Have you found yourself wearing intricate, medieval braids or speaking in a completely different accent? Do you own a poster that says, “I’m a Stark at Heart”? If so, you know you’re a big GoT fan. If you’re a devout fan, you’ve probably seen a map of the Known World once or twice (or, you know, it’s your desktop background).
One cool thing about the GoT landscape: It’s inspired by our own world, with Westeros as the British Isles and eastern Essos as the Far East. Another cool thing: Many of the featured locations look a lot like areas of the United States, too.
Not sure what we mean? Travel with us from North to South — through the Known World, of course.
Lands of Always Winter: Barrow, Alaska
Thankfully, there are no truly frozen wastelands in the United States, save for the far northern part of Alaska. There are no White Walkers (aka icicle Zombie-makers) roaming our country either. Phew.
Directly east of this portion of Westeros is Ibben, an independent island where hairy-chested whalers live. They sustain themselves by eating blubber. That speaks for itself.
The North: Syracuse, New York
Directly south of the Wall is the North, home of Winterfell and the Starks (once upon a time). Geographically, this region enjoys two seasons: cold and colder. Think of it as sort of like Maine — yes, summer exists, but you still find yourself wearing a light sweater in the middle of the day and avoiding swimming at all costs.
A similar region: Southern Alaska. Think of the Alaskan tree line (aka where trees stop growing due to frozenness) as an invisible Wall of sorts.
The Riverlands: Portland, Oregon
Farther south of the North are the Riverlands, where House Tully hails. This area is actually made of one river that splits into three forks, creating a network of tributaries. Temperatures are mild, farming is bountiful and the land is pretty flat.
The entire Midwest comes to mind — good ol’ Missouri, in particular. Corn. Rivers. Nice people. You get the idea.
The Reach: Sacramento, California
Next on our journey is the Reach, where the Tyrells live in Highgarden. Needless to say, this is a bountiful state full of … gardens.
The U.S. equivalent? We were inclined to go with the Garden State, based on the name, but then we remembered that literally everything grows in California. Partially beautiful (and bountiful) is the valley just south of Sacramento. And, hey, a lot of flowers grow here, too — we’re just saying.
Stormlands: Olympic Peninsula, Washington
The Stormlands are warm, wet and perpetually precipitating. The area is almost directly east of the Reach, where the climate begins to change. We could go on drawing parallels, but this is one is pretty obvious: It’s a whole lot like the Pacific Northwest. What seals the deal for the Olympic Peninsula? The rocky coastline and abundance of trees.
Dorne: Tucson, Arizona
Farthest south on the continent of Westeros is Dorne, an arid and warm climate with a few mountains thrown into the mix. It’s a lot like Arizona — warm weather; a bare, beautiful landscape; and a lot of people who wonder why on earth you’d want to live farther north. Tucson is especially similar, as it has 350 days of sun each year. Did we mention it’s a great place to live?
Sothoryos: Kauai, Hawaii
This unexplored country needs to be unveiled a bit before we truly know what it’s most similar to (cough, cough, George R.R. Martin), but its tropical climate and beautiful jungles means it is probably a lot like Hawaii. Kauai has several botanical gardens, plenty of unique wildlife and still remains relatively unspoiled. (Sigh.)