Map Mastery: Understanding the Geography of ‘Game of Thrones’ in Westeros

Helen Gomez

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Game of Thrones unfolds in a vast world, where the struggle for the Iron Throne encompasses nearly an entire continent, except for the mysterious land beyond the Wall. While commonly known as the Seven Kingdoms, the realm comprises nine distinct regions in Westeros.

Aegon the Conqueror’s influence led to the formation of these territories, including the Crownlands, the North, the Vale, the Riverlands, the Iron Islands, Dorne, the Reach, the Stormlands, and the Westerlands. The show’s iconic title sequence provides a visual tour, showcasing key locations such as King’s Landing and Winterfell.

Each region is governed by a lord, adding depth to the intricate political landscape that unfolds in this captivating series. Understanding Westeros’ diverse territories is essential for fans, as they delve deeper into the franchise. Discover more on Bigflix.

The Crownlands

The Crownlands, centered around King’s Landing, form a significant territory in the Seven Kingdoms. Positioned on the eastern side, it surrounds Blackwater Bay and includes Dragonstone and Driftmark islands. Bastards from this region adopt the name Waters due to its coastal proximity.

The area has historical importance, once contested between River Kings and Storm Kings before Aegon I claimed it. During the events of Game of Thrones, control of the Crownlands changes hands, particularly concerning King’s Landing. Notable figures include the Velaryons and House Targaryen, often residing at Dragonstone, a pivotal location in the series.

The North

The North, the largest territory in Westeros, dominates the Kingdom’s top half, bordered by the Riverlands and the Wildlings’ land beyond the Wall. Its harsh, wintry climate gives rise to the name Snow for Northern bastards.

Key locations like Winterfell, the Wall, the Dreadfort, Moat Caitlyn, the Last Hearth, and Eastwatch feature prominently in the title sequence, highlighting the region’s significance.

Once ruled by the Starks, who remain Wardens of the North, the territory is home to notable families like the Mormonts, Boltons, and Reeds, as well as the Night’s Watch, guarding the Wall independently but sharing a strong connection with the Starks.

The Vale

Situated between the Crownlands and the North in eastern Westeros, the Vale features rugged mountains, earning its bastards the name Stone. The Arryns of the Eyrie hold sway as Wardens of the East in this former Kingdom of Mountain and Vale, sharing the region with notable houses like Royce and Baelish.

The Eyrie, with its unique features like the moon door and sky cells, stands out in the title sequence. Despite the treacherous terrain, characters navigate the region, including Tyrion, who persuades mountain clans to join him.

The Riverlands

Nestled between the Vale and the Westlands, the Riverlands, also bordered by the North, Crownlands, and the Reach, is presided over by House Tully. Once ruled by House Hoare until the Targaryens destroyed them, the Tullys rose as liege lords.

Game of Thrones’ title sequence showcases the Freys’ Twins, the cursed Harrenhal, and Tully’s Riverrun. Due to Walder Frey, the bastard name Rivers is prevalent. The region is also home to the Blackwoods and, in House of the Dragon, the Strongs at Harrenhal.

The Iron Islands

Situated off the west coast near the North, Riverlands, and Westerlands, the Iron Islands form a seafaring kingdom. Originally part of the Kingdom of Isles and Rivers, Aegon designated them a separate realm, with the Greyjoys as Lords of the Iron Islands.

Their castle, Pyke, features in the title sequence. While few non-Greyjoy Ironborn play significant roles, the islands, with their distinctive bastard name (Pyke), remain distinct, adhering to the Drowned God and rejecting mainland Westeros.


As the southernmost kingdom, Dorne, the last region added to the Targaryen’s realm, boasts a proud history. Conquered by warrior-queen Nymeria, the Martells, Dorne’s leaders, hold titles of Prince and Princess. Aegon’s conquest failed, but Dorne joined the Targaryen empire through a Martell-Targaryen marriage pact.

The title sequence in Game of Thrones labels it simply as Dorne, likely depicting Sunspear, the Martell seat. Unique among the Seven Kingdoms, Dorne’s culture, influenced by years outside Targaryen control, embraces a more liberated society, with the bastard name Sand carrying less stigma. Despite criticism of the Dorne plotline, Pedro Pascal’s Oberyn Martell is celebrated.

The Reach

The Reach, located on the southern end of the west coast, borders the Westerlands, Riverlands, Crownlands, Stormlands, and Dorne, extending well inland. The Tyrells, Lord Paramount of the Mander and Wardens of the South, inhabit Highgarden, acquired after Aegon’s Conquest.

Known as the Green Realm, the bastards bear the name Flowers. Notable houses like Tarly and Hightower, along with the Citadel’s Masters, call the Reach home. Despite the Tyrells’ significance, only Old Town, the Hightower’s city, appears in the title sequence, reflecting the family’s absence due to their involvement in Kings Landing through Margaery’s marriages to Joffrey and Tommen.

The Stormlands

Just south of the Crownlands, the Stormlands, the Baratheons’ ancestral home on the east coast, borders the Crownlands, Reach, and Dorne. Established in Aegon’s conquest, House Baratheon has Storm King lineage through Orys Baratheon’s marriage to the last Storm King’s daughter.

The region’s obvious bastard name is Storm. Although absent from the title sequence, the Stormlands play a key role. After Robert’s Rebellion, Renly Baratheon assumed control while his brothers claimed Targaryen lands. Notable Lords include Tarth and Selmy, homes of skilled warriors Brienne and Barristan, respectively.

The Westerlands

On the west coast, bordering the Reach and the Riverlands, lies the Westerlands, once the Kingdom of the Rock. The Lannisters, former Kings of the Rock, now bear the title Wardens of the West. Similar to the Stormlands, the Westerlands are absent from the title sequence due to the Lannisters’ frequent absence.

Casterly Rock, owned by Tywin, remains mostly deserted as he aids Cersei in King’s Landing. Unlike other regions, the bastard name is Hill, not directly linked to the Kingdom’s name. Notable Houses include the Paynes and the Westerlings, who, in the books, include Robb Stark’s wife.

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