I’m a huge fan of maps. As a kid I used to love to drag out my dad’s Rand McNally road atlas and study it before any big trips. Half the fun was always looking at all the places I was going to see and imagining what it would be like. I don’t spend as much of my free time looking at maps these days, but I’ve been known to lose an hour or two of my life on Google Maps. It’s pretty much the ultimate dream for that little kid. A road map AND real satellite photography to see even more stuff…
The map love also extends to fake maps. That may even be why I started reading fantasy as a kid, the really good fantasy books always had maps in the front. I remember reading Sword of Shannarra and constantly turning to the map in the front so I could follow the characters’ travels. (And complain about the low quality of the map.)
So I was pretty excited when I ran across this serious looking map for the Game of Thrones saga. The internet is lousy with GoT maps, and HBO has a really nice interactive version to go with their Game of Thrones show, but this one is extra special. The map itself was created by a dedicated fan, but another fan went back and traced the paths of the various major characters on the map so it’s easy to visualize where everyone is going. There are some physical problems with the map. It’s so high resolution that I can’t zoom out to see the entire continent without losing all the detail even with dual 17 inch monitors, and it’s very difficult to keep track of which line goes with which character since it covers thousands of pages worth of travel (5 books worth). Some of the more popular areas get pretty muddled.
I’d be lieing if I said I wasn’t tempted to print it out poster size on the giant plotter at work that we use for bridge plans. It would make a really good wall display if the wife would let me hang it. Many props to serMountainGoat for putting together the original map and PrivateMajor for putting on the character lines. serMountainGoat’s animated timeline feature is also pretty great. And a hat tip to io9 for showing me this in the first place.