The world of Westeros from George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series is vast. A story of war, sex, intrigue, magic, and dragons that takes place across almost a dozen kingdoms and two different continents, one of the biggest barriers for new readers is trying to figure out just where the heck every chapter is happening.
Inspired by the work of Cameron Booth and his his Transit Maps Tumblr, graphic designer Michael Tyznik has created a map for the (imaginary) Westeros Transit Authority, charting the strife-ridden continent as if it were a metropolitan railway, and using much of the same design language to make sense of the books’ sweeping scale.
Using different colored transit lines to represent each kingdom, you can see at a glance how far each city and kingdom is from one another, as well as what places a traveler in Westeros would need to go through to get there. All lines end in King’s Landing, terminus point of all of the Seven Kingdoms’ plots and schemes.
But Tyznik does other clever things with his map design, like use thin blue lines to represent the waterways of Westeros that require ferries and gondolas to reach. Or stopping all transit at the Wall, combining countless impoverished communities spread across thousands of miles of Westeros’s frigid North into the thoughtless afterthought of a classist urban planner. It even shows various lines being closed “for construction”–a reflection of the fact that at this point in the novels, these areas have been turned into killing fields full of ash.
George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books contain more traditional maps of the world the series takes place in, but for my money, his publisher should switch them out with Tyznik’s transit maps. Not only are they more readable and better designed, but they are a better reflection of the novels’ political scope as well. You can buy prints of the map starting at $30 here.