View Full Version : Game of Thrones - 12 maps of the Known World

03-01-2013, 05:36 PM
Last year I was commissioned by Random House to create 12 24″ by 36″ maps of the world of A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. It was a dream commission for me. I originally read the books in college and, like so many others, was absorbed by the rich world. The lack of good maps bothered me, but I assumed that some day they would be created. I never expected Id be the one to do it.

More details on the blog here (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/official-world-map-of-a-song-of-ice-and-fire/), and more to come over the course of the month.




The actual poster maps can be picked up on Amazon (http://amzn.to/SkK4oQ).

03-01-2013, 06:54 PM
Wow! Congratulations Torstan! But honestly, I can't think of many other cartographers who would have been the right fit for so important a commission. Beautiful work on this piece, it really is marvelous.


03-01-2013, 07:03 PM
In a word : wonderful !

Bravo for the commission !

03-01-2013, 11:54 PM
Awesome maps Torstan!
I love coincidences. As I write this, I am half way through making a set of maps of a watch tower for a GM who is running a Song of Ice and Fire game at COSCON in 2 weeks. Once she plays the game I will post the maps.

03-02-2013, 02:00 AM
great-looking maps and congrats on the commissions! I've always been intrigued by how someone goes about being a pro cartographer, not that i have any delusions of doing it myself, though the idea always interested me as it's a pretty niche vocation.

03-02-2013, 04:51 AM
Love the maps, Torstan. It is indeed a dream commission and you certainly rose to the challenge. :)

I have to say though, I'm very underwhelmed with the actual product. I know it is completely out of your hands but I was really looking forward to a lushly printed large format book that I could flick through for hours and pore over all your lovely little details. The folio of maps though... for one thing they do not encourage browsing of the maps at leisure. You have to get them out and unfold them and have them on a surface. Then you need to fold it, put it away and get another one out... I like to just pick up a book, open a page and admire the artwork. Another thing, and this is even worse, is that the quality of the paper that the maps are printed on isn't great. I haven't even opened some of the maps - not even cracked them half an inch - and yet the paper is fraying at the fold line, some quite badly so. If I wanted to display some of these posters they would look terrible with the big white grid it has created on them... anyway, sorry for the mini rant. I hope someone official from the publishing house decides to make a book from your maps instead and I would purchase one in a second because I love the artwork. :)

03-02-2013, 12:33 PM
Ramah - yes, the paper quality was the biggest complaint about the maps, along with the fact that they were marketed using the word book, when the product is really a folio of poster maps. That's been clarified on the product page now. Those things are definitely out of my hands, but they have full rights to the maps, so I hope that they come round to including them in a book in the future.

vorropohaiah - scroll back through my posts here on the guild and you'll see how the pro-cartography worked out :) I started off like everyone else here, posting WIPs and my maps for my home game. A couple of 3rd party publishers started asking me to do small commissions and it all built up from there.

03-03-2013, 12:24 AM
Great as usual!

03-03-2013, 10:49 AM
These look wonderful Torstan. What a great job you've done in making it all come to life.

03-03-2013, 12:11 PM
Today were travelling to the Narrow Sea and visiting the city states of Lys, Pentos, Myr and Braavos.


Much of the action in A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in Westeros, but the Free Cities cast a long shadow. Ships in harbor are regularly Braavosi, or Pentoshi. We know Daenarys spent time in Pentos, and the longer we spend with her, the more we realise the Pentoshi werent just being nice.

As with the world map, this covers the 24" by 36" poster map I illustrated last year for Random House as part of the Lands of Ice and Fire (http://amzn.to/SkK4oQ).

More details, and some detail shots, on the blog (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-free-cities/).

George RR Martin, 2012, used with permission.

03-08-2013, 01:39 PM
Today it's the turn of Central Essos - the stripe of the world containing the Dothraki Sea, Old Valyria, the slaver cities of Astapor and Mereen, the Red Waste and the Bone Mountains that cleave the continent in two. In the article I go into some of the fun features of this part of the world that makes it much more than just the playground of the horse-lords.


George RR Martin, used with permission

More details on the process, and a couple of detail shots here: Central Essos | Fantastic Maps (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/central-essos/)

03-08-2013, 01:42 PM
If you think it's snowing where you are, I give you The Lands of Always Winter!


