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Adam Targaryen

Inspiration behind the Planetos map

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Hey everyone, I couldn't find any topic which focuses on this so the traditional "sorry if this has been posted before" message is hereby expressed most swiftly.

 

What's the inspiration behind the Planetos map? I don't think GRRM is very good/creative at drawing/coming up with maps and I think he's said that himself in an interview. I think he's been inspired by/"stolen" various places from real maps of Earth so I thought we could discuss that. It's very interesting. (Although I just have to say first of all that when examining many places and finding this to be the case with many places, not just the basic shape of Westeros, it is actually a bit disappointing as well, that the shapes are mostly not original but... well, of course a great author can't necessarily be great at making maps and so forth)

 

First of all, I'm not sure but I think it's been basically proven that the North is Britain and the South is Ireland turned upside down and mirrored/reversed. I think GRRM has admitted this as well, which is really interesting. I could be wrong - maybe this is not confirmed - but if it's not, it's still really obvious if you look at the map. The Vale is exactly the same shape as south-western Ireland etc.

 

Furthermore, I think the Iron Islands are the Galapagos Islands mirrored/reversed, with Isabela as Great Wyk etc. - maybe he was hoping that noone would notice, I don't know, and I actually didn't until someone else pointed it out on a forum or the Internet in general but once yer' see it... Yeah...

 

Also, Valyria is obviously like Ancient Greece in its culture and significance and the shape of the Valyrian peninsula after the Doom also looks like Greece - or, more clearly, like the Greek peninsula Chalkidiki, which lies to the northeast of the main Greek peninsula and looks like a little version of Greece with its three fingers/"legs".

 

Qarth lies at the straits which separate the Jade Sea from the Summer Sea, and the Jade Sea was originally a big lake or "inland sea" or whatever it's called, just like the Black Sea, which makes the similarity between Qarth and Byzantium (present Istanbul) very clear - and many people say that Qarth is indeed Byzantium's equivalent in Planetos.

 

Several more can probably be found. What do you all think?

Edited by Adam Targaryen

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30 minutes ago, Adam Targaryen said:

 

Qarth lies at the straits which separate the Jade Sea from the Summer Sea, and the Jade Sea was originally a big lake or "inland sea" or whatever it's called, just like the Black Sea, which makes the similarity between Qarth and Byzantium (present Constantinople) very clear - and many people say that Qarth is indeed Byzantium's equivalent in Planetos.

 

Several more can probably be found. What do you all think?

Constantinople was taken by the ottomans and they called it Istanbul in present time in Turkey. The riverlands would look alot like Netherlands-Belgium, though the dutch are seafaring people and the Riverlands not. The Iron Islands look like galapagos, but the people and the mentality looks like Iceland and Scandinavian. Dorne looks like southern Spain and Morocco as a landscape, but the mentality is much more like in Jordania in earlier  times. The stormy rocked coast of the Stormlands looks like France. The fertile Reach look like Italy and the Dothraki are definitely the Mongols, Khal instead of Khan. Mereen looks bit like Cairo, Oldtown like Alexandria and Braavos definitely Venice ! Pentos looks like Athens and Volantis like Paris.  Mont saint michel is 90% Moat callin, but looks also like Riverrun so its a combination! But i think GRRM sees in every place on the map more than one thing its a combination of places. 

Edited by Seaserpent

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There's definitely a lot of borrowing (Westeros with Dorne and the North chopped off as upside-down Ireland is the most telling), but I think modifying real-world maps to a certain degree makes sense. If you're not a geography expert, coming up with fully original and plausible maps is a nightmare. ;)

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I've been hanging around this joint for a long time.  Quit apologizing if anything has been discussed.   Posters come and go and there are new readers every day.   And people such as myself who have ever changing  ideas about things.   Talk about what you want.  There is some great old stuff, but I tend to learn more in the give and take of conversation, not reading the conversations of earlier posters.   There.   I vented.   Sorry.

I recently read or heard an interview with Martin wherein he tells the story how he got wrangled into The Lands of Ice and Fire.   It did not sound as though the landscape is actually based upon anything real.   I think the story is based in history which may be where X Kingdom = X real life country.   The culture I was most fascinated with was the Wildlings.  How the hell did they stay north of the Wall--or is that even a misconception?   So I posted to talk about it.   More than one reply directed me to read up on the Picts of Scotland, I believe.   OK yah, I can see where the idea of Wildlings may have stemmed from the Picts, but I'm not satisfied that this is all there is to the Free Folk's story.   

Back to that interview.   I'm paraphrasing, but am sure of the general gist.   The publishers wanted a map collection.  He agreed to work with artists or cartographers.   Then he was told there wasn't enough of anything in the ASOIAF world so he began adding places from his imagination and other fantasy works as tributes to the authors.    Sounds to me like a good lot of the places in ASOIAF, particularly way east Essos, are just filler around Asshai.   The legends grew out of necessity and I think the entire thing is brilliant.   What a testament to Martin's talent.   

Fitting the kingdoms of Westeros into real world Europe is fun, but may be an incomplete experience.   The Wildlings are not The Picts but may have sprung from that curious history.   It's a better story if you let your imagination start in history then let it run wild.  

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