The sheer size of Game of Thrones' map is quite daunting, and that's just the series' Known World, which highlights all the kingdoms in the series. Game of Thrones' story is quite dense and not easy to break into; not only is it populated by a massive cast of principal characters, but it also takes place in a fantasy world with geography is as well-documented as the political intrigues that propel much of the action.
George R.R. Martin created an incredibly detailed backdrop for the A Song of Ice and Fire series – so much so that the locations on the Game of Thrones map have become characters in and of themselves. Much of the conflict in Game of Thrones is defined by different regions and the long histories of dispute some have between them, not to mention the strategic advantage certain geographical locations offer and the near-constant fights over who controls them.
Considering how often HBO's Game of Thrones jumps from one location to another, it's easy for viewers to get lost in knowing where everything is on the Game of Thrones map. And understanding the fundamental layout of Game of Thrones' map of Westeros and Essos will undoubtedly be important when Game of Thrones season 8 premieres in April.
Game of Thrones World Map
Here's the full Game of Thrones map, including Westeros and Essos, with hints of the uncharted regions to the far east and south that haven't been expanded upon even in George R.R. Martin's books. We'll now break down each area, how it's important to the show, and what other secrets they may hold.
- This Page: Westeros Part 1: The North, Dorne, Reach, & More
- Page 2: Westeros Part 2: Stormlands, Vale, Iron Islands, & More
- Page 3: The Region of Essos
The North is the largest continuous region in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the least populous. The Starks serve as Wardens of the North and operate out of Winterfell, as they have for nearly 8000 years. Other major families hailing from the region include the Reeds, the Karstarks, the Umbers, and the Boltons, though Houses Bolton, Umber, and Karstark are in shambles after losing roundly at the Battle of the Bastards. The North’s significance to the overall Game of Thrones story cannot be understated. Aside from being the historic home to the most prominent family on the show, it will be the first stop in the Night King’s invasion now that he’s found a way to blast through the Wall.
Dorne is the southernmost region of Westeros and boasts an extremely unique and liberal culture relative to the rest of the continent. They embrace sexual freedoms and welcome illegitimate children into their families publicly. This cultural dissonance is partially due to the region being cut off from the rest of Westeros by the Red Mountains, not unlike the Iberian Peninsula and the Andes Mountains in Europe, and also due to the fact that it was settled by an Essosian people called the Rhoynish, and not the First Men or the Andals like the rest of Westeros. Like the North, it’s had one major family of rulers for most of its history, but House Martell is currently headless after nearly everyone in the family died in Game of Thrones season 7.
Traditionally ruled by House Tyrell, the Reach is a central region of Westeros possessed of the richest farmland on the continent. It central seat is Castle Highgarden occupied by the ruling House Tyrell (until Game of Thrones season 7) and it also boasts major landmarks like Oldtown, the Citadel and other major political houses in Westeros like the Tarly’s. Sam Tarly’s childhood home, Horn Hill, is located northeast of Old Town and is seen in great detail in Game of Thrones season 6 when he returns there briefly with Little Sam and Gilly. For the run of the show, the Reach has always been associated with a level of prosperity few others in Westeros can claim, and that’s where their political significance rests, similar to House Lannister, but without the army to match.
The Westerlands are on the western side of Westeros. The Lannisters have ruled the region since the time of the First Men and their seat is the supposedly impregnable Casterly Rock, located near the coastal city of Lannisport. The Lannisters and their bannermen are known for their immense wealth due to the precious metals and iron veins that run through the hills of the region. The Westerlands also represent a significant military and political power, with the Lannisters boasting one of the biggest and deadliest armies on the continent combined with their family’s history of occupying prominent positions at the royal level.
The Riverlands lie directly to the east of the Westerlands and just north of King's Landing. It’s ruling family is House Tully, whose castle, Riverrun, was the childhood home of Catelyn and Lysa Tully. Given the Riverlands’ central location and the conflict between the Tullys and the Lannisters that began in Game of Thrones season 1, the region served as the main theater for the War of the Five Kings. In addition to the handful of significant battles that took place there in season 2, it’s also home to The Twins, seat of House Frey, and the site of the Red Wedding and subsequent end of the Stark Rebellion. It’s also home to Harrenhal, the largest and most unwieldy castle in Westeros as well as the historically significant God’s Eye lake and its Isle of Faces, which served as the site of the peace treaty between the First Men and the Children of the Forest after the two ended their ancient conflict thousands of years before.