I had a blast illustrating the map of Beyond the Wall for the Lands of Ice and Fire, and in the post I've pulled out some details of mountains and forests, and discuss what went into illustrating this one.

More details here: Beyond the Wall | Fantastic Maps (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/beyond-the-wall/)

George RR Martin, 2012, used with permission

03-08-2013, 02:56 PM
They're beautiful, Torstan :)

03-09-2013, 01:05 AM
These maps are really pretty! I like your style :)

- Max -
03-09-2013, 03:07 PM
The winter map "Beyond the wall" is just georgous! Very fine artwork

03-12-2013, 12:26 PM
Today - warmer climes, the sun blasted cities of Slaver's Bay:


This is another map in which the individual cities get details - from the pyramids of Meereen to the Temple of the Lord of Light in Volantis. There's some discussion of the process behind this map, and detail shots of the different locations, over on the blog: Slaver’s Bay | Fantastic Maps (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/slavers-bay/)

Map George RR Martin, 2012, used with permission.

- Max -
03-12-2013, 12:48 PM
I really like the details on cities that gives the map an additional good touch. Great work!

03-12-2013, 02:10 PM
The only thing I don't really like is the low resolution of the pics which unables me to read all the city names.:(
Is this a problem of my browser or something or really the size of the images?

I really like the maps, they look great, detailed and though the style is the one I prefer for fantasy maps.

03-12-2013, 02:54 PM
The size is the size that I have permission to post online. The originals of course have enormous resolution - 24" by 36" at 350dpi. But to see those I'm afraid you need to grab the actual poster maps from Amazon (http://amzn.to/SkK4oQ).

03-12-2013, 06:25 PM
Beautiful maps! Some great colours job here

03-13-2013, 06:02 AM
I have been a bit busy to be picking through the guild posts lately but these are some beauts ! I think they made the right choice when they hired you to do these maps. I didnt realize that you had posted these. Gah - must get some more spare time to study them !!!!

03-20-2013, 10:53 AM
Thanks RR!

Here's a couple more - The West, with the Summer Isles, Free Cities and the Seven Kingdoms (some detail shots over on the blog - along with a longer discussion of the map (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-west/)):

And King's Landing. This one took a while. I've posted lots of detail shots on the blog (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/kings-landing/) - and there's a lot of detail to worry about in this one!

Here's one of the high res detail shots to give you an idea of the work in this one:

These are George RR Martin 2012, used with permission.

- Max -
03-20-2013, 03:31 PM
Ouch, the city is just fabulous!

03-28-2013, 08:28 AM
Catching up after the outage, here's a slew of maps from Braavos to Westeros and the Dothraki Sea:

The East (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-east/)

The Dothraki Sea (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-dothraki-sea/)

The Free City of Braavos (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-free-city-of-braavos/)

Detail top down plan of Braavos (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-free-city-of-braavos/)

Westeros! (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2013/03/the-official-map-of-westeros/)

There's a post on my site corresponding to each map (link in the caption) with detail shots - from individual castles in the map of Westeros to the hundred of houses in Braavos.

George RR Martin, 2012, used with permission.

- Max -
03-28-2013, 08:56 AM
Fantastic job, as usual!

03-29-2013, 11:25 AM
Very nice maps overall! And great job on colors

Christie Shadow
03-30-2013, 07:24 AM
I haven't seen maps of King's Landing before, it looked very different from what I imagined but you have done an amazing job on every single map here, Torstan. I gave my brother these maps for Christmas (my parents did the same) and he decided to keep both, so your artwork is now displayed prominently on his walls.

03-30-2013, 12:37 PM
Wow. Do you blog about how you were approached and commissioned for the job? I am sure it is an interesting tale. Nice work!

03-30-2013, 01:43 PM
Thanks guys! I won't be blogging about the process running up to the commissioning of the maps - there's a big fat NDA that means that will remain an untold story :)

03-30-2013, 02:26 PM
He had to duel Tyrion Lannister and loosing was forced to create maps of the knowne world.

04-27-2013, 12:08 AM
Hey Torstan- excellent maps you made. Got the pack for my birthday and they are currently proudly framed on my bedroom walls :-)

10-19-2013, 08:24 AM
simply stunning

10-19-2013, 08:40 PM
I finally broke down and bought them, arrived the other day. Great stuff as expected!

10-21-2013, 05:55 AM
I want to print them on canvas, is there the possibility to buy the files and print by myself?