The great thing about the opening titles of Game of Thrones – other than the theme tune – is that it ensures viewers get a good understanding of the geography of Westeros, and beyond.
For this reason, the parallels with Britain are immediately clear. The northerners have northern accents. The capital is in the southeast. Across the Narrow Sea/English Channel lies another continent. And everything north of Hadrian's Wall is dark and full of terrors.
So you may be forgiven for thinking that the shape of Westeros is simply a skewed, stretched, reimagined version of Great Britain. But you'd be wrong.
Speaking at Comic-Con in 2014, George R.R. Martin – the creator of this world – spoke about the inspiration for his map:
If you want to know where a lot of fantasy maps come from, take a look at any map in the front of your favourite fantasy book and turn it upside down. Westeros began as upside-down Ireland. You can see the Fingers at the Dingle Peninsula.
So what happens if you take GRRM's advice and turn Ireland upside down? Well, your mind gets blown. That's what.
Check out what happens when you use our slidey thing to compare the two.
Well thanks to a Reddit user, it turns out that the North matches (more or less) with the rest of the British Isles.
Conveniently for Sean Bean, Winterfell matches up more or less with Sheffield (though it's based on nearby York), Wales makes up the Stony Shore, while the Wall is in the exact same position as Hadrian's Wall.
And there are other features that GRRM just appears to have moved around a little. Here you can see that the Gods Eye – a lake near Harrenhal – and Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland (the UK's largest lake) are of a similar shape and relative size.
While the infamous Trident – a confluence of three rivers, where Rhaegar Targaryen was killed in battle – is reminiscent of the tributaries that converge to make the Humber Estuary.
Here is the whole of Westeros (barring the Lands of Always Winter, because they remain unknown) in full slidey thing glory. Find out where in the Seven Kingdoms you're from...
The main difference between Britain and Westeros, however, is size. Westeros is meant to be around 3,000 miles long – using this data, Reddit user jb2386 created this incredible map that lets us compare Westeros and Essos against our world.
Of course the similarities between Westeros and the British Isles only begin with the geography. For a comprehensive comparison of the histories of the two islands, check out this great video from RealLifeLore.
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