A new spec world map plus GRRM on the official map book

Discussion in 'George R R Martin' started by Werthead, Mar 6, 2012.

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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    An excellent new world map for ASoIaF. Also interesting is that GRRM provides commentary for it. He states the map is broadly right but not in the details. He then goes on to say the new Maps of Ice and Fire book coming out in October will feature a canon world map that extends as far east as Asshai. However, it won't feature a map of the whole world, only the world as it is known in Westeros and Essos.
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    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    As always, I'm in your debt, Wert.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Update: the 'map book' is actually called The Lands of Ice and Fire and will be a boxed collection of poster maps, possibly with some kind of booklet or guide with them. They will indeed show places never before seen, such as Yi Ti, Asshai and the Jade Sea.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Lots more info on the LANDS OF ICE AND FIRE map book.

    So, twelve maps. Five we've seen before (Westeros, Free Cities, Slaver's Bay, Beyond the Wall, King's Landing) and seven we haven't (including a 'known world' map, the Dothraki Sea & Red Waste, Qarth Region and beyond, and Braavos). They're twelve big poster maps in a slipcase.

    These maps are apparently the basis for the map of Essos HBO will unveil on their website on 1 or 2 April, and for the appearance of the Red Waste and Qarth in the Season 2 title sequence.
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    Koopa

    Koopa Old KiwiBird

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    Wow,

    I must admit that is not how i pictured the map of essos at all.
    I my mind Dany was travelling northwards towards Valyria.

    The location of the free cities have a lot of mileage between them.
    I figured they'd be more connected by water.

    In my mind the Dothraki sea was smack in the middle, with the cities surrounding it.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    The geographical relationship between Ghiscar (Old Ghiscar, Astapor, Meereen) and what's left of Valyria is clearly shown on the map, "The Lands of the Summer Sea", in A Storm of Swords, so no speculation was needed in the production of this part of the new map.

    (But she was travelling north, as least when passing (through) Ghiscar, as she was following the coast, whether aboard ship or on land.)
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    The map of the Free Cities region in ADWD shows that isn't the case. Although the Free Cities do surround the western end of the Dothraki Sea (with Lorath, Qorhor and Norvos to the north-west, Pentos and Myr to the west and Volantis to the south-west).
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    Koopa

    Koopa Old KiwiBird

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    Well, i never quite bothered to look at the maps printed in the books (besides the north). So i was pleasantly surprised by Wert's find. The map is awesome.Like i said it had a few eye-openers for me.

    Thinking futher, she did the opposite.
    I pictured Dany starting her journey somewhere South of the map.
    Going upwards to the Dothraki Sea, then travelling in a somewhat straight line towards the north of essos where Valyria was to be found. Basically she more or less travelled the opposite of that. (Mind you my mind is fuddled after all the years) The map that (as of late) was in my mind:

    . ........................ Valyria


    .................................. (Water)
    .

    . ........................................(Last Stop- Dany's
    . ........................................ current location)
    . .............................................|
    ............................................... |
    ................................................ |
    . ................................................ |
    . ....................................... (second stop)
    . ............................................... |
    ............................ (first stop) --- |
    . (Water)....................... |
    . ...................................|
    . ............................|----- (Dothraki sea)
    . .........................|-----
    Wester-............. |
    os ................... .|
    .......................... X (Dany at start journey


    Clearly i was wrong. in a good way. I like the map linked by Wert better.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Interesting video here about HBO Go. Around 17 seconds in it shows the new 'megamap' HBO will have up on their website on Sunday or Monday. You can't see all of it, but you can see how Slaver's Bay connects to the Free Cities, the location of the Dothraki Sea and Red Waste and also, right in the top-right, the island of Ibben, which is considerably further east than previously thought.

    And yes, this is based on GRRM's own map of Essos.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Bantam has put up a sneak preview of the LANDS OF ICE AND FIRE on their Facebook page.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as illegible as they probably thought it was going to be. The world map is actually fairly legible, allowing us to see the changes they've made since the release of the HBO map in April. They're actually pretty substantial, with the entire Jade Sea being moved around and lots of alterations to the area around Qarth.

    Note: The map is a professionally-redrawn version of a map provided by GRRM. It's not 100% final so there's the possibility of some things moving around a little or being changed. Given the length of time before publication (now down to five months) it's unlikely anything will be radically changed further.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    And this should now be out in the USA, and in the UK on the 8th (possibly on shelves a few days before that though).
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    mtzGr

    mtzGr New Member

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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    Biggest revelation from the map is the existence of a fourth continent. It's called Ulthos and is located south of Asshai and east of Sothoryos. It forms the south-eastern coast of the Jade Sea. It seems to be covered by some kind of blasted wasteland.

    Interesting :)
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    Rufio

    Rufio New Member

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    That is interesting, I've long thought there is probably a 'fire' equivalent of the Lands of Always Winter, there were a few candidates the main one being the mysterious 'shadow' at Asshai. But maybe it is Ulthos.

