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Queen Regent of Westeros

Sothorys, Ulthos...

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If you bought the The Lands of Ice and Fire map pack, then you'll see tips of these two continents...well, GRRM said he wasn't sure if Ulthos is a continent or just a large island, but regardless!

They're pretty mysterious, no? Especially since Ulthos is covered in black forest. From what we know, Sothorys is full of exotic animals and is ridden with plagues. Striped pygmy people come from Sothoryos too, and the trees are often cut and taken back to Essos.

But we have absolutely no info on Ulthos other than: possible continent, possible large island & black forests. Any speculation? I'm especially mystified because Ulthos is dangerously close to Asshai...

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Will remain mysterious, since we won't travel there in the books. I like that GRRM leaves several places to mystery.

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Unfortunately, I doubt the Worldbook will explain much. If I'm not mistaken it is written as if the Maesters of the Citadel were writing down their knowledge on the world. In which case, their knowledge of such places would be little to none.

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My thoughts on Ulthos is that the black forest is plain wrong. It's just a far-off land no one west of Qarth has visited, and tales spread in queer manners.

As for Sothoryos, given that it has at least three big ruined cities in the small portion of it we see in the maps, I'd wager it was an ancient civilization ruined by war, and only a few small settlements in the Basilisk Isles are left, surviving on depredation, exotic commerce and piracy.

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Will remain mysterious, since we won't travel there in the books. I like that GRRM leaves several places to mystery.

But, why even make mention of Ulthos if it will play absolutely zero purpose? Previous maps had indicated sothyros was much larger (the size of sothyros + Ulthos), and Ulthos wasn't there.

Its proximity to Asshai is interesting, but as someone else said, Railroad has said there's at least a good chance we won't ever see Asshai, so that might not mean anything.

What about the name, Ulthos? We have Westeros, Essos, and Sothyros, which all seem to be names based on the geography (West, east, south). Ulthos has the same -os suffix - might 'Ulth' mean something as a prefix?

Especially with minor houses/places, the name is sometimes a clue to a real event or place that Martin's version 'represents' in some way. Might this be the case with Ulthos (even if it never becomes important to the story)

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I feel like originally grrm didn't want to do a world map because he wanted the world to be a mystery like it would have been to people in the Middle Ages, but once he got sucked into doing a whole world map he just added stuff in to give the allusion of there always being more out there and noone knowing the full full story.

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I feel like originally grrm didn't want to do a world map because he wanted the world to be a mystery like it would have been to people in the Middle Ages, but once he got sucked into doing a whole world map he just added stuff in to give the allusion of there always being more out there and noone knowing the full full story.

I like that idea, plus it's really hard to just end a world map so it kind of has to tail off, either that or you end up drawing an entire globe :P

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But, why even make mention of Ulthos if it will play absolutely zero purpose? Previous maps had indicated sothyros was much larger (the size of sothyros + Ulthos), and Ulthos wasn't there.

Its proximity to Asshai is interesting, but as someone else said, Railroad has said there's at least a good chance we won't ever see Asshai, so that might not mean anything.

What about the name, Ulthos? We have Westeros, Essos, and Sothyros, which all seem to be names based on the geography (West, east, south). Ulthos has the same -os suffix - might 'Ulth' mean something as a prefix?

Especially with minor houses/places, the name is sometimes a clue to a real event or place that Martin's version 'represents' in some way. Might this be the case with Ulthos (even if it never becomes important to the story)

The "Ult" could mean ultimate, as in final. The final continent.

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The "Ult" could mean ultimate, as in final. The final continent.

This is a good idea, and would be in line with Martin's penchant for allusions to the real world of the past-"Ultima Thule" was the name for the lands beyond Greenland for the Norse, and later found its way into what passed for geographic lore in medieval Europe.

That said, I agree with a previous poster that Martin prboably didn't want to completely fill out the map; half the fun of the world he's created is the sheer depth and breadth of it. I find the allusions to events in the distant past and continents no character goes to just as interesting as the plot itself.

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Incidentally, looking over a map ( http://cdn.serietivu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Game-of-Thrones-la-mappa-interattiva-di-Westeros-ed-Essos-3.jpg ), I didn't realize until now how much the fragment of Sothoryos we're given resembles the Nile Delta, and the western part of Essos is strikingly similar to Anatolia (the Aegean coast of Turkey).

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Incidentally, looking over a map ( http://cdn.serietivu...-ed-Essos-3.jpg ), I didn't realize until now how much the fragment of Sothoryos we're given resembles the Nile Delta, and the western part of Essos is strikingly similar to Anatolia (the Aegean coast of Turkey).

This map is very wrong in a number of ways. This is a more canon map.

But yes, the northern tip of Sothoryos does resemble the Nile delta quite a lot. Also resembles many other big river deltas, such as the Amazon, Yellow and Indus deltas, but most likely the Nile was the main inspiration. And yes, Essos does somewhat resemble and overblown Turkey, I had never made that association before, nicely spotted.

