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Maps! Maps!! Maps!!!

Hey, hey, hey, it's PUBLICATION DAY.

My latest Ice & Fire book should be in the bookstores today. It's not the usual sort of book, admittedly... not an actual book at all, but a book-shaped box containing a whole bunch of gorgeous, glossy, fold-out maps of Westeros, Essos, and the lands and seas from A Song of Ice and Fire.

It's from Bantam, and it's called THE LANDS OF ICE & FIRE.


This one is for the map geeks, I admit. Of which there seem to be a goodly number. I've had maps in all the novels, of course, but from the very first I've been getting emails from readers who wanted more maps, with more detail... and more... and more. What's beyond that? What's below that? What's past that range of hills? Some... many... wanted a world map.

Which I was reluctant to do. I like my readers to see my world as my characters see it. And the truth is, medieval maps were not very good, by modern standards. A map drawn by an Englishman in 1300 might be fairly accurate for England and maybe France, but distortions and errors would start creeping in when you got to Italy and Germany, the Russias and the Holy Land would be more distorted still, Africa was largely unknown below the Sahara (even the coasts), and further east you started getting "the realm of Prester John" and "land of the two-headed men" and "here there be dragons."

Which I said, more or less, in numerous interviews, and which did nothing to curb the demand for maps, maps, maps... especially that world map. I try to oblige. You will find a map of the "known world" in THE LANDS OF ICE AND FIRE... one that includes lands and seas you have never seen on any of my maps before... the plains and mountains east of Vaes Dothrak and Qarth for a start. (Remember that tapestry Xaro Xhoan Daxos gives Dany in DANCE OF THE DRAGONS?) Even so, it's not a COMPLETE world map, no. The idea was to do something representing the lands and seas of which, say, a maester of the Citadel might be aware... and while the maesters know more about Asshai and the lands beyond than a medieval monk knew about Cathay, distance remains a factor, and past a certain point legends and myths will creep here. Here there be winged men, and such.

But one picture is worth a thousand words (who said that? must have been an artist, certainly not a writer), so here's a little taste:


These are very nice maps, I hope you will agree. Huge and beautiful, and while they DON'T show the whole world (sorry, no, you're not going to get the Westerosi equivilent of the Americas or Antarctica or Australia, assuming such places exist), you will get a glimpse of distant lands where my characters (and thus the novels) will likely never go.


Of course, all of the more familiar lands and places are covered too. Westeros north and south, the Free Cities, Slaver's Bay, the narrow sea... we've included some great city maps for both King's Landing and Braavos.

Got to admit, I am kind of a map geek myself. This one was more work than I anticipated, but I had a lot of fun doing it, and I hope you'll enjoy it as well. Go order your copy from Amazon or your favorite online bookstore, or pick one up at the local brick 'n mortar, and know the lands of ice and fire as you never have before.


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Oct. 30th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
How exciting! It looks beautiful!
Quisco Mena
Oct. 30th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
The whole world
Don't worry about the rest of the world! Just wait Balerion to grow, then ask Dany to make some sketches...
Rodrigo Couto
Oct. 30th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
The Maps
The "Kingdoms of the Ifeqevron" made me think about the forest Finnic peoples (and later the Slavs), living north of the Turkic nomads and south of the Kalerians. If the so-called Ifeqevron are a ethnic group, they're south of the Ibbenese colonies and north of the Dothraki grasslands.

Of course, I'm not trying to establish ethnic correspondences between Eurasians and the peoples from Essos, but such a ecological demography / human ecology makes a lot of sense.

What you think about that, George?
Oct. 30th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)

Thanks from Russia!:)
Oct. 30th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Must. Get. To. Bookstore.

I wonder if I can convince my wife we should stop on the way home??
Oct. 30th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
Happy about maps!
What a great idea! It will soon be at the top of my Wish List. BTW, did you read last Sunday's "Foxtrot"?
Oct. 30th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Great news!
Oct. 30th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
Map Geekery
I love Maps too! I could spend hours in the Map rooms of the Vatican of which I've been in about 4 times. :) I love ALL maps. They speak about the world and history in a visceral way to me. Can't WAIT to get the Maps of Westeros! Thank you.
Oct. 31st, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
This is great timing and even greater news!!!
I will be stuck at the mall for a few hours tomorrow, and was planning to see if this book was out yet at the Mall's Indigo. Now I know for sure it will be... if it is not sold out. Can't buy it yet though... will ask for it for Christmas.
Oct. 31st, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
Gah! I work in a bookstore but unfortunately due to the hurricane we haven't gotten a shipment in a while. Hopefully these will hit sometime before the weekend. I too am a map geek so I look forward to getting my mitts on these. Hope all your relatives in Jersey (if any remain) are doing well after the storm!
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:04 am (UTC)
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
Eeeeee! Looking forward to this!
Oct. 31st, 2012 08:26 am (UTC)
Wasn't Qarth located at the straits between Essos and Sothoryos? On the second map, I'm seeing an island called Great Moraq opposite the Jade Gates.

Oct. 31st, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
There's an earlier map produced by HBO showing Qarth on the straits between Essos and what was either eastern Sothoryos or another part of Essos. It was on their website during the airing of Season 2 (actually, I think it's still there). However, my understanding is that this map was based on very early drafts. When the LANDS OF ICE AND FIRE project was proposed, George decided to completely revamp pretty much everything east of Slaver's Bay so it looked better. Another major change was that the Jade Sea was originally east of the Dothraki Sea and that massive mountain range, whilst now there are more plains and lakes that way, with the Jade Sea now located south of Essos.

Basically that means that eastern Essos in the TV series and the books now look completely different, just to be nice and confusing :-)

Edited at 2012-10-31 06:49 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - abomvubuso - Oct. 31st, 2012 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Nov. 1st, 2012 05:22 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - abomvubuso - Nov. 1st, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - abomvubuso - Nov. 1st, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Stefano Follador
Oct. 31st, 2012 09:22 am (UTC)
If it is a real question, was Leonardo da Vinci to said that an image worth more than a thousand words.
Andrew Males
Oct. 31st, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
George, it would be nice for you to mention the glorious cartographic artwork of Jonathon Roberts in your announcement. His work on this is just as important and as valid as your Hugo winning artists on your calendars and covers etc. He is also a damn nice bloke so the more coverage he gets the better. :)
Nov. 1st, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Quite right. My mistake.

I never worked directly with the artist on these, everything was through my editors, so I did not have the kind of personal relationship that I've enjoyed with Tom Kidd, Ted Nasmith, Marc Fishman, John Picacio, Marc Simonetti, etc. But there's no doubt that the art on these maps is magnificent.
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George R.R. Martin
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