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One Thing You Might Not Know About The Map From “Game Of Thrones”

It always helps to look at things from a different point of view. (And if you knew all this, just enjoy playing with the slidey things!)

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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.

HBO

Within a few minutes of the first episode of Season 1 it's clear that Winterfell is in the north, King's Landing is in the southeast, and there's a big old wall in the far north.

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.

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.

Check out what happens when you use our slidey thing to compare the two.

HBO / Peterhermesfurian / Getty Images

OK, so Westeros is a little fatter on the west coast, and there's clearly a Dornish peninsula that was added later. But on the whole, it's pretty close to identical. As George told us, the Fingers in the northeast match perfectly with the Dingle Peninsula, King's Landing stands in place of Galway, Donegal Bay is replaced by the Sea of Dorne, while Belfast and Dublin mark the positions of Oldtown and Casterly Rock respectively.

But that only accounts for everything south of the Neck (where that massive dickbag Walder Frey lived, until recently). So what about the north of Westeros?

HBO / Peterhermesfurian / Getty Images

OK, so Westeros is a little fatter on the west coast, and there's clearly a Dornish peninsula that was added later. But on the whole, it's pretty close to identical. As George told us, the Fingers in the northeast match perfectly with the Dingle Peninsula, King's Landing stands in place of Galway, Donegal Bay is replaced by the Sea of Dorne, while Belfast and Dublin mark the positions of Oldtown and Casterly Rock respectively.

But that only accounts for everything south of the Neck (where that massive dickbag Walder Frey lived, until recently). So what about the north of Westeros?

← Slide →
HBO / Peterhermesfurian / Getty Images

OK, so Westeros is a little fatter on the west coast, and there's clearly a Dornish peninsula that was added later. But on the whole, it's pretty close to identical. As George told us, the Fingers in the northeast match perfectly with the Dingle Peninsula, King's Landing stands in place of Galway, Donegal Bay is replaced by the Sea of Dorne, while Belfast and Dublin mark the positions of Oldtown and Casterly Rock respectively.

But that only accounts for everything south of the Neck (where that massive dickbag Walder Frey lived, until recently). So what about the north of Westeros?

Well thanks to a Reddit user, it turns out that the North matches (more or less) with the rest of the British Isles.

HBO / Peterhermesfurian / Getty Images

This doesn't work quite as cleanly – it's more like Britain was used as a rough starting point for the North, rather than copying it exactly, as with Ireland. However, the similarities are clear.

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.

HBO / Peterhermesfurian / Getty Images

The peninsula in the southwest corner certainly has parallels with Devon and Cornwall, and the position of the Isle of Man perfectly matches that of Bear Island. (As someone who's originally from the Isle of Man, I can tell you that just like House Mormont, "we are not a large house, but we're a proud one".)

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.

HBO / Peterhermesfurian / Getty Images

The rivers Wharfe, Ure, Trent, and Aire all come together before flowing out into the North Sea (or the Narrow Sea, in the case of Westeros).

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.

View this video on YouTube

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