The unknown world
What does the world of ice and fire really look like? I wanted to open this thread to speculate on what the world actually looks like, and if the geography will have an impact on the story. GRRM has said in a Q&A that, “yes, the world is round.” So this begs the question of what lies west of Westeros and East of Essos? I believe the lands of the grey waste and the land of always winter at one point in time, used to connect to each other.
When Mance Rayder was ranging north of the Shadow tower he was attacked by a shadow cat where he was badly injured and taken to a wildling village. There a woods witch’s daughter fixed him up, repairing his torn cloak with the red silk of Asshai, that her mother had found in a ship wreck. Now how did a ship carrying goods from Asshai end up on the complete opposite side of the world, where there is no trading port. It is common for ships to arrive at Eastwatch and trade with members of the Night’s Watch and the wildlings, but Mance at the time was near the Shadow Tower on the west end of the wall. Now it’s possible a ship traveling to bear islands or Deepwood Motte was blown off course, but there are many other connecting factors to take into consideration.
We can take into account the “sea dragons” seen off of sea dragon point, and the Iron Islands. If my theory on the geography is correct, in that the land of Essos begins to shift north after the bones, this would make the shadow lands somewhere on the same latitude line as blazewater bay or the stony shore. This means the dragons seen could of likely been hunting far off the coast of the shadowlands, where there is said to be dragons. GRRM said that the world is similar to that of our Earth, and that the map is accurate to the best of the maesters knowledge, but they have less information the farther East they go. So going off the official maps, it makes sense that Dorne, Valyria, the Red waste are all near the equator line, all sharing a hot, similar climate. What throws me off is after the bones this climate is no longer shared with its latitude line. Yiti is very foresty, a lot like the Rainwood, yet it’s on the same latitude as Valyria and the Red waste. The Great Waste and Mossovy are said to be cold frigid lands yet they are similar latitude as the riverlands, which are not known to be cold or frigid at all. This makes me think the maesters understanding of the land after the bones is inaccurate, and the land shifts towards the north.
The five forts lie as a boundary towards the Grey Waste, similar to how the Wall seperates the north. The forts are said to be made out of black stone, over 1000ft high. That is bigger than the wall, which is needlessly large to just keep out regular armies. I believe these forts could have been used as a second night’s watch, to guard against the others who come from the north. The places beyond the Forts also have very similar connections to the others. The city of the bloodless men are said to be inhabited by pale, dead men, and people drained of blood and returned through dark rites. K’Dath, just beyond the five forts, is said to be a spot where they perform sacrifices to the Gods, similar to how Craster would. The city of the winged men that is said to be inhabited by men with wings seems to me like a metaphor for crows, as in members of the night’s watch. This makes me think the others dwell from a land a lot like our own North Pole, with large floating Ice drifts that tend to shrink during especially hot summers. But when you have a Long Cold winter, mixed in with the magic of the others, these ice drifts can solidify to each other, creating a traversable terrain for the others, allowing them to go both to Essos and Westeros. I would love to know what others think about this idea, and share any ideas of their own.