The Geology of Game of Thrones

The Geology of Game of Thrones

The world of Game of Thrones doesn't just boast captivating characters and intricate storylines, it also presents a diverse and fictional geologically influenced landscape. While fictional, some of the locations and features draw inspiration from real-world geological phenomena, making it exciting to explore the "geology" of Westeros and Essos.

Here are some key points about the geology of Game of Thrones:


Continental Split: Westeros is separated from the continent of Essos by a narrow sea, likely representing a mid-ocean ridge similar to the one separating North and South America.

Mountain Ranges: Westeros boasts several mountain ranges, including the imposing Wall in the North, the Red Mountains in the South, and the Mountains of the Moon in the East. These ranges could represent real-life mountain belts like the Himalayas, Andes, or Rockies, formed through plate tectonics.

Volcanic Activity: The Dothraki Sea region, with its smoking plains and ruined Valyrian cities, suggests volcanic activity similar to the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean.

Winterfell and the Gift: This region's fertile plains and temperate climate could be analogous to Western Europe, with its potential for harsh winters hinting at the influence of the North Atlantic Drift.

The Geology of Game of Thrones


Vast Deserts: The massive Dothraki Sea and the Red Waste represent vast desert regions like the Sahara or Gobi, potentially formed through arid climates and weathering.

Volcanoes and Ash Rivers: The Fourteen Flames in Essos suggest active volcanoes, similar to the "Ring of Fire" mentioned above. Ash rivers, like the Rhoyne, could be inspired by real-life rivers fed by volcanic ash and glacial melt.

Jade Sea: This enormous body of water could represent the Pacific Ocean, with its vastness and potential for typhoons and sea monsters.

The Boneway: This vast grassland could be analogous to the steppes of Central Asia, known for their flat terrain and nomadic cultures.

Geologic events occurring XX million years ago (Mya) on Westeros:

  • (today) The size of the Game of Thrones planet
  • (25 Mya) The Earth split Westeros from Essos
  • (30-40 Mya) When Dorne boiled
  • (40 Mya) Land of ice
  • (60-80 Mya) The rise of the Black Mountains
  • (80-100 Mya) As the Moon rose, so did the Lannisters
  • (300 Mya) Diving the tropical reefs of Winterfell
  • (450 Mya) The sand ran red
  • (500 Mya) The first mountains
  • (2,000 Mya) Can you find it?

The Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn
The Geology of Game of Thrones
Iceland, where the northern scenes of the show were filmed.
The Geology of Game of Thrones
Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland (Iron Islands, House Greyjoy)
The Geology of Game of Thrones
Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland (North of the Wall)
Svínafellsjökull  (North of the Wall)
Svínafellsjökull  (North of the Wall)
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