Today we travel to Central Essos – in the heart of the known world.
A Song of Ice and Fire feels evenly split to me between the the action in Westeros and the ongoing adventures of Daenarys Targaryen in central Essos.
In this map we see the lands that contain much of her story, and many of the other characters later in the novels. We see the ruins of the cities destroyed by the Dothraki, and the lands down to the Red Waste where Daenarys wanders in the wilderness before stumbling across the questionable haven of Qarth.
In this map we can see the importance of Qarth as a port, sitting in a dominant position right at the Jade Gates. With the bleakness of the Red Waste to the North and West, and the vastness of the Bone Mountains to the East this must be a city that lives and dies on it’s sea trade.
Whereas the books focus on the route of Daenarys, the maps have the luxury and the space to detail the lands to the north, south and east of her travels. To the north we have two lost Kingdoms – the Kingdom of the Ifeqevron, and the Kingdom of Sarnor. To the NE at the top of the Bone Mountains that split the world we find the Realm of Jhogwin. In that thumbnail you also get an idea of the art on the mountains. So many mountains.
Far to the north we see the mysterious Isle of Ib – not to mention the fabulous painted mountains and or course the desolate waste of old Valyria. But it’s the little touches that caught my eye when I was illustrating these. Why did Ghis move from Old Ghis to New Ghis? Is it to do with the sweeping desert that surrounds the coast here?
I hope you enjoyed out brief sojourn in the warm climes of central Essos. Next up we’ll be going somewhere a little colder…