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hodoronthethrone

How big is Westeros compared to the USA

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GRRM once said South America, which all these maps and calculations seem to be ultimately leading too.

Really it seems too big IMO, I think the size of non-Russian Europe would do.

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George was being inexact with the South America reference, and trying to get across that it was a continent rather than an island (people were making comparisons to England) and that it was long. In fact the total area is about the same as Europe, less a chunk of Russia. A population of about 40 million (give or take) roughly fits that of Europe circa 1450, according to some estimates, which had a populace of about 45 million (when you drop Russia).

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I also think GRRM might have been thinking of the length of South America. From north to south South America is a bit over 4,000 miles long, whilst the maps show that Westeros is almost exactly 3,000 miles long from the Wall to the south coast of Dorne. That leaves over 1,000 miles for the territory north of the Wall, and given that the mapped portion extends to about 700 miles north of it, that seems to track very well.

The difference, of course, is that South America is also about 3,000 miles wide at its widest point, whilst Westeros is never more than 1,000 at most, and is frequently less than that due to the heavily indented coastline.

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George has said the size of South America, but there has been several accounts when people have said it's impossible for Westeros to be that big (unless all the land north of the Wall count, which might be larger than the lands south of the wall).

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I don't get the confusion. The Wall might as well be a scale bar inserted at the top of the map, for easy reference.

We can measure the exact size of Westeros, subject to the accuracy of the medieval level map drawing.

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Tbh, the time passing between chapters is different, so we can only guess. The maps in the books have no scale bars. Other maps are speculative. I don't know how scale stuff looks like on the 12 maps that were published not that long time ago. Did Martin take part in creating them? He probably did but...

Anyways, I don't really get the confusion, too. If we know the lenght of the wall, we can estimate the rest and that's enough, right? Even Martin just estimated the lenght of Westeros.

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George hand-drew the origianls of all the maps in the Lands of Ice and Fire collection. Jonathan Roberts than produced the maps that were actually published, based on George's originals.

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George was being inexact with the South America reference, and trying to get across that it was a continent rather than an island (people were making comparisons to England) and that it was long. In fact the total area is about the same as Europe, less a chunk of Russia. A population of about 40 million (give or take) roughly fits that of Europe circa 1450, according to some estimates, which had a populace of about 45 million (when you drop Russia).

Westeros has 40 mil? How did that happen? A short Winter lasts 9 months to a year. I have not seen any form of modern food preservation or modern agriculture to get them the insane amount of food stores they would need to preserve. Not to mention what to they feed all those herding animals? Most forms of hearding animals, cows, horses, steers, have no chance of making through a long winter, as soon as grass goes brown it's like eating cardboard to them. "We had a nice short winter only 2 years long"

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George hand-drew the origianls of all the maps in the Lands of Ice and Fire collection. Jonathan Roberts than produced the maps that were actually published, based on George's originals.

Indeed. Here's GRRM's original hand-drawn map of the Lands Beyond the Wall from the Texas archive, for example.

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Wow

Skagos appears bigger there than on the official maps in the books. Seems to exceed the length of the Wall and have a width of close to 200 miles at its widest.

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Yeah, his Essos maps were not quite so neatly done. ;)

Westeros has 40 mil? How did that happen?

It's all in the military figures. We have various figures putting the military forces of the combined Seven Kingdoms at something like 400,000 men, and historically feudal/pre-modern societies could not keep more than 1% of their population under arms.p

George kind of minimizes the impact of a year long winter.

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George hand-drew the origianls of all the maps in the Lands of Ice and Fire collection. Jonathan Roberts than produced the maps that were actually published, based on George's originals.

Interesting. It would seem that GRRM is an artist as well as an incredible author!

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Yeah, his Essos maps were not quitemaom

Say what now? :)

Wow

Skagos appears bigger there than on the official maps in the books. Seems to exceed the length of the Wall and have a width of close to 200 miles at its widest.

Seems to be in keeping with most of the other map sizes, though Skagos does seem to be a bit stretched in comparison to others. It may be a perspective issue (this is the draft for the 'Beyond the Wall' map from ASoS, I believe). Overall, though, Skagos seems to be roughly the size of Ireland, meaning it could have a (relatively) substantial population. It's not a tiny lump of rock in the sea, which I've seen some dismiss it as.

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Oops. Corrected what I was going to say, re: maps of Essos.

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Wow

Skagos appears bigger there than on the official maps in the books. Seems to exceed the length of the Wall and have a width of close to 200 miles at its widest.

From this map:

http://gameofthrones...of_westeros.jpg

It seems that Skaagos isn't quite the length of the wall (so about 250) miles, and it's width is almost the exact distance from the edge of the Gift, to the Wall, which is 50 leagues aka 150 miles. So it's roughly 37500 square miles, which is a bit bigger than Ireland.

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Westeros is a continent, clearly :)

I guess one could compare Westeros with Canada, USA and the northern half of Mexico/whole Mexico coombined into one continent.

Also the Lands of Always Winter is never said to be only sea covered with ice, such as most of the North Pole. I believe Everything North of the Wall is much like the Antarctic continent, only more mountains. And magic!

One simple proof:

Westeros is so large it stretches over several different climates. From the freezing cold areas beyond the Wall and all the way to Dorne, where vast desserts roam. Actually we don't know where the North of Westeros ends by now and perhaps we never will. (At least I don't)

So compared to the United States, Westeros is a great deal larger! I would say as big, if not even bigger than Africa, considering the different climates on Westeros.

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GRRM did recently say that the lands beyond the Wall are as large as Canada, which is interesting. If he's talking square mileage, that's a comparable amount of landmass to Westeros itself. Of course, if most of that is beneath the arctic ice it probably doesn't mean much.

As for the size of Westeros south of the Wall, we know how big it is, as the preceding page and a half attests :) It's big, but nowhere near as big as Africa.

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Werthead. My recollection of GRRM's quote was that the lands beyond the Wall are Greenland sized, not Canada sized. Unless you have a different, more recent quote in mind.

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This picture compares the size of Westeros with Europe, making equivalences with the climates of the regions.

That's excellent.

That's an old picture that's actually nonsense. The scale is incorrectly applied, making Westeros seem smaller than it actually is.

It's not nonsense. That's the closest thing to reality I've seen. Westeros is only slightly larger and slightly south than what that map shows.

George was being inexact with the South America reference, and trying to get across that it was a continent rather than an island (people were making comparisons to England) and that it was long. In fact the total area is about the same as Europe, less a chunk of Russia. A population of about 40 million (give or take) roughly fits that of Europe circa 1450, according to some estimates, which had a populace of about 45 million (when you drop Russia).

That sounds reasonable to me as well.

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