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Don't think we'll ever find out more about these places, GRRM probably likes to have it that way, makes the world more believable. It wouldn't be a very realistic world if absolutely every place on the map was relevant to the story. There are loadsa random cities on essos maps that we never will see or even hear about as well...

kinda reminds me of how tolkien mentioned loads of places outside middle-earth such as the 'dark lands' (see map http://corecanvas.s3...age_of_arda.gif) but gave very few details about them in his works

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My thoughts on Ulthos is that the black forest is plain wrong. It's just a far-off land no one west of Qarth has visited, and tales spread in queer manners.

As for Sothoryos, given that it has at least three big ruined cities in the small portion of it we see in the maps, I'd wager it was an ancient civilization ruined by war, and only a few small settlements in the Basilisk Isles are left, surviving on depredation, exotic commerce and piracy.

I was under the impression the cities were ruined due to a tsunami or something else due to the Doom of Valyria.

No proof, no sauces, don't even know why I think it, but that's what I think haha!

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I think Ulthos is an analogue to Australia.

Syrio Forel tells Arya about the fantastic creatures kept in the Sea Lord of Braavos' menagerie. Two of them, the "hairy mouse pig" and "tiger that carries its cubs in a pouch" are marsupials IMO. The "hairy mouse pig" is a diprotodon, a giant Pleistocene wombat, and the "tiger" is a thylacine (aka Tasmanian Tiger) or the much larger thylacoleo.

IRL, marsupials have trouble competing with placental mammals (the opossum is the exception that proves the rule). I don't think these creatures could compete with the direwolves, mammoths and shadowcats. So they would need an island continent to survive- Ulthos fits the bill perfectly IMO.

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I think Ulthos is an analogue to Australia.

Syrio Forel tells Arya about the fantastic creatures kept in the Sea Lord of Braavos' menagerie. Two of them, the "hairy mouse pig" and "tiger that carries its cubs in a pouch" are marsupials IMO. The "hairy mouse pig" is a diprotodon, a giant Pleistocene wombat, and the "tiger" is a thylacine (aka Tasmanian Tiger) or the much larger thylacoleo.

IRL, marsupials have trouble competing with placental mammals (the opossum is the exception that proves the rule). I don't think these creatures could compete with the direwolves, mammoths and shadowcats. So they would need an island continent to survive- Ulthos fits the bill perfectly IMO.

:agree:

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Regarding Ulthos:

Will remain mysterious, since we won't travel there in the books. I like that GRRM leaves several places to mystery.

:agree:

As he does with characters, places, cultures, history and many other things. There are a lot to take in and just as much left for imagination. Love it!

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There is a lot of mysterious places in the 'World of Ice and Fire'. But Asshai, Ulthos and Sothoros are by far the most mysterious. Asshai, or Asshai by the Shadow, is a land beyond the Shadows. What confuses me about the culture is Melisandre, the Red Preistess, and Quaithe, of the Shadow. Quaithe conceals her face by a Wooden Mask, and many people of religious faiths conceal there head, face and body (Examples include Muslim Woman and Christians Nuns.) but nothing known anout Quaithe states she is religious. But Melisandre on the other hand is very religious, but flaunts her body more than Quaithe. Also there Magical knowledge is beyond another city in Essos or Westeros. Many people think Dragons still live there, and that's why Quaithe urges Daenerys to go there. Sothoros is between Westeros and Essos, and many of it's northern Islands are charted, but besides there name and location little is known. Hairy Apes are found in Sothoros which may be barbaric/early form of Humans. (My theory is each Continent represents a time period in the Real World, or at least an Area.) Yezzan zo Qaggaz gets a disease in Sothoros, which isn't contagious, because his slaves and friends don't get it from him. Ulthos may also have Dragons or Magical Knowledge because it's so close to Asshai, but I think it's a large Island with a large Kingdoms, maybe larger than the Seven Kingdoms or the Free Cities.

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George has said Ulthos is anywhere from an island and a continent. Maybe that was just him being lazy or purposely vague, but i reckon he meant it's somewhere in between. A large island perhaps, maybe the size of the north, but still smaller than a continent, and certainly smaller than Westeros.

My take on the far east is that it's not actually that magical and occult at all. Just a normal place with different cultures and as much magic as anywhere else, but since it's too remote, tales spread. The cool thing about not dwelling too deeply in it is that we are left to ponder these questions and imagine for ourselves.

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Quaithe is of the Shadow Lands, where people hide their faces behind masks.

Melisandre is from (maybe not originally, but recently) Asshai, where people do not.

Asshai and the Shadow Lands are neighbours, but they are not the same place or culture.

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I really like the way the continents and the globe look (@ 2:29-2:39). It's not entirely faithful to the maps we've seen and know, but it's a good starting point.

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