In Season 5 Episode 5, Tyrion and Jorah Mormont are heading to Meereen by boat. That’s a careful choice on Jorah’s part, but it goes horribly wrong when they detour through Valyria, in the shadow of the Doom.
So, why go through Valyria? And where is Valyria in context to the rest of Essos?
The Free City of Braavos lies at the North Western tip of Essos, directly across the Narrow Sea from the Vale, and North East of King’s Landing. Here’s a map to orient Braavos to the rest of the events in Game of Thrones.
This is a sketch, based on the maps of Lands of Ice and Fire, but with just the core locations of interest pulled out.
Dorne lies at the southern end of Westeros, towards the eastern end. It shares the south coast with Old Town. As you can see from the map, the bulk of Dorne lies south of Kings Landing, and southeast of Highgarden.
It’s always fun to try something new, but in this case the something new was a sci fi galaxy map, and the client was Overbrook Entertainment, and Will Smith. The brief was to create 4 maps for the expanded universe around the movie After Earth. There are a bunch of books and graphic novels associated with the film. Those stories had been written in parallel with the movie development and each had added something to the geography of the universe.
One of the writers on the expanded universe material was an old RPG hand, and noticed that what the worldbuilding needed was reference maps – of the universe, solar system, world, and key city. And so I got a call.
This is definitely the week of mountain ranges. I had a question on reddit on how to draw mountain ranges that go east-to-west rather than north to south. Here’s a very quick tutorial on the difference. If you want to go deeper into the north-south version, check out this earlier tutorial on mountain ranges.
Note that I use a graphics tablet. You can do this with a mouse and low opacity brushes, but tablets are getting good and relatively cheap. I’d recommend picking up something like the Bamboo Splash if you’re going to be playing around with illustrating maps.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of the four steps I take in my mountain ranges. Continue reading →