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Mark Sawyer

How many people live in Westeros? in each kingdom?

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One strong criticism I have towards the author is the lack of those kinds of information.

Why not just expicitly say the number of ppl in each country? Or at least an estimate?

Same with the timespan in/between chapters. I hate that.

It serves for him tho, so he'll never get criatively sieged by these restrictions -- in other words, it won't get back and bite him in his fatass, as a lot of authors have done.

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Probably because it is POV based and most POV's wouldn't have a clue.

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It's not exactly vital to the story to know how many people live in each kingdom.

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I don' think using feudal ages to estimate thje population is acurate enough, on the one side you have places like the north, the iron islands, dorne, that seem to be mostly unpopulated, on the other you have kings landing, oldtown, white harbor in the hundreds of thousands, you would hardly reach 30 millions with a continent like this.

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I don' think using feudal ages to estimate thje population is acurate enough, on the one side you have places like the north, the iron islands, dorne, that seem to be mostly unpopulated, on the other you have kings landing, oldtown, white harbor in the hundreds of thousands, you would hardly reach 30 millions with a continent like this.

The North does not have a low population. It has a low population density. That's something very different.

Herd all the people in the North together, and they probably outnumber most of the other kingdoms - excluding the Reach - in terms of sheer numbers. Spread them out over an area almost as large as the other 6 kingdoms combined and it suddenly looks like there are no people around.

Medieval Russia had an estimated population three times that of medieval England, spread over a vastly larger area.

We know Dorne is the least populated of the mainland Kingdoms. The Iron Islands obviously fall below even them.

Martin says the Stormlands have a lot of rocks, and trees and rain, and little else. It is also geographically one of the smallest kingdoms. So they probably are next lowest in terms of total population.

The Vale is maybe a fifth the size of the North, but of that maybe only 20% is fertile, while the rest is covered in mountains. So they have a fertile habitable area maybe 4% as big as the North. So they can't be far above the Stormlands in population size.

Next would be the Riverlands, which is rather small, but quite fertile.

It would appear that the Westerlands are rather populated, mostly due to the economic pull factors of their gold mining industry. Meaning that they probably have a larger population than their small territory would justify, and that they probably import food to maintain this high population density, much like economic hubs in the modern era import food from rural areas.

I would say that the North probably matches the population of the Westerlands. But given that the North is at least 5 times larger than the Westerlands, it would mean that people are five times as scarce in the North as they are in the Westerlands.

So my population ranking:

Reach

North / Westerlands

Riverlands

Vale

Stormlands

Dorne

Crownlands

Iron Islands

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It is also very likely that the "south" North (the half south of Winterfell) probably has double the population of the "north" North (the half north of Winterfell).

Therefore, if the North has 6 million people, 4 million of them will live in the southern half of the North, with maybe 2 million living in the northern half.

So the area between Winterfell and the Wall will have the lowest population density, while the areas between Winterfell and the Neck will be more populated.

After all, White Harbor, for example, isn't that far North of Braavos. So it cannot be dramatically less fertile than the lands surrounding Braavos. Or the Twins, for that matter.

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@Free Northman, you should account the weather, obviously winters effect mostly the northern parts and westeros years long winters will have devastating effect on the population.

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Well, if we go by the army sizes the different kingdoms raise in the War of the Five Kings, and assume that they represent 1-2% of the population (medieval levels of production, administration and infrastructure made it pretty much impossible to keep much larger forces than this for longer periods of time) then we will get figures roughly like these.

The North: 35 000 men (though it should be noted that many of these were raised several years after the first army, meaning that the total strength of the north at a time is probably more like 30 000) The North is poorer, larger and much harsher to live in than the rest of Westeros, so I doubt that they are able to call more than 1% of their population to arms at a time. This gives us a population of about 3 million.

The Riverlands: 25 000 in total perhaps? By the time they join Robb they have already lost many men in the battle of the Golden Tooth, as well as having many more back guarding their castles, so this sounds about right. The Riverlands are probably comparatively wealthier than the North, and the armies they raise don't have to travel very far to get to the war (though I doubt the Riverlords are too happy about this little bonus :dunce: ) , so 2% of their population at arms sounds alright. This gives us a population of about 1,2-1,3 million people. This is pretty small, but the fact that the Riverlands were never a kingdom, as well as the lack of any cities, seems to support the idea that they don't have very many inhabitants.

