This elegant, yet fantastical map might be familiar to fans of George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones. It is a map of Westeros, and such a wondrous place does not exist in real life. Upon closer inspection, one can even say that it is quite similar to a mirror image of Great Britain, sans Ireland. The map is a reference map of prominent places and capitals, first and foremost but it can also double as a topographic map.
It’s obvious that the map-maker gave a lot of effort to make it appear real and almost majestic, even if some parts are geographically and geologically impossible (some rivers just appear randomly). At first glance, you’re greeted by a map of cool colors dominated by blues, greens and grays, lacking balance but succeeding in giving it a somber feel. What the map maker did to compensate for this was to put those patches of intense color next to the more neutral shades so that there would not be too much going on. The important places and capitals are highlighted by vermillion points and the roads are those semi straight lines connecting these places. The map is elongated, which posed a problem because the map maker did not bother to put additional elements to its sides.
The labels are somewhat small, but appropriately colored. The legend might easily get overlooked because it is not prominent enough. The legend and scale can be found on the upper right corner of the map and a compass is put on the right center part. It conforms to the principles of design. Some parts are missing like the title, source and number but since the map is made to merely supplement the readers of the book, those parts, when included, will be unnecessary. The map borders double as grid measurements and are just the right color.
I admire how the map can pass for a real one instead of just being a virtual one. In the book, Westeros has a varied climate and terrain and lands were divided based on this. These were well represented in the map. The territories or provinces, however, are not clearly delineated. The reader may have a hard time in distinguishing places with the type of terrain that characterize the place.