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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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Christian Fredrik Kalager Schaller
Oct. 31st, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Do the maps risk locking you inn?
Hi George,
When making these maps where you ever worried they might 'lock you in' story wise since you have now given some description of the lands outside whats being revealed in the books so far and thus can't add a new land or people quickly if you decide later on that it would be something you want to do as you continue on the series?
Oct. 31st, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
Can't wait to see these maps, I know I am one of many that will spend countless hours geeking out and totally immersing in these. Excellent work George! Will be eager to see the World of Ice and Fire book when it gets ready too.
Oct. 31st, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
Got mine from Amazon yesterday and these maps are utterly gorgeous. Fantastic stuff here, and they'll be quite useful in helping explain to my septuagenarian mother who's been watching the HBO show where things are happening.
Oct. 31st, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I now give you permission to take an extra year until the next book.
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
I'm a total map geek and I can't wait to get my hands on this book! I often draw my own maps when reading books, but it's great to see what is in the author's mind as well.
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
Excellent book !
I'm going to buy it.

PS:Can you contact me at clubredclones@gmail.com, because i want to ask you some questions as an interview ^^
Kayla Harris
Oct. 31st, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Mine is the mail and I just can't wait until it arrives!
Oct. 31st, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
Hit a new personal record last night.
There was a woman across from me on the L reading something big and fat. I watched until I was sure; one of yours. Then a guy got on and stood reading another volume. He finally found a seat -- and another guy got on and sat next to me reading another volume. Three within about four seats of me.

Looks like sales are holding up!
Robert Trifts
Nov. 1st, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
Very Evocative of Peter Fenlon's Middle Earth Maps
Jonathan Roberts' cartography is highly evocative of Peter Fenlon's style he used in the cartography for Middle Earth at Iron Crown Enterprises back in the 80s and 90s.

I approve.
Nov. 1st, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
Nice shoutouts. Oakenshield, Carcosa, Leng...
Nov. 1st, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
I just got mine in the mail today. The maps are absolutely gorgeous, but I am very sad to say they have one rather fatal flaw. They were printed on far too thick of paper. I have only (carefully) opened them up twice and the creases in the map have caused two holes in the middle of them. They should have been printed on paper like a National Geographic insert map. It is kind of a bummer because in every other way they are exactly what I was wanting.
Nov. 1st, 2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Can't find it.
Either it is completely sold out in Toronto, or they stores haven't got their stock yet (it sucks practically being the United States but getting treated like Iraq when it comes to cross border trade) and the order online ETA is 1-2 weeks!!!!

but as I said earlier, won't get it until Christmas... however, I was looking forward to some hands on time with it in the store today.

Other horrifying news: E.L. James released a CD of music she listened to as "inspiration" for 50 Shades of Awful.

George, why don't you cash in on this? Endorse a chocolate bar you indulged in while trying to solve the Myrenese knot, or a line of footware with the logo of the Jets or Giants on it. Seriously, you are not realizing your earning potential :P

Josh Brennan
Nov. 1st, 2012 07:39 am (UTC)
Squamous horror in the east!
Grabbed this today. The maps are gorgeous. Now, however, I'm less worried about the threat of the Others and moreso about unspeakable horrors from the east slouching forth from Leng, K'Dath, and Carcosa. Love the Lovecraftian references!
Nov. 1st, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Mr. Martin, is there an email address at which fans can reach you? I'm doing a research paper on the use of language in your works for a class and would love to ask a few questions (I know you're a very busy man, but nonetheless I can hope, right?)
Nov. 1st, 2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
You can find my email on my website, but I am not doing any interviews at the moment. Sorry.
(no subject) - matthewrodney - Nov. 1st, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Brian Meise
Nov. 2nd, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
Just got the maps today and they're great. Thanks for publishing these. There's definitely more there than I thought I would get.
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George R.R. Martin
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