The Vale: Stated by Littlefinger (or some other guy in the book, I forget who) to field "30 000 swords". Considering that the Vale repeatedly is described as quite lush and wealthy 1,5% of the population at arms sounds reasonable. This gives us a population of about 2,2 million people in The Vale.

The Crownlands we don't really have a figure for, but considering that KL itself probably has about 300 000 inhabitants, and that in addition to keeping 6000 guards just for the city itself they are also the base for the Royal Fleet (which consists of hundreds of ships and their crew)and a bunch of men that Stannis convinced to join him, then a population of well over 1 million seems necessary.

The Westerlands: Tywin marches into the Riverlands with about 40 000 men unless I am mistaken, these are later to be reinforced by 10 000 men with Lord Stafford (though the poor man got munched on by a wolf before he had the chance). So 50 000 men in total, unless they have a fleet as well. Not sure if it is stated in the books whether they rebuilt it or not. Considering that the huge wealth of Casterly Rock (as well as Tywin's keys to the Royal Treasury) should mean that they'd be able to afford arming and feeding more soldiers than normal, and that Lord Stafford had to "scrape the barrel" for recruits for his reinforcing army, this army may well be as much as 2% of the Westerland populace. This should give us a population of about 2.5 million people.

The Stormlands: 20- 25 000 (the troops that go with Renly and Stannis). In the books they are repeatedly described as poor and rather undeveloped, so I doubt that they can arm more than 1% of their people at a time, so about 2-2,5 milion inhabitants then.

The Reach: This one is the real killer! They muster 60 000 men for Renly's invasion force, and unless I am mistaken they are said to be keeping 30 000 men back for guarding Highgarden, Oldtown and other locations. They also have the Redwyne fleet, which consists several hundred ships. Assuming an average of 50 men a ship (though I'm not sure how large their warships are), and about 300 ships, that gives us another 15 000 men serving in the navy. So a military strength of about 105 000 men in total, give or take ten thousand or so. The Reach is extremely lush and the main food exporter of Westeros, so they probably can arm as much as 2% of their population without their economy collapsing. This gives us a population of 5,1 million people or so. However, I'm not sure if Mace Tyrell has really mustered the full strength of the Reach yet, so their population and army size could be even larger!

Dorne: No solid information as of yet. Quentyn claims "50 000 spears", but that seems like utter bullshit considering that Doran, who is the commander of the Dornish military, states in the book that they are the weakest of the Seven Kingdoms in terms of manpower. So perhaps 20 000 is more likely? Comes down to opinion here I guess. The Dornish country however is very harsh to live, farm and travel in. So 1% of their population under arms is as much as they can afford. It's not like they seem to export anything (bar peppers...) or have any real cities either. So perhaps 2 million inhabitants in Dorne then.

Iron Islands: Well, they are stated to possess a navy of 1000 longships, which sounds completely drugged up and ridiculous for so small and destitute islands! But I guess if we estimate 20 men a ship (longships being much smaller than regular warships) and that they have a thousand ships, we get 20 000 men. Well, well. Perhaps keeping a navy isn't as resource intensive even for these poor islands as an army would be (perhaps they can supply themselves much easier, considering how much faster they travel and such) so let's say they compromise 2% of the Ironborn then, giving us a population for the Iron Islands of about 1 million people. Sounds a bit ridiculous, but there it is.

Total population of Westeros: Roughly 20 million, give or take.

Sounds reasonable enough I guess. Out of these, less than 1 million should be living in the main cities. Perhaps 300 000 in Kings Landing, 250 000 in Oldtown, 150 000 in Lannisport, 60 000 each for Gulltown and White Harbor (pretty sure I've seen those numbers thrown around here) and what, 20 000 in Barrowton? Then a considerable number of people would live either in towns, such as Pennytree and Maidenpool, or inside the countless castles and keeps erected across Westeros. Sunspear in particular seems, according to Arianne Martell, to have so many inhabitants that it almost could be a city. Wintertown around Winterfell is perhaps a more common example.

The vast majority of the population would live in small farming communities and villages spread across the countryside, however.

Those are my two cents!

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I would think the North would have a lower population than places like the Reach, the Westerlands, and the Stormlands.

In GoT I believe Robert comments on how sparsely populated the North is compared to much of the South. I got the impression at least that what made the North powerful was not its population, but the ferocity of its warriors, and geography that generally made it difficult to invade and occupy.

