaking for the North alone (where I have specific examples) alot of their Infantry were jsut common people drawn out from farms with whatever weapons and armour they had, though being the North, liekly had a good deal of spears and bows for hunting during winter.

And yes, Medieval warfare did favour smaller more professional armies, but theres many quotes from at least the North, the Crownlands, the Riverlands, and Westerlands where they have green boys and old men under arms to fight wars. (Tywin's Cousin host destroyed by Robb, Mor Umber's army, Ser Hogg and a few other lowly crown lords, and the Riverlands go without saying). They'd never raise the 7% as one host, but use it to replenish the host for casulties (asI imagine Tywin did considering his losses never seem to change the number of men);

Hmm, common people in the Westerosi sense of the word should mean everybody who isn't nobility, so around 98-99% of the population. There would be a lot of difference in terms of wealth etc within this group. A "farmer" can either be very wealthy or very poor, depending on how much and how good land he has after all.

Yeah, the quotes regarding the "greybeards and green boys" that are to be found everywhere in the books are somewhat puzzling. Then again it could just be a Westerosi figure of speech regarding military matters, or that these greybeards and boys are actually still trained and self equipped men. For example because their fathers were and have trained them in the trade since they were little (which was customary especially regarding archers for example) and have arms and armor laying around for them, in the case of the green boys, or because they are retired veterans in the case of the greybeards. So it must not necessarily be because all the men in between of the entire society are gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The War of the Roses had thousands of casulties, and yet the armies just kept on coming. Time plays a part, but so does the need for men. I dont recall a man shortage ever being recorded though, so I'd dial it back a bit. Speaking for the North alone (where I have specific examples) alot of their Infantry were jsut common people drawn out from farms with whatever weapons and armour they had, though being the North, liekly had a good deal of spears and bows for hunting during winter.

And yes, Medieval warfare did favour smaller more professional armies, but theres many quotes from at least the North, the Crownlands, the Riverlands, and Westerlands where they have green boys and old men under arms to fight wars. (Tywin's Cousin host destroyed by Robb, Mor Umber's army, Ser Hogg and a few other lowly crown lords, and the Riverlands go without saying). They'd never raise the 7% as one host, but use it to replenish the host for casulties (asI imagine Tywin did considering his losses never seem to change the number of men);

That's probably the reason why the Karstark soldiers are described as pikemen, professional soldier.

Same as Kevan's pikes, the archers, the knights, etc etc.

To sum it up, 700 out of the 20,000 men Tywin Lannister had at the battle against Bolton were the rabble you describe. Leaving 19,300 professional, well-equipped soldiers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many of those survived? How many deserted afterwards, how many died afterwards, and in subsquent raids and at Blackwater. Then tell me hoe Tywin still has a solid 20 000 in King's Landing when Oberyn arrives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many of those survived? How many deserted afterwards, how many died afterwards, and in subsquent raids and at Blackwater. Then tell me hoe Tywin still has a solid 20 000 in King's Landing when Oberyn arrives?

Tyrion boasted and rounded up. I'm the last one to claim that the Lannisters have a meaningful strength left, don't mistake me. What I said was that the "greybeards and boys" make up less than 5% of the army composition.

Whether that's just Lannister and the rest sports 10% arrowfodder is another question, but by and large Westerosi armies consist of professional, well-equipped soldiers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rank the North first or second. Even if the population density is ten times lower than the Reach (unlikely), it covers at least five times it size.

I disagree, I don't see the North raising 100k men like the Reach did. Besides, Russia is the biggest country in the world yet doesn't have the biggest population by a long shot.

I disagree however with the notion that the North is a tundra wasteland with one of the lowest population numbers. It really isn't, it's bigger then the Stormlands for example, in both population and by far in land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rank the North first or second. Even if the population density is ten times lower than the Reach (unlikely), it covers at least five times it size.

I'd rank the North third at most. The Reach is huge and populous, and is for sure first. After that I'd give it to the Riverlands.

The North is large, but we can assume it is relatively infertile compared to the Reach, Riverlands, Crownlands and Vale. The North has very unpopulated regions; the Neck, the Mountains, the Wolfswood and the Stony Shore. Then you have the very far North where the gift is which is likely to have a very low population, and Skagos cant have too many people either.

Meanwhile, the Reach and the Riverlands seem to be distributed evenly when it comes to parts of their regions. The North is big, about a third of the continent, but no way is it 1 or 2 in population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rank the North third at most. The Reach is huge and populous, and is for sure first. After that I'd give it to the Riverlands.

The North is large, but we can assume it is relatively infertile compared to the Reach, Riverlands, Crownlands and Vale. The North has very unpopulated regions; the Neck, the Mountains, the Wolfswood and the Stony Shore. Then you have the very far North where the gift is which is likely to have a very low population, and Skagos cant have too many people either.

Meanwhile, the Reach and the Riverlands seem to be distributed evenly when it comes to parts of their regions. The North is big, about a third of the continent, but no way is it 1 or 2 in population.

More like half. but what's important: it's five times bigger than the Reach, even worse for the Riverlands. That counts for something, even with a vastly lower population density.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put the North at either 2nd or 3rd, with the Riverlands completing the top 3.

However, the North can raise a smaller percentage of its population to war, so even though it has more people than the Westerlands, their armed potential is more or less equal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of territory the North is about as big as any 4 of the other 6 kingdoms. 5, if you take the smaller ones like the Vale, Stormlands and Westerlands and leave out the Reach.

So with a population density one quarter that of say the Westerlands, it would still outnumber the West overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...but by and large Westerosi armies consist of professional, well-equipped soldiers.

In the nicest way possible, can I ask where your evidence of this is? I think you need to re-read Septon Meribald's speech in AFFC. Feudal armies tend to be made up of a small percentage of "professional soldiers" & a large percentage of what's known lovingly as "Foot". "Fleet does the flying, MI does the dying", same as ever, the smallfolk get pw*nd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the nicest way possible, can I ask where your evidence of this is? I think you need to re-read Septon Meribald's speech in AFFC. Feudal armies tend to be made up of a small percentage of "professional soldiers" & a large percentage of what's known lovingly as "Foot". "Fleet does the flying, MI does the dying", same as ever, the smallfolk get pw*nd.

Read the description of Tywin's and Roose's army in battle, read the description of the Karstarks arriving at Winterfell, read the description of the Manderleys arriving at Moat Cailin. All the descriptions match each other: expensive personal armor, weapons that need a lot of training to be used. They are definitely professionals.

And for Tywin's army, we've got a number for the rabble you described: left flank under Gregor Clegane. 700 men, including Tyrion's clansmen.Thats 3% of the entire army.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think one thing that needs to be considered is the fact that currently in the series it is the beginning of fall. They are coming off a long summer. They haven't seen a winter in over 20 years probably. So they have had an abundance of crops, thus supporting more people. With the wacky seasons that have no known pattern its hard to make real world population comparisons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites