One of the most common themes that we’ve seen in the world of Game of Thrones is the sheer size of the entire continent of Westeros. It is so incredibly big that the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms needs to divide the responsibility of watching over the other areas of the continent to some of the Great Lords of Westeros, as doing so by himself would be incredibly difficult. But just how big is Westeros?
George RR Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, which is the source material for Game of Thrones, said that Westeros is approximately the size of South America, which is 17.84 million square km. As such, it pales in comparison to the bigger real-world continents of North America, Africa, and Asia.
As big as Westeros may be, our planet is still a lot bigger. In fact, South America is only 12% of the world’s entire land mass, and that means that Westeros is quite small compared to how big the actual world is. This opens up the possibility that there might be other continents aside from Westeros and Essos in Game of Thrones. Now, let’s look at how big Westeros is.
How Big Is Westeros?
Ever since the very first episode of Game of Thrones, the one thing we learned was that the focus region of the series was Westeros, and the same could be said about House of the Dragon, which also focuses on Westeros. That’s because the Seven Kingdoms, which is the largest nation in the entire world and the greatest empire since the Valyrian Empire, is located in Westeros.
Westeros was once ruled by individual kings and lords, and that’s why the Seven Kingdoms (only Six Kingdoms after the Game of Thrones storyline) is aptly named. Each king or lord ruled over a region in Westeros until Aegon the Conqueror united the entire continent under his Targaryen banner 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones due to a dream that he had about the threat from the north. And the fact that he was able to conquer the entire nation in only two years is a testament to the fact that his dragons were too powerful for the kings and lords of Westeros to handle.
That said, even though the Targaryens (and the Baratheons and Lannisters) ruled as the Lords of the Seven Kingdoms or as the monarchs of the entire continent, they still allowed the greater lords of Westeros to watch over some of the different regions of the continent. That’s because Westeros is a huge continent where a single monarch cannot rule the Seven Kingdoms on their own. So, how big is Westeros?
There is no exact measurement when it comes to the size of Westeros because there were never any figures that allowed us to estimate just how big this continent is. Of course, it is also difficult to tell how big Westeros is because we don’t know the finer details like the meridians, the equator, and all of the other details that will allow us to tell just how big it is.
In the book and the series, the unit used to measure distance is “leagues.” However, the characters tend to be a bit too loose when using “leagues” as a unit of measurement. For example, Jon Snow once said that the Wall to the southern shores of Dorne is right around 10,000 leagues. Meanwhile, there was also a line in the books that said that the Wall is around 100 leagues wide. Then, it was once again mentioned in the books that 100 leagues are equal to 300 miles, and that means that a league is three miles.
So, if we would use that as a measurement for how big Westeros is, that would mean that the Wall up to the southern shores of Dorne is around 30,000 miles, which is more than the entire circumference of our planet. This is completely exaggerated when it comes to the size of Westeros, as that would mean that this continent alone is the entire size of our planet. And that would also mean that the characters in the series would have to spend weeks or months traveling on land to get from one place to another.
But the good thing is that George RR Martin himself, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, which is the source material of Game of Thrones, once said that the entire continent of Westeros is right around the size of South America from north to south but is a bit narrower. That means that we already have a reference point in terms of the size of Westeros, as far as the author is concerned. Of course, the exaggeration of the size of Westeros in terms of how many leagues or miles it is from north to south probably isn’t too reliable.
So, as of this moment, we are going to be using South America as a reference point when it comes to how big Westeros is. As the fourth-largest continent in the world, South America is right around 17.84 million square km. That would mean that Westeros might just be somewhere within that ballpark in terms of its real-life size but might be smaller because it is narrower than South America.
How Does Westeros Compare To The Size Of Our World?
As we now know, Westeros is right around the size of South America but may be a bit smaller due to how narrower it is. Nevertheless, let’s say that Westeros is right around 17.84 million square km in size as well. Now, how does it compare to the size of the rest of the world?
In the real world, South America is right around only 12% of the total land mass of the planet, and we all know that the planet is around 71% water. That means that the planet’s land mass is only 29%, and that means that South America is right around 3.5% of the size of the planet. By extension, Westeros is somewhere around 3.5% when compared to the entire planet Earth and is around 12% when compared to the land mass of our planet.
Of course, we all know that South America is only the fourth-largest continent in the world, and that means that Westeros is smaller compared to the other continents in the real world. It is much smaller compared to Asia, which is the largest continent at 44.6% km. This is probably similar in terms of how we compare Westeros to the much larger continent of Essos, which lies east. In many ways, Essos is similar to Asia in terms of how diverse (and somewhat exotic) its culture is.
But the biggest takeaway here is that Westeros may simply be just another one of the continents in this large and vast world that George RR Martin built. If Westeros and Essos are not the only continents that exist in this world, it is possible that there are other continents that are larger than Westeros, especially if we were to consider the fact that South America is only the fourth-largest continent in our world.