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@Blaargh, I don't have a quote on me, but I'm pretty sure either George or the book directly states that KL has at least 500k men. So at the very least, that probably means all the other big cities you listed have more people

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I think that the Northern numbers are even lower, the size of the north is distraction, not because it sparsely populated but because it suffers from the extremely long winters, which would not allow to support a big population sparsely populate or otherwise.

We know that much of the north is vast wilderness forest and hills, the only major locations are Winterfell which is serves as migration center during the winter and white harbor, the only big port city. I would say that anything worthwhile is in the trianglish area between the two and Moat cailin, connected by kingsroad and the river allowing transportation of goods and food.

The way I see it It just doesnt matter how good they adapt or how many hot springs and volcanic vents there are in winterfell and the dreadfort. millions cannot survive few years long winters, espcialy if it is as fun as it was for stannis in adwd.

EDIT:

@The King in the South, It was 500k during the war of the five kings when many people looked for protection behind the walls.

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20-40 million seems to be good estimates, though I really have a hard time believing the Iron Islands can support a million folks! More likely a hundred thousand, at the most, but it's Mr Martin's world... perhaps even more than 2% of the Ironborn fight? If almost every Ironborn boy of age is enlisted to fight it's not too difficult to imagine them fielding 20,000 men but even so they make a harsh living (assuming about 1/3 of the population is men of fighting age). Probably have to import most of their food to even begin to support their population.

When it comes to the North dont be off-put by it having millions of inhabitants. Keep in mind that the North takes up roughly the same area the South takes up. Now, say the South has somewere between 15-30 million folks. The 3 million or so folks living in the North isn't too hard to believe for such a barren place. The North is much more sparsely populated, 10 times less populated which seems reasonable.

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I would think the North would have a lower population than places like the Reach, the Westerlands, and the Stormlands.

In GoT I believe Robert comments on how sparsely populated the North is compared to much of the South. I got the impression at least that what made the North powerful was not its population, but the ferocity of its warriors, and geography that generally made it difficult to invade and occupy.

Well, the North is way more sparsely populated than the south, even if it is the second most populated kingdom (by a rather tiny margin, if it is) due to how freaking huge it is. And in war what matters is not the total population, but how much of it you'll be able to mobilize and get to where you want it, and here the North definately has a disadvantage. Troops from Last Hearth and Bear Island would have to walk a stretch the length of like Berlin - Moscow before even reaching Moat Cailin!

The King in the South: Mor answered this for me, but since we aren't given solid numbers on refugees I guess King's Landing might be a bit bigger. 400 000 perhaps?

Mor2: But are the winters in the North really that much worse for the inhabitants than those in say the Riverlands and the Westerlands? I mean, it snows in Riverrun as soon as the winter starts (Jaimes chapter) so harvesting certainly can't be done then. Sure it's probably way colder in the north, but I'm not sure how much difference pure cold makes if the main thing (farming being impossible) lasts for roughly as long in the north as in the "middle" south.

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The only way the iron islands can have a population of a million is if the scales of the maps are completely off.From a bit of rough work on a map in feast [southern one] tarth is about a cm squared and the iron islands [including the sea between islands] is about 2 cm squared. Now I know the scales are wrong but I don't see tarth haveing a population larger than 500 000. Maybe fifty thousand.

also I don't see how the idea of 1% of the population works when comparing mediaeval europe to westeros. There are a few things completely different. First of all a lot of the lords don't seem to have issues with winter campaigns. Which, from what I know of history [admitatly not much], isn''t very accurate. Secondly each year instead of a single autumn harvest being needed there are descriptions of multiple harvests each season. This sugests that harvests aren't really important compared to real life history becuase they can do a bunch of harvests before joining up with the army. Not to mentionm the fact that they are not described as people on the edge of starvation [even the fact that the winter would be difficult was due to the wars and not the length], so they obviously have some fairly effective farming techniques compared to real history. Not to mention the fact that they would be able to preserve food through a winter lasting years. A war lasting a few months could easily take seven or eight percent of the population if they have enough food stored for years of winter.

