One of the most brilliant things about the series of novels known as ‘A song of ice and fire’ or Game of Thrones to those less picky readers is how GRRM has fleshed out every character, even the most minor of them, and his way to describe, making us see, smell, taste and feel every scene, surrounding and site.
Having talented people making commisioned concept art (especially the wonderful Marc Simonetti) or simply just for fun, helps us even more with filling this incredibly well-crafted fantasy world.
Wondeful art by Marc Simonetti, who does a lot of art work for ‘A song of ice and fire’ like foreign edition book covers and calendars. The wall is what seperates the Seven Kingdom from the far north, what is known as the land beyond the wall and is home to the Night’s Watch, who’s members occupy three castles (and more later on) along the 300 miles of one of the nine Wonders Made by Man.
Godswood in Winterfell
Winterfell, pretty much the Capitol of the north until it’s burned down, is more than just an impressive castle. Maybe the most distinctive thing about it is the Godswood, with the very eerie and disturbing Heart Tree. Art by Aliciane.
The water entrance to King’s Landing is through Blackwater bay, where the Battle of the Blackwater occurs, as Stannis Baratheons fails in his attempt to sack the city, being repelled by Tyrion’s ideas and eventually beaten by the combined forces of the Tyrell and the Lannister armies. Art by Isabel.
One of the best kept secrets is the fact that Dorne, the Southernmost kingdom in Westeros, is also the least populated, usually successful in warfare due to guerrilla tactics and not their manpower. Art by Rene Aigner.
Five books into the series, we still haven’t seen Casterly Rock from a POV character, but it’s some sort of Castle bonded with a huge rock, cliff or mountain. Probably something like this, where all Lannisters grow up to be rich, perfect (except for Tyrion) and arrogant.
The seat of the Arryns in the Vale, located at the top of the Giant’s Lance, this isolated and extremely difficult to reach castle is considered to be impregnable although very siege-able, also known for its moon door where prisoners tend to fall out of into nothing but sky. Art by Roberto Nieto.
The seat of House Tully until it’s given up to the Lannisters after the War of Five Kings, Riverrun is a three sides castle, which can turn into an isolated island in times of need by lifting up the sluice gates and create a moat, engulfing the entire place with water, turning it into an inaccessible fortress.
The castle and seat of House Greyjoy, who rules the Iron islands since the days of Aegon the conqueror, taking the reigns from house Hoare.
At the heart of the Dothraki sea is their only City, Vaes Dothrak. No walls in what seems more like a huge camp than an actual city, which is big enough to hold all the Khalasars if they choose to return at once, mostly inhabited by slaves and the Dosh Khaleen, the wives of all the khals who have come before.
Drawn by Ted Naismith, Highgarden is the seat of house Tyrell, who took over for house Gardener, an extinct house that ruled the reach until the Targaryens arrived.
An island at the entrance to Blackwater bay, with a very intimidating, mystical and possibly magical castle that was first the seat of House Targaryen until the war of the usurper, giving it to Stannis and house Baratheon. Last we heard, Loras Tyrell managed to conquer the castle. It’s rumored to contain dormant stone dragons and other magical… well, stuff.
Back to the wonderful art of Marc Simonetti, showing us Moat Cailian in the neck, which is somewhat of the gateway to the North, with its towers and swamps, perfectly managing to protect invaders who come from the south. If you come from the North, it’s rather easy to defeat.
One of the best parts of the series is when Tyrion and the crew of the Shy maid make their way down the Rhoyne, specifically through a part called the Sorrows, which was once a beautiful city called Chroyane and is now a mist-filled place occupied by Stone people, with death and disease behind every corner.