    Or maybe I'm completely wrong. :)

    I am interested to see these maps but the price seems a bit steep, any thoughts on the quality of the thing?
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    The quality seems pretty good, but apparently these maps are meant more for taking out and putting on the wall. For general reference they are a bit on the big side and also the type of paper they are on will start cracking and showing white lines along the creases after a while.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    The Lands of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin and Jonathan Roberts

    Okay, this is going to be a bit of a non-review because you probably already know if you are going to be getting this or not. Basically, it's a collection of full-colour maps of Westeros and Essos, the two continents which form the setting for the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin. Either you're going to go, "Hey, awesome! I'm all in!" or be running away screaming for fear of being infected with Nerditis.

    The map collection comes in a smart but somewhat non-durable folder. Don't put anything on top of it for long, as it really cannot support much in the way of weight. There's a single pull-out piece of paper with marketing speak on it (more or less the same as the blurb on the back ) and that's it for any kind of textual accompaniment. Those familiar with John Howe's excellent Tolkien maps, or the maps accompanying Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, will likely find this disappointing as those maps were accompanied by small booklets packed with geographical information (and in the Pratchett case, new canon material on geography). As it stands, we will have to wait another year for The World of Ice and Fire to clarify some of the new locations on these maps, and even then only some will be covered.

    There are twelve maps drawn by Jonathan Roberts, each measuring 61cm x 92cm in size. There is a large map of the known world, which then has three larger, blown-up versions accompanying it, dubbed 'The West', 'Central Essos' and 'The East'. There are then larger-scaled-still maps of Westeros, Beyond the Wall, the Free Cities, Slaver's Bay and the Dothraki Sea. There are city maps of King's Landing and Braavos, and rounding off the set is a map called 'Journeys', which tracks the movements of the major POV characters across the five novels published to date.

    In general terms, the art design for the world and continent maps is decent, falling between the aesthetically-pleasing and the informative. A selling-point of the set is the brand-new maps of central and eastern Essos, including the far east. This is the first time that Ibben, Qarth, Asshai, the Shadow Lands, Yi Ti, the Jade Sea, the Summer Islands and other oft-mentioned lands and cities have been depicted on a canon map: the map accompanying the HBO website for the TV series is canon only for the TV series and is based on early drafts that George R.R. Martin later substantially revised. There are also new lands and locations not previously mentioned in the novels, such as a newly-revealed fourth continent (named Ulthos) and a new, huge island just off Qarth named Great Moraq which seems to be a centre of trade. This stuff is interesting, but also highlights a problem with the map set: Martin seems so keen to provide new information about Essos that Westeros feels slightly neglected. But since Daenerys has apparently already reached the eastern-most part of her journey (in Qarth), showing these eastern lands is nice but ultimately irrelevant for the books themselves.

    Westeros itself is mapped much as in the novels, with little or new information of note. Indeed, it's even less well-fleshed-out than the maps and info in the books: the castles and towns on the Iron Islands apart from Pyke are not mentioned, and whilst the Quiet Isle is shown, the Whispers (also from Brienne's storyline) are not. Long-standing fan questions, such as where Stone Hedge and Raventree Hall (the seats of Houses Bracken and Blackwood) are located, remain unanswered, whilst the huge tributary of the Mander (which is almost as big as the Mander itself) remains resolutely unnamed. The map is nice - although not quite as nice as the infamous map by forum-member 'Tear' on the Cartographer's Guild website - but not particularly useful compared to the maps in the books or available for free online. Also, given the fact that we have a fairly reliable scale bar with the Wall (which is almost exactly 300 miles long), the refusal to put a scale bar on the maps is strange.

    Of the city maps, King's Landing is curiously lacklustre. The mapmaker was going for a sort-of 3D depiction but seems to have given up at some point, with lots of the buildings being rendered as 2D squares sitting alongside more pictoral 3D depictions, which doesn't really make sense. It's the weakest map in the collection, though fortunately also the least essential: Green Ronin's far superior colour map of the city (for the roleplaying game) is easily findable online, as is the handsome black-and-white map from the Meisha Merlin limited edition of A Clash of Kings. The city map of Braavos, on the other hand, is pretty good and definitely worth keeping a hold of during future reads of Arya and Sam's adventures in the city. However, the decision to map Braavos and not, say, the more vital locations of Winterfell, Harrenhal, Dragonstone, Castle Black or Meereen is curious.

    The journeys map is a nice idea, but ultimately impractical with just one image. Maybe one map for each book would have worked, but showing the journeys of some twenty characters across five novels simultaneously on one chart results in an image that is overloaded. It particularly breaks down in the Riverlands, which ends up almost buried under multiple layers of arrows and lines. Still, a nice idea and it does clarify the immense distances that Daenerys has travelled compared to other characters.

    The quality of the paper used to print the maps on has come under some fire, with good reason. Unfolding and refolding the maps results in noticeable wear on the creases, with white lines and cracking noticeable after just a few viewings. This encourages keeping the maps on permanent wall display (that is, if you have enough space). However, the pre-folded nature of the maps means that they show visible creases which makes that not an altogether satisfactory solution either. Some fans have reported success in getting rid of the creases, though the results are apparently variable.

    Is The Lands of Ice and Fire worth getting? Despite the problems, it's still a fairly handsome collection of maps. If fantasy cartography is your thing and you're a fan of ASoIaF, then it's a reasonable purchase. However, if you're more interesting in hard information about the setting you're better off waiting a year or so for The World of Ice and Fire instead. As it stands it's more of a curiosity and a gift idea for people who are fans of the books than anything essential.

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