Westeros is one of the continents of Martin’s world. It is in Westeros that the lion’s share of the events of the series of books Song of Ice and Fire takes place. The location, which occupies almost the entire continent, is called the Seven Kingdoms.
Westeros is huge: the journey from Dorne to the North, that is, across the country, takes months.
Based on the book maps and the known length of the Wall of 100 leagues (480 km), it is possible to estimate the size of the continent in this way: on average about 1500 km from west to east and more than 6000 km from the southern borders to the extreme northern limits – the lands of Eternal Winter, which stretch even further north, it is unknown how far. At the same time, the length of Westeros from the Wall to the shores of the Summer Sea is more than 5000 kilometers.
Westeros is washed by four seas: the Shivering Sea, the narrow sea from the east, the Sunset Sea from the west, the Summer Sea from the south. The narrow sea divides Westeros and the eastern continent, Essos.
Seven Kingdoms and Nine Regions
The Seven Kingdoms is the official name of the state on the continent of Westeros, bounded by the north by the Wall, and by the west, south, and north by seas. The archaic name Seven Kingdoms is preserved from old memory, although in fact, the kingdom in Westeros is only one. The capital of the Seven Kingdoms is located in King’s Landing and is ruled by the king on the Iron Throne.
Westeros was inhabited by the First Men about 12,000 years ago. During this time, the continent experienced two more great migrations of peoples: from two to four thousand years ago, the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea, conquered much of Westeros, excluding the North, and mixed with the First Men, so that now most of the population of Westeros – descendants of both Andals, and the First Men. About a thousand years ago, the Rhoynars moved to Dorne, so their blood flows in the veins of modern Dornish people. On the outskirts of Westeros and the islands off its shores, inhabited by descendants of the First Men and Andals, there were small original peoples – the most numerous and belligerent of them are Ironborns from the Iron Islands.
Before the people in Westeros lived non-humans – the Children of the Forest and giants. They still exist in the lands beyond the Wall, though are practically extinct. The Children of the Forest are fragile forest creatures that did not know metals -and worshipped the Old Gods, and it was from them that this cult was inherited by modern northerners and wildlings.
The Others are semi-legendary monstrous creatures that inhabit the far north far beyond the Wall. These are sinister creatures associated with cold, night, and long winter; like humans, they wear armor and skilfully use swords. Others ride on the dead animals and lead the army of wights in battle. No one has seen anyone in the Seven Kingdoms for more than eight thousand years, since the Long Night.
Religion has a special place in Westeros. In Westeros, the official religion is the Faith of the Seven, but the northerners believe in the Old Gods and the Ironborn in the Drowned Gods.
- The Seven is the belief in God that one in seven faces, or simply in the Seven, is the most common and official religion of the united Westeros. The Andals brought it with them.
- The Old Gods are nameless and faceless spirits of nature, which are worshipped in the North. The worship of the Old Gods is one of the oldest religious cults of Westeros, which the Children of the Forest practiced before the arrival of the First Men. This faith is also practiced by the wildlings behind the wall. When The Andals conquered kingdoms and carried their culture and faith, they were able to conquer everything but the North, and because of this, the North was able to preserve its religion.
- The Drowned God is a sea deity worshipped on the Iron Islands. The Drowned God, as the name suggests, is the deity of the underwater world, the sea and the navigators, patronizing war and sea robbery. He is the God of death and rebirth, harsh and unforgiving, but promising eternal life to his followers.
Climate and seasons
The climate in Westeros differs from the earthly, first of all, because of unusual change of seasons. They are not tied to the astronomical years, which in Westeros have the same duration as on Earth. The change of seasons occurs with much less frequency than on Earth, and summers and winters replace each other in unpredictable ways – summer can last one year and ten. The unpredictable change of seasons and the harsh conditions of long winters, of course, had a huge impact on the history of the peoples of Westeros and significantly slowed down technological progress.
Flora and fauna
In general, the animals and plants of Westeros are slightly different from the flora and fauna of the Earth. But it is possible to single out animals that have already disappeared from the earth or did not exist at all.
Manticore is a very poisonous insect that takes place on the islands in the Jade Sea. In a folded state looks like a scarab. The manticore in the shell has an image similar to a human face.
A giant deer is much larger than its earthly prototype.
Direwolves are huge predators, much more than ordinary wolves.
Mammoth – Giants behind The Wall ride them like on horseback.
Wyvern is a species of a dragon living in Sothoryos. Unlike true dragons, the Wyverns do not know how to breathe fire. There are quite a lot of varieties of Wyvern, different sizes, they all look like dragons – have two legs and two wings.
Dragons are fire-breathing creatures associated with magic. Thanks to the dragons, Valyria was invincible, and later the Aegon the Conqueror with three dragons conquered Westeros. Dragons have been considered extinct for a hundred years.
Most of the plants in Westeros are well-known terrestrial. It is implied that they are no different from their prototypes in Western Europe, the Mediterranean, or North America. Westeros agriculture does not know potatoes and tobacco.