Last year I was commissioned by Random House to create 12 24″ by 36″ maps of the world of A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. It was a dream commission for me. I originally read the books in college and, like so many others, was absorbed by the rich world. The lack of good maps bothered me, but I assumed that some day they would be created. I never expected I’d be the one to do it.
I had the privilege of creating the first ever official map of the whole world, as well as maps of cities and details of regions never before seen on maps, or even described in the books. In the run up to Season 3 of Game of Thrones I’ll be posting low res images from the maps I created, along with some discussion of the work behind creating the maps for a project of this size. To get hold of the high resolution versions, you can pick up the full set of posters.
Today I’m starting off with everything – the entirety of the Known World. Westeros is a known quantity and has been detailed in many official and fan made maps over the years. But everything east of Quarth was uncharted territory. Partly it still is – George RR Martin was quite specific that these maps would be an interpretation of the current state of knowledge of the world rather than a faithful satellite imaging. But with names like Cities of the Bloodless Men, and Cannibal Sands, we’re given a sense of an East that is distant and exotic beyond imagining.
The world map was the first order of business. With the world map in place, and all the locations signed off, it was much easier to dig in and create the detailed maps illustrating the individual regions. This map has everything – bleeding seas, steaming jungle, towering mountain ranges and the weird shadows of Asshai. We’ll see more of those as we travel to the detail maps over the coming month.
Feel free to ask questions – I’ll answer the ones I can!