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I doubt GRRM knows the population of Westeros. In fact, I even doubt the people of Westeros know the population of Westeros because that would require a census. And even with a census there are problems:

http://www.domesdayb....uk/life.html#6

The total population of England in 1086 cannot be calculated accurately from Domesday for several reasons: only the heads of households are listed; major cities like London and Winchester were omitted completely; there are no records of nuns, monks, or people in castles. The population of England at the time of Domesday has been tentatively estimated at between 1ΒΌ and 2 million. However, these figures are much lower than the 4 million people there are estimated to have been in Roman times.

Trying to estimate the total population based on army sizes can be highly innaccurate. Desperate times often spark desperate actions. The male population that are older than ~ 10 and younger than ~ 50 could be forced to serve in the army, even if it results in mass starvation. History is full of instances of mass starvation resulting from wars.

I doubt every kingdom has the same ratio of soldiers-to-civilians. In fact, that ratio could vary by several times depending on the particular kingdom. Sparta is well known to have a much higher soldier-to-civilian ratio than Athens.

Even the soldier counts claimed by leaders in the ASOIAF books might be highly innaccurate. Feudal armies were not particularly well organized even compared to the Romans, much less modern day.

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Blaaargh, your numbers are a bit low.

The North had about 35,000 left after the Young Wolf led 20,000 south.

In Roberts Rebellion, the Riverlands had 40,000, but with Edmure losing at the Golden Tooth, the eastern half cut off by Tywin and the entire raiding process there was just a tiny fraction available to the combined North/Riverlands host.

The Vale has 40,000 as well.

The Crownlands and Dragonstone are well populated, with the Royal Fleet, but we don't know its size. But KL had 500,000 inhabitants.

The Stormlands had 30,000 men available for Renley's host.

The Reach had 70,000 available for Renley's host and Oldtown not commited.

The Arbor mans the fleet as you noted, but 50 guys per ship is laughable. Their warships have between 100 and 400 oars, plus the additional sailors and soldiers.

Dorne is stated between 30,000 and 50,000, with 50,000 being the number for outsiders and 30,000 those for the Martells,

The Iron Islands have 100 warships in the Iron fleet, each roughly equivalent to the royal warships and between 300 and 1000 longships, with about 30 men each. 25,000 is the bare minimum, but it's very likely to be much higher. Maybe 30,000 or 35,000.

And 2 % is the absolute maximum any rural society could field in pre-industrial times. It is likely to be much more restricted in Westeros. A population between 40 and 80 millions is likely.

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Blaaargh, your numbers are a bit low.

The North had about 35,000 left after the Young Wolf led 20,000 south.

In Roberts Rebellion, the Riverlands had 40,000, but with Edmure losing at the Golden Tooth, the eastern half cut off by Tywin and the entire raiding process there was just a tiny fraction available to the combined North/Riverlands host.

The Vale has 40,000 as well.

The Crownlands and Dragonstone are well populated, with the Royal Fleet, but we don't know its size. But KL had 500,000 inhabitants.

The Stormlands had 30,000 men available for Renley's host.

The Reach had 70,000 available for Renley's host and Oldtown not commited.

The Arbor mans the fleet as you noted, but 50 guys per ship is laughable. Their warships have between 100 and 400 oars, plus the additional sailors and soldiers.

Dorne is stated between 30,000 and 50,000, with 50,000 being the number for outsiders and 30,000 those for the Martells,

The Iron Islands have 100 warships in the Iron fleet, each roughly equivalent to the royal warships and between 300 and 1000 longships, with about 30 men each. 25,000 is the bare minimum, but it's very likely to be much higher. Maybe 30,000 or 35,000.

And 2 % is the absolute maximum any rural society could field in pre-industrial times. It is likely to be much more restricted in Westeros. A population between 40 and 80 millions is likely.

most accurate, backed up, logic and overall best post in the entire thread.

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Blaaargh, your numbers are a bit low.

The North had about 35,000 left after the Young Wolf led 20,000 south.

In Roberts Rebellion, the Riverlands had 40,000, but with Edmure losing at the Golden Tooth, the eastern half cut off by Tywin and the entire raiding process there was just a tiny fraction available to the combined North/Riverlands host.

The Vale has 40,000 as well.

The Crownlands and Dragonstone are well populated, with the Royal Fleet, but we don't know its size. But KL had 500,000 inhabitants.

The Stormlands had 30,000 men available for Renley's host.

The Reach had 70,000 available for Renley's host and Oldtown not commited.

