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Ser Meryn Frey

Only 1 million people in the North?

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22 hours ago, Ser Yorick Ampersand said:

By Elio Garcia's estimates, he wrote The World of Ice and Fire, the North should have about 4million people.

That's fairly consistent with my estimates and others I've seen. I think it'd be a bit more, but the margin of error - in real life at least - is pretty generous since accuracy is so difficult. I'd say less than 4 million is unrealistic and more than 8 million probably too high. A real-life country of the same size and climate (ignoring the long winters, which I cannot really think of how any society could survive) could sustain 4-8 million people.

They'd mostly live on the coast, and it seems that this is consistent with the books. The Iron Islands raid the coasts frequently, so there must be people living there. Similarly, White Harbour is on the coast.

22 hours ago, Ingelheim said:

By the way, IMO, Martin actually fucked up with his numbers here. Westeros must have a population of around 40-45 million people, which is half of what Europe had before the Black Death.

Westeros is, at least, 3 times larger than Europe. So Westeros population density must be insanely low, and almost impossible.

The only thing I can think of is that the long winters inhibit population growth.

Otherwise, yes, 30-50 million people seems too small for a a South America-sized area, even taking the infertile North and Dorne into account.

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I think you have to take a lot with a pinch of salt because of the unrealistic (supernatural) way the seasons work in Westeros.  In reality if you had 7 years of winter then hardly any life could be sustained.  Especially the kind of winters they talk about the North of having.

Even if Westeros had normal seasons the population of the North wouldn't be that big, despite it's geographical area.  Most of the North seems uninhabitable in that kind of era with that kind of technology.

In medieval times the countries in Europe that had a similar climate (basically Scandinavian countries) had very small populations comparative to Southern Europe and most of those populations were sustained around coastal areas.

In reality it's unlikely the North would even be able to sustain 1m people as Westeros is meant to be huge and vast sums of food would need to be imported to sustain that kind of population.

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2 hours ago, Runaway Penguin said:

Martin himself admitted he just shot the dimensions of the wall off the hip, not thinking about the implications... Which is how we got a 700 feet tall obstacle (which btw would have drastically influenced the climate in the Gift). Same goes for distances.

The only problem is that in some cases he is really careful with the details, which means it's more jarring when he's playing fast and loose.

Especially since he seems to care more about getting stuff right with each novel, but he's stuck with decisions he made back at the start, so he's often trying to build realism around an unrealistic foundation.

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