The Arbor mans the fleet as you noted, but 50 guys per ship is laughable. Their warships have between 100 and 400 oars, plus the additional sailors and soldiers.

Dorne is stated between 30,000 and 50,000, with 50,000 being the number for outsiders and 30,000 those for the Martells,

The Iron Islands have 100 warships in the Iron fleet, each roughly equivalent to the royal warships and between 300 and 1000 longships, with about 30 men each. 25,000 is the bare minimum, but it's very likely to be much higher. Maybe 30,000 or 35,000.

And 2 % is the absolute maximum any rural society could field in pre-industrial times. It is likely to be much more restricted in Westeros. A population between 40 and 80 millions is likely.

The last point just needs to be qualified in the case of the Iron Islands, where Martin has stated that virtually every man who is not a coward or disabled takes up reaving at some point in his life.

So in their case, the 35000 men (and some women) that man the war fleet are probably more like 6-8% of the population, rather than 2%.

The opposite is true of the North, where they are more likely to raise only 1%, or even 0.5% of their population to go to war, due to the greater difficulty in sustaining a war host in their difficult environment.

So this means that the Iron Islands will have a lower population than their army size suggests, and the North will have a higher population than their army size suggests.

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Blaaargh, your numbers are a bit low.

The North had about 35,000 left after the Young Wolf led 20,000 south.

How do you know this? It would seem they have far fewer men left than that, considering that even, what, 3 years after Robb marched south neither Stannis nor the Boltons are able to scrape together more than about 4000 northerners each, with most of Stannis' coming from the Hill Tribes who haven't been involved in the war until now. Even if many lords are holding back portions of their forces (especially Manderly) many more seem to be almost completely spent by now (Umbers and Glovers for example), so I doubt that there are more than 15 000 fighting men left in the North. And this is of course when they already have had several years to recover.

In Roberts Rebellion, the Riverlands had 40,000, but with Edmure losing at the Golden Tooth, the eastern half cut off by Tywin and the entire raiding process there was just a tiny fraction available to the combined North/Riverlands host.

The Vale has 40,000 as well.

The Riverlands had so many men? I'm going to ask for a citation for that, since it doesn't make much sense with their politcal and historical situation. I wonder where you got the strength for the Vale as well.

The Crownlands and Dragonstone are well populated, with the Royal Fleet, but we don't know its size. But KL had 500,000 inhabitants.

They definately have to be populated and wealthy, I agree with that. As for KL remember that those 500 000 include Riverland refugees and the Tyrell military expedition, not just actual inhabitants.

The Arbor mans the fleet as you noted, but 50 guys per ship is laughable. Their warships have between 100 and 400 oars, plus the additional sailors and soldiers.

The thing is that it's inconcievable that all of those 300+ Redwyne ships are so large as that. In the battle of Lepanto in 1571 (after the middle ages had already ended) all of Christian southern Europe was barely able to scrape together 200 ships with about 300 men on them each (many of those being onloaded soldiers). I can't see any way that a quite small island like the Arbor can keep a standing navy of a similar size as this, not to mention larger. Most likely the majority of the Arbor fleet consists of conscripted trade vessels with way smaller crew sizes, with the huge ships you mention forming an elite core of the fleet. I think we can see some evidence of this in AFFC as well, since those eight huge warships that Cersei ordered to be built threaten to drain the Royal treasury, indicating that the ships of Westeros are normally far smaller. Even so, perhaps an average of 100-150 men per warship is more realistic, meaning that the gathered military strength of the reach would be closer to 150 000.

The Iron Islands have 100 warships in the Iron fleet, each roughly equivalent to the royal warships and between 300 and 1000 longships, with about 30 men each. 25,000 is the bare minimum, but it's very likely to be much higher. Maybe 30,000 or 35,000.

And 2 % is the absolute maximum any rural society could field in pre-industrial times. It is likely to be much more restricted in Westeros. A population between 40 and 80 millions is likely.

Yeah, the Ironmen don't make much sense from a logistical perspective. I don't see why you think Westeros would be less able to field larger armies than historical medieval societies however, if anything the lack of winters should make longer campaigns somewhat easier, since one missed harvest isn't as much of a deal anymore (unless it's the last one before winter like now of course...) the smallfolk we meet in the books don't seem to be living in too much poverty normally either (with exceptions of course), implicating that their agricultural system is